The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has soft-pedalled on its threat to take legal action against Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana over his controversial ‘This is Nigeria’ video. You will recall that last week, MURIC had issued the artiste a seven day ultimatum for the withdrawal of the video and had also demanded an apology. The video featured, among other things, hijab-wearing female choreographers dancing ‘shaku-shaku’ and a Fulani man appearing to behead an individual. However in a statement on Monday June 11, 2018, MURIC 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.
MURIC’s statement read: “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”. According to MURIC, the new direction “will have a more enduring impact not only on Falz but the entire industry” as it will make agencies sit up to their responsibilities. “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 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”. MURIC insisted that the video is “offensive and provocative,” saying it “portrays Fulanis (and Nigerian Muslims) as killers”.They claimed that the video “is capable of igniting crisis and precipitating a general breakdown of law and order”.