Nigeria’s Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has announced that it will no longer approach the court to seek the ban of This is Nigeria video by Folarin Falana, aka Falz the Bahd Guy.
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MURIC had threatened to sue Falz over some “offensive” scenes in the video.
But in a statement on Sunday, MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, said in deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians, it resolved to drag the artiste to government agencies saddled with the responsibility of censoring films and videos.
“It is not a U-turn but a sudden change in tactics”, the body said, adding that, “This will have a more enduring impact not only on Falz but the entire entertainment industry. It will also make the agencies sit up to their responsibilities and inject a huge dose of discipline in the music and film industries in general.
“Although he stopped short of apologising, the artiste has tried to clear himself in published interviews made available to us. According to him, he did not intend to ridicule Muslims. He said his intention was to call attention to the plight of the Chibok girls although we think he has done that the wrong way.
“A scene in the video in which the ‘Chibok girls’ are in pensive mood would have been more representative of the reality on ground because kidnapped girls cannot be dancing like people under the influence of drug. They are in captivity and so they have no cause under the sun for jubilating.
“Again, the Fulanis (Muslims) were painted as killers while Benue militias (Christians) who rustle Fulani cattle and slaughter their wives and children were not featured. This is grossly unfair. Falz should find a way of balancing his video. The kidnappers of the South East (also Christians) were spared while the oil saboteurs of the Niger Delta (Christians too) were ignored. Falz's video is loaded with Islamophobia. That video should be titled ‘This is not Nigeria’. It is Islam-bashing. Nigeria’s video regulatory agency should therefore ban the video or ask the artist to edit it properly.
“With this latest development and even before the seven-day ultimatum expires, MURIC is no longer contemplating court action against Falz, neither are we demanding any apology from him or his management. The likely pecuniary gain in the event of a court validation of our claims does not interest us. We are no longer looking at Falz but at a larger picture.
“The courts will only be interested in legalities, judiciability and technicalities but the video board will look beyond all that. Is it professional? Is it balanced? Is it truly representative of our country? Is it morally justifiable? These are what will interest the board and they are in tandem with our thinking. We appreciate artists and our aim is not to punish Falz. He is not a lazy Nigerian youth.
“The matter will now go to those government agencies who are supposed to do their jobs in the first place. Instead of creating media tension and granting cheap popularity, this matter will now be handled by professionals who know what to do.”