Peter Okoye: Singer Threatens To Sue Brother, Jude Okoye

Celebrated hip hop group, PSquare, breaks up after successfully collaborating for years,

CHUX OHAI writes

In the last few months, a rumour about a seemingly intractable disagreement between the members of the PSquare, Peter and Paul Okoye, dominated the social media and hinted at an imminent breakup.

At first, the rumour was dismissed by fans of the identical twins, whose 14-year-old career as a group has contributed in no small measure to the growth of dance and popular music culture in Africa, as the handiwork of mischief makers and detractors. But they were forced to change their minds as events gradually unfolded in the following weeks.

For a while, the fans had hoped and prayed that the rumoured cold war between the brothers would turn out to be a mere trifle. But unguarded statements by the twins, especially the more vocal Peter, indicated that things were no longer the same with the group.

As if to confirm that things were falling apart with the PSquare, both brothers reportedly went on to found separate record labels. While Peter named his label P-Classic Records, Paul founded Rude Boy Records.

In another development, Peter was said to have performed without his twin brother at a musical show in Abuja. If his solo performance raised some eyebrows, it did even worse when he was introduced to the gathering as Mr. P, not as one half of the famous PSquare.

Also, the singer, believed to be heading to Dubai for another gig in April, concluded endorsement deals with Adidas and Olympic Milk in the absence of Paul.

As a musical group, the Okoye twins have come a long way. After ruling the entertainment scene in Nigeria and Africa for about 14 years, winning many laurels in the process, it is unthinkable that they are about to tear the union apart at a time that the group has almost evolved into an institution.

The group known as P-Square started in St. Murumba Secondary School in Jos, capital of Plateau State, in the 1990s. Peter and Paul Okoye cut their teeth as singers and dancers in the school music and drama club before forming a group known as the Smooth Criminals in 1997.

Later, the brothers enrolled in a music school to receive formal training on how to play the keyboard, drums, bass and rhythm guitars. When the Smooth Criminals got disbanded, the twins, who were already household names in Jos, founded their own group. At different times, they named the group Double P and Da Pees before finally settling for PSquare.

Initially managed by Bayo Odusanmi, aka Howie T, a seasoned concert promoter, the PSquare started its musical journey on a sound note. The group won the Benson and Hedges Grab Da Mic talent hunt competition in 2001 and earned a well-deserved sponsorship for its debut album, titled Last Nite.

A few months later, the PSquare was nominated for the KORA Awards of the same year in the Most Promising African Group category. The icing on the cake came when the group won the 2003 Amen Award for Best R&B Group.

The PSquare had since gone ahead to win more awards. In its 14 years of existence, it recorded a total of six studio albums, including Game Over, the group’s best-selling album that sold over 8 million copies all over the world.

Although this is not the first time that a disagreement between the musical twins has come to the notice of the public, many fans have wondered why this particular one appears to threaten the survival of the group.

As always, several tales have been woven around the subject. Some people claim that the bone of contention between Peter and Paul Okoye is their older brother and erstwhile manager, Jude Okoye. Others suggest that the bad blood may have been caused by alleged disaffection between Peter’s wife, Lola, and Jude. But the present rift is believed to be rooted in a previous feud over the sponsorship of the Dance with Peter reality show by Globacom.

However, Nigerians across different walks of life have been making efforts to reconcile the brothers. Apart from appeals from some prominent Nigerians, including fellow entertainers, to sheathe their swords, unconfirmed reports indicate say that former Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State has decided to intervene in the rift.

If these moves fail to make peace between the brothers, then this could mean the end of an era for the PSquare.

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