Nigerian singer Brymo, whose real name is Olawale Ashimi, is facing a growing backlash because of comments he made about the Igbo ethnic group in the country.
More than 28,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org to stop the singer from winning the All Africa Music Award (Afrima) for songwriter of the year.
He retweeted a Twitter post that referred to the Igbos, who hail from the southeast of the country, and are one of its largest ethnic groups, as “cowards”.
He also wrote one post where he referred to the Igbo people using an offensive expletive and caused some anger when he said a president coming from the Igbo ethnic group is a “pipe dream”.
In February’s presidential election an Igbo candidate, Peter Obi, is gaining passionate support from many of Nigeria’s youth and on social media.
People online are furious and calling Brymo’s comments “xenophobic” and “racist”.
Brymo, who is from the Yoruba ethnic group, told the Nigerian paper, The Punch, that he is supporting Bola Ahmed Tinubu in next month’s poll, which he said had nothing to do with the fact that Mr. Tinubu is also Yoruba, but out of “choice”.
Nigeria as a country still faces some tensions between its various different ethnic and religious groups, which can feed into elections.
Brymo also clarified to The Punch that his comments were not meant to be anti-Igbo: “I did not mean an Igbo person is unfit for the presidency. That sounds ‘tribalistic’.”