Worried by growing insecurity in the country, especially in the Northern region, the Kano State government has announced stringent measures to stem the tide of criminality and restore some sense of orderliness in the state.
Among the new measures is the banning of movies at cinemas promoting kidnapping, hooliganism, drug abuse, and phone-snatching.
Isma’ila Afakalla, the executive director, Kano State Censorship Board, announced the decision to ban and prosecute filmmakers and television station who show movies with kidnapping and related crimes. Afakalla expressed worry over the movies which, according to him, fuel the insecurity bedevilling 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.”
Meanwhile, a film maker and chairman of UK Entertainment, Umar Sani Kofar-Mazugal, has kicked against the move, saying films were made to create awareness on societal ills and not to teach them to get involved in the act. He, 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 cross section of parents who spoke to Arewa Voice threw their weight behind government’s decision. A parent, Auwalu Shugaba, said movies should mould the way people think and act, especially adolescents and teenagers. He said: “In my view, the measure taken by the government is right. The responsibility of government is to secure the lives and property of the people. Most of these acts causing insecurity were carried out by adolescent and teenagers; they do what they like and don’t know the consequences of what they do.
“They always learn and copy from what they see. They first get ideas either from movies or peer group influence.”
Another parent, Ahmad Sani said filmmakers should moderate how they shoot their movies by not going into details of such acts but should focus on the consequences.
“I am 100 percent behind the decision of the government because some people don’t have any intention to commit crimes but once they watch the movies, it’s like they are taught how to go about carrying out the atrocities. Unfortunately, we have many idle youths today and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.
“They want to make money and get rich overnight. If the filmmakers must shoot these movies, they shouldn’t go into details of such acts but focus on the consequences. Because such acts have negative impact on the people,” Sani said.