Nigerian film star addresses backlash after ‘causing arrest of innocent social media user’

‘I have only exercised my democratic rights,’ Nollywood star said after facing criticism

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 10 July 2024 16:40 BST
Comments
(Instagram)

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Nigerian film star Toyin Abraham has responded to a backlash after causing the arrest of an “innocent” social media user.

Abraham has been receiving a flurry of negative posts online in the wake of economic troubles in Nigeria led by President Bola Tinubu, whom the star pledged her support for in the 2023 general election.

Since winning the election, Tinubu has made decisions that critics argue have grossly impacted Nigeria’s economy, which they say has led to the fall of the naira currency when compared with the dollar. Consequently, many Nigerians are facing poverty.

Instead of speaking out against Tinubu, Abraham has continued to defend her support for the leader, something that has angered a lot of Nigerian citizens.

One user sent a threatening message to Abraham that mentioned her son, which prompted the actor to take legal action, while another user, known as “Ayo”, accused Abraham of using Tinubu’s money for personal gain.

Abraham reported this user to the police and they have since been arrested, which has prompted a backlash against the star for “using the Nigerian police force to arrest innocent citizens”.

Abraham’s spokesman said: “Everyone must understand that actions have consequences, especially online.” After “Ayo” was arrested, another user wrote: “Hello @Toyin_Abraham, you will have to send the police to pick all of us. You are shameless.” On Wednesday (10 July), the phrase “FreeAyo” became the top trend on X/Twitter around the world.

To this, Abraham, whose credits include Netflix titles Fate of Alakada and Prophetess, responded: “You can abuse me and call me names; it is fine, and as I said, I will accept and take it in cos I’m in the public eyes, but cursing my kids and lying is what I won’t accept, and lastly I NEVER and will NEVER arrest anyone’s mum. I made a report on cybercrime as a citizen.”

She continued: “I made my report at cybercrime cos the threat to life and curse and threat on my family were beyond what I can take. As for me, abuse me, insult me please, say anything to me please,” she added.

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In an impassioned video shared online, Abraham, whose Wikipedia bio has been amended to add the word “bully”, said: “I said I was not going to say anything anymore, but there are some things you can’t accuse me wrongly and you expect me not to say something.“

Toyin Abraham is facing a backlash online after reporting social media user
Toyin Abraham is facing a backlash online after reporting social media user (Instagram)

“It’s a different thing when you commit a crime – I have not committed any crime; I have only exercised my democratic rights. The kid bullied me. I kept telling you guys, ‘I did not collect any money.’ I’ve had it up to here. You cuss my child.

Abraham continued: “I did not arrest anybody’s mother. I wrote a petition – from there, they said I should go to the cybercrime. I gave them the screenshot. I did not do anything! I’ve been nice to people, I’ve been a good citizen.”

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