Wale Ojo-Lanre, an ex-aide on tourism to Kayode Fayemi, the former governor of Ekiti, has asked the federal government to empower the film censorship board to regulate online movies.


The promoter spoke to NAN on the allegations of cultural derogation aimed toward the movie ‘Gangs of Lagos‘.

‘Gangs of Lagos’ had come under heated criticism after its April 7 release on the movie streamer Prime Video.

The film told the story of a group of friends who had to navigate destiny while growing up on the streets of Lagos.


Despite its positive reviews, it was criticised for its “derogatory” depiction of Lagos and the Eyo Masquerade.

The movie spurred talks about the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and how it lacked the legal backing to regulate movies and content released via OTT streaming platforms like Prime Video and YouTube.

Ojo-Lanre said NFVCB must be “truly empowered” to regulate online content but awareness must first be created.


He said merely granting NFVCB the power to sanction and punish erring filmmakers would not be enough.

“This will not help to mitigate, prevent, defend, protect, and preserve cultural sensibility from being abused, misinterpreted, and raped vicariously by the people,” the tourism promoter added.

“I don’t blame those who perpetrated the cultural mess in that film. We collectively, through deliberate policy maladministration, killed history as a subject in our educational procedure.

“It was from history as a subject that I learned of Igbo Ukwu culture, the Nok culture, the Bini culture, the Hausa/Fulani culture, and Yoruba culture.


“I was able to appreciate cultural diversity and the need to respect the values, culture, and tradition of others.

“We have no cultural platforms. So, Eyo to some is not a cultural symbol and representation of a tradition, but a festival of rogues, miscreants, and social irritants. You don’t blame them.”

Victor Okhai, the president of the Directors’ Guild of Nigeria (DGN), said the federal government must put deliberate effort into funding movies that promote the nation’s culture.

He said NFVCB cannot regulate movies or content released online but only has power over “free-to-air” content.


“The movie which a segment of the audience frowned at regarding the cultural aspect has been done. The filmmakers also issued a disclaimer. So, there is no need to cry wolf,” the DGN boss argued.

Okhai, however, urged filmmakers to be sensitive and conscious of their environment while telling African stories.

“The fact that NFVCB has no power to censor online movies does not give license to filmmakers to produce online content without guidance.

“Toying with traditional symbols could be a very sensitive thing and obviously there is so much hullabaloo.”


Earlier, Adedayo Thomas, the NFVCB CEO, was quoted as saying that the board was already pushing a bill before the National Assembly to acquire the legal backing needed to meaningfully regulate movies released on streamers.

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