Amid kicks by Nollywood practitioners and some others, Kano State governent has banned movies promoting kidnapping, hooliganism, drug abuse and phone-snatching in the state.
According to the state government, the development is part of measures to control the increased rate of criminality causing insecurity in the state and to restore orderliness in the state.
The Executive Director, Kano State Censorship Board, Isma’ila Afakalla, announced this.
According to him, types of movies now banned in the state promote the insecurity bedeviling some parts of the country particularly, the North- West.
He said, “The board in recent times has observed an increase in the number of movies depicting kidnapping, thuggery and phone-snatching, which stakeholders describe as worrisome considering the vivid display of these criminal acts by producers of such movies believed to be causing a setback to the ongoing fight against insecurity.
“We took the decision in order to stop producers of some of the movie series shown in some of our TV stations because they show clearly how someone can mastermind the kidnap of people for ransom, snatching of phones, thuggery and drug abuse.
“It is no longer news that Kano State in recent times has been faced with issues of phone-snatching and thuggery, which have led to loss of lives. This is just as a man and his wife were reported to have been attacked on Sunday night on Yahaya Gusau Road, leading to the man’s death, while the wife’s bag was snatched. No doubt, such movies contribute to the rising cases of crime in the state because most youths are impressionable and learn from such movies on how to carry out these wicked acts the country is struggling hard to eradicate.
“We can’t allow movie producers to continue showing our youths things that can further lead them into crimes. Government has stepped up efforts to combat these crimes in some neighbouring states as you know; so we must not fold our hands and watch it shift here. We implore movie producers to begin to show things that promote peace, and other developmental issues and not social vices and acts that contradict our religion and culture; and this has nothing to do with censorship. The board will not hesitate to prosecute any producer and TV stations which violate the directive.”
Among those kicking against the ban is a filmmaker and chairman of UK Entertainment, Umar Sani Kofar-Mazugal.
He argued that films were made to create awareness on societal ills and not to teach them to get involved in the act.
Kofar-Mazugal, however, admitted that some movie producers were too detailed in showing such acts and blamed the censorship board for not working as it ought to since it is its responsibility to censor the script right from the conceptualisation stage.
A Nollywood practitioner and Creative Director of Leia Cole Studios, Nsikan Issac argued that crime movies were not peculiar to Nigeria but a global thing.she
According to her, the ban would not help the situation, rather, it could discourage the youth from telling stories that mattered in their society.
She said, “I don’t think it should be banned in any way because that is the only way you can really tell a story the way it should be told.”
She, however, asked movie makers to deploy a better way to tell such stories to ensure it does not breach the legal provisions of the state.