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‘This Is Nigeria’ Video: MURIC Backs Down From Suing Falz , Set To Petition NFVCB
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On: June 13, 2018
Category: News

Falz
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) in a recent statement
has resolved not to sue the Nigerian artists Falz over
allege disrespect of the Islamic religion but to petition the
National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB) on the
issue.
Below is a statement;
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) last week resolved to
sue Folarin Falana (Falz the Bahd Guy), a Nigerian artist,
who produced the video song titled ‘This is Nigeria’ in
which a Fulani man was seen beheading somebody. The
video also featured hijab-wearing female choreographers
dancing the ‘shaku-shaku’ (a dance associated with drug).
A seven-day ultimatum was given for the withdrawal of
the video and an apology failing which a legal tussle would
be launched.
Our office has since been inundated with solidarity visits,
while our telephone lines have been flooded with a deluge
of calls from members, friends, well-wishers, journalists
and other concerned Nigerians, majority of whom are of
the Islamic faith.
In view of the intervention of these well-meaning
Nigerians, counseling from several quarters and
commitments given by us to those who interfaced with us
on this matter, an emergency meeting of MURIC’s Think-
Tank was convened on Sunday, June 10, 2018 to review the
situation.
In deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians, in
order to keep faith with our avowed motto (Dialogue, Not
Violence) and to further confirm that MURIC is a listening,
mature and responsible organization committed to
promoting peace in Nigeria, the Think-Tank resolved to
drag the artist to government agencies saddled with the
responsibility of censoring films and videos. It is not a U-
turn but a sudden change in tactics.
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.
MURIC expresses deep appreciation to its members
nation-wide, particularly Muslim lawyers who volunteered
to take up the case gratis, leaders of Islamic organizations
across the country who offered their solidarity as well as
senior civil servants who shared their rich experiences
with us.
Although he stopped short of apologizing, the artist 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 cattles 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 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.
Our emphasis is going to be mainly on the portrayal of
Fulanis as killers in the video with the concomitant ugly
perception it is likely to create among Nigerians as well as
its bandwagon effect on the image of Muslims in general.
This is one area Falz has not been able to explain away,
yet he refused to apologise. That aspect of the video would
have been edited had the censorship agencies done what
was expected of them or if Falz had followed due process.
In the interest of peace, law and order, we are calling on
the National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB) to
take up the matter from this moment. Although MURIC will
still do a followup with an official petition, we expect the
board to have begun its independent investigations on the
matter particularly with the furore generated by the issue.
In a nutshell, we insist that Falz video “This is Nigeria” is
offensive and provocative. It portrays Fulanis (and Nigerian
Muslims) as killers. It is capable of igniting crisis and
precipitating a general breakdown of law and order. The
video board must therefore do the needful.

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