While we were waiting for the beginning and the end to the impending saga between Nigerian singer, Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, and Muslim group, MURIC, there seems to be a turn-around.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) had asked the singer to pull out his music video, This Is Nigeria, from airwaves or face legal action. This was made known in a statement by its Director, Ishaq Akintola:
“MURIC rejects Falz’ explanation that the girls in hijab in his ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance symbolise the Chibok girls because nothing in the video indicates that the girls represent the Chibok girls.”
“At least none of the Chibok girls have been seen dancing like a drunkard. They are always in a pensive mood. Do they have any cause to be dancing? Are they happy?
“The video manifests ethnic bias against the Fulani while it ignored the criminal activities of the ethnic militia of the Middle Belt who have also massacred Fulani and rustled their cattle in their thousands.
“It is a hate video. This video has the potential of causing a religious crisis of unprecedented dimension. It is an assault on the self-dignity of every Muslim. It is freedom of expression gone haywire.
“We, therefore, demand its withdrawal and an apology to Nigerian Muslims within seven days or the authors and their agents will face legal action if they fail to comply.
“Only the scenes portraying police brutality and the money-swallowing snake in the video are near the truth.”
In another statement issued Monday, the Islamic group said “in deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians,” it has resolved to drag the artist to government agencies that are responsible for censoring films and videos.
The statement signed by Akintola reads: “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 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 organisation 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.”
The group said the new move “will have a more enduring impact not only on Falz but the entire industry”.
“MURIC is no longer contemplating court action against Falz, neither are we demanding an apology from him or his management,” the statement read.
“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 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.
“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.”