[ Music Review] Fela – Army Arrangement


The song “Army Arrangement”Kalakuta Records Boss and legend  Fela Kuti, released  originally in 1985. The song was  about Nigeria’s attempt at ‘democracy’ in 1979 after more than a decade of military rule. lyrically the song are among his most critics of the Nigerian military and government, focusing on the troubled period when the country returned to civilian rule at the end of the 1970s.  In 1970, Nigeria emerged from a three-year Biafra civil war with the largest standing army in black Africa, no financial debts – careering along on at least two million barrels of sulphur-low oil, pumped daily into the world market. With such revenue invested prudently in the Nigerian economy, there should be no reason for any Nigerian to live below the poverty line.

However, with persistent scandals of corruption as the standard in every administration since independence, the army has lost all credibility to effect any change in the system.

In “Army Arrangement” he calls on the people to be bold enough to criticise the government, because fear of the man with the gun would not put an end to the sufferings of the masses, who eventually pay for government mismanagement. He points to the foreign exchange scandal that prompted the military regime to arrest highly placed Nigerians. Most of them were tried and sentenced to jail

“seven billion Naira missing
missing from oversea
foreign currency scandal
dey start to arrest everybodyo
e no finish, e no finish, e no finish
doctors, lawyers, auxilliars
Ingeniors, photographers
all of dem kirikiri
10 to 15 years of jail
after one year inside jail
civilian government take over
Dem releasy all of dem
Dem say dem be innocentio
e no finish, e no finish, e no finish
Two point eight billion Naira
Oil money is still missing
Dey set up inquiry
Dey say money no lost eo
Dey dabaru everybody
supervisor Obasanjo
Dey say make him no talk o
Money no lost dem shout again”

In conclusion Fela emphasised that the military followed the blueprint the all planned to hand over power to same politician in the military blue print map. Meanwhile same people still shuffle the sit of power thus all is Arrangement


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