President Muhammadu Buhari has decided to heed to calls by Muslim clerics and scrap plans to build a massive film village in Kano State, reports BBC. This was revealed by an aide to President Buhari who told local media that the president has listened to the people’s concerns.
Buhari’s decision was as a result of opposition from Muslim clerics led by Sheik Abdallah Usman Gadan Kanya, who believe that the project would promote immorality, adding that Allah would curse the initiators.
Kanya threatened that unless the government stopped the film village, clerics would embark on spiritual prayers that would result in blindness and deaf diseases on those behind the project.
According to the sheik’s Hausa language audio message obtained by SaharaReporters, the preacher stated that the naming of the film village after President Buhari was a gimmick. He declared that Mr. Buhari was neither Allah nor the prophet, adding that he and other clerics and believers would resist the film village even if it has the president’s backing.
Below are excerpts from Sheik Abdallah Usman Gadan Kaya’s take on the proposed Muhammadu Buhari Film Village, Kofa, Kano State:
“We have details of a plot in our state of Kano. There is a plan to establish a film village in Kofa, Bebeji local government area of Kano State. There is going to be massive preachings against it and lectures by Islamic clerics considering the danger coming with this.
“So the first benefit Muslims in Kano and Nigeria will get is the establishment of a national or international film village? In which from all parts of the world, people will be coming to Kofa to do film or drama. A southerner will come and do film in Kofa; a northerner will come and do film in Kofa. American will come and do film in Kofa, Indian will come and do a film in Kofa and Britons will come and do the same thing in Kofa. To come and practice immorality and destroy our values.”
“They have earmarked billions of naira for the project that will stretch over an eight-kilometer complex…We are calling on all our writers to start writing against it. Southerners want the film village in their place, but they refused to take it there because they know there are Muslims in Kano, and they want to destroy our religion and values.
“Some Yoruba who are pagans want it, but they refused and insisted that it is in Kano State that they will establish it. We heard that it is one lawmaker that is bringing this calamity to us from Federal Government. Another mischief is that they have put the picture of the President and calling the place Muhammadu Buhari Film Village because they know people love Buhari and are supporting him. But Buhari is not Allah, and he is not [the] Prophet. Even if it is Buhari that did wrong we will confront him squarely. Even if it is Buhari that brings this we will fight it; it is wrong.
“Tell them, write it and propagate it through all the means. We don’t want it; we don’t need it. They should take it somewhere. We will continue to curse people behind this film village. You should campaign against it in WhatsApp, Facebook. If they insist, we have hot spiritual prayers that will bring curse and affliction to anyone. Very hot prayers that will cause blindness and make those involved deaf completely.”
More than N3billion ($10m; £7.6m) was budgeted for the project as part of the government’s efforts to improve the Hausa language film industry known as Kannywood.
Recall that it was reported that the Nigerian government will establish a world-class film village in Kano, with a view to standardizing local film production, promoting cultural activities and creating thousands of job opportunities.
Speaking at an interactive session with Kannywood film practitioners in Kano on Thursday, July 14th, lead promoter of the project and a member of the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said the 20-hectare centre would be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for film making.
“The film village has cinematography centre, 400-capacity auditorium for training, hostel, sound stage, eatery block, three-star hotel, shopping mall, stadium, clinic, among others”.
According to him, the centre was modeled out of an Indian film city and a Chinese film centre, adding that N1billion would soon be released by the federal government for the kick-off of the initial stage of the project.