The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) said it is no longer contemplating court action against Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, neither is it demanding any apology from him or his management over a song he recently released.
The development is coming 24 hours to the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum given to Falz to apologise to Muslims and withdraw his trending video, “This is Nigeria”, over what the group termed “insensitive, thoughtless and highly provocative” scenes.
According to a statement on Monday by MURIC’s Director, Ishaq Akintola, made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the group said, “in deference to pleas made by well-meaning Nigerians, it resolved to drag the artiste to government agencies saddled with the responsibility of censoring films and videos.”
It also added that the video should have been aptly titled ‘This is Not Nigeria.’
See the statement below:
”It is not a U-turn but a sudden change in tactics. This will have a more enduring impact not only on Falz but the entire entertainment industry. It will also make the agencies sit up to their responsibilities and inject a huge dose of discipline in the music and film industries in general.
“Although he stopped short of apologising, the artiste has tried to clear himself in published interviews made available to us. According to him, he did not intend to ridicule Muslims. He said his intention was to call attention to the plight of the Chibok girls although we think he has done that the wrong way.
“A scene in the video in which the ‘Chibok girls’ are in pensive mood would have been more representative of the reality on ground because kidnapped girls cannot be dancing like people under the influence of drug. They are in captivity and so they have no cause under the sun for jubilating. Again, the Fulanis (Muslims) were painted as killers while Benue militias (Christians), who rustle Fulani cattle and slaughter their wives and children were not featured.
”This is grossly unfair. Falz should find a way of balancing his video. The kidnappers of the South-east (also Christians) were spared while the oil saboteurs of the Niger Delta (Christians too) were ignored. Falz video is loaded with Islamophobia. That video should be titled ‘This is not Nigeria’. It is Islam-bashing. Nigeria’s video regulatory agency should therefore ban the video or ask the artiste to edit it properly.
“With this latest development and even before the seven-day ultimatum expires, 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 courts will only be interested in legalities, judiciability and technicalities but the video board will look beyond all that. Is it professional? Is it balanced? Is it truly representative of our country? Is it morally justifiable? These are what will interest the board and they are in tandem with our thinking. We appreciate artistes and our aim is not to punish Falz. He is not a lazy Nigerian youth.
“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.”