2FACE IDIBIA RECOVERING AFTER TRAGIC GUNSHOT
Friday October 5, 2007.
Nigeria’s best-selling pop artiste 2face Idibia was on Thursday night taken into hospital in Lagos after he was shot in the thigh by unknown assailants.
The 32 year-old music star was on his way to his FESTAC Town, Lagos residence from the Murtala Mohammed international airport when the incident happened. He was returning from London, where he was named Best African act at the 12th edition of MOBO awards on September 19.
According to eye witness account, the gunmen, about three in number, approached the Honda car (popularly called Honda Bullet) he was being driven in, and asked for the doors to be opened. It was while Idibia was trying to open the door-lock that one of the attackers shot at him. Luckily, he had a laptop computer on his laps, which helped reduce the impact of the bullet.
In an act of bravery, he shouted for the other occupants of the car to ‘run, run’, as he also tried to escape the car.
‘We didn’t know what was happening. I was shocked. But I ran, and took the car keys with me’, said Ifeanyi, Faze’s elder brother who was behind the wheels of the Honda car. He was however, not completely lucky as he was hit by a stray bullet in the arm.
Both Ifeanyi and Idibia are currently being hospitalised in a FESTAC hospital.
The incident occurred around Cele bus stop, along the airport expressway, at about 8pm Nigerian time.
It took the intervention of passers-by, before they could be taken to hospital in a van.
They arrived Cedar hospital, (same hospital he was hospitalised after his famous 2005 robbery attack) around 9pm, and promptly made a formal report at the FESTAC town police station.
2face was taken into theatre at 7am on Friday, and one of the doctors Dr. Emeka Onourah confirmed his condition is not critical. ‘He’s responding to treatment. He has 22 pellets in his thigh, because it was a local gun. But we’ve been able to handle the situation. We’ve stopped the bleeding too. What remains is to make sure there’s no infection, and we create a way for the pellets to expel themselves’
He refuted speculations the singer would be flown abroad. ‘He’s going to be with us for a while. But I can assure you that he’s doing very fine.
After the operation, Idibia was sleeping peacefully on his hospital bed, surrounded by his closest friends and aides: his manager Joice Ize-Iyamu, his hypes-man Natz, his brothers Steve and Hyacinth, his friends Blackface and members of the Orji (Faze’s) family.
The singer, who was earlier billed to headline a concert in concert today (Friday) in Ghana will not be able to hit stages for at least two weeks, though doctors are uncertain as to when he will be discharged.
His last major concert was in Barbados, a Caribbean island on September 15. He was scheduled to hit Canada later this month and Namibia in November.
It is not the first time 2face Idibia is being attacked by armed bandits. In January 2005, the entire nation kept a vigil and prayed endlessly as he lied on a hospital bed, recovering from injuries sustained after robbers laid siege on his FESTAC residence, injuring him and his brother Steve.
He escaped a similar attack in December 2006 when robbers stopped a car he was being driven in and asked all the occupants to lie flat. ‘They were going to shoot. So I shouted that ‘what are you guys doing. Don’t you know this 2face?’ So they just took our phones and left us alone’, remembers Godwin, his US-Based friend who was also in the car.
In recent times, robbery incidents have been on the rise in Lagos, and other parts of Nigeria, and in the past weeks alone, several artistes including Eedris Abdulkareem and 9ice have been reportedly attacked. Last year, another artiste Azadus was also shot in the thigh, while some robbers were trying to snatch his BMW.
The police are presently investigating the Idibia attack, and security around him is being beefed up, as there are suspicions about the real cause of the attack. ‘They didn’t take anything from the car. They didn’t take our phones. That’s why we’re wondering if they really wanted to rob, or they were after something else’, said Ifeanyi.
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