Gangs of Lagos film, a mockery of our heritage- Lagos govt


Lagos State Government has expressed displeasure with the
promoters of the “Gangs of Lagos” film/series over what it described as
“cultural misrepresentation” as well as portraying the culture of the state in
a derogatory manner.


In a reaction by the state government, the Commissioner for
Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf said the Ministry, being
the regulatory body and custodian of the culture of Lagos State, viewed the
film/series as a mockery of the Heritage of Lagos.


Earlier, Prince Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu, the Apesinọla Ẹyọ Ọba
Alakẹtẹ Pupa Ọkalaba Ẹkun, a cultural group, had condemned the film, calling
for an immediate withdrawal.


Shodipe-Dosunmu described the film as “ethnic profiling,
sacrilegious and outrageous trash.”


Meanwhile, the commissioner expressed her disappointment
with the promoters of the film, Jade Osiberu and Kemi Akindoju, for portraying
the Eyo Masquerade as a gun-wielding villain while adorning the full
traditional regalia.


Instructively, the Eyo Festival is rarely observed and only
comes up as a traditional rite of passage for Obas, revered Chiefs and eminent
Lagos Indigenes while the Eyo Madquerade is used as a symbol of honour for such
personalities and remarkable historical events.


According to Akinbile-Yussuf, “We are of the opinion that
the production of the film ‘The Gang of Lagos’ is very unprofessional and
misleading while its content is derogatory of our culture, with the intention
to desecrate the revered heritage of the people of Lagos.


“It is an unjust profiling of a people and culture as being
barbaric and nefarious. It depicts a gang of murderers rampaging across the


The state government maintained that “the Adamu Orisha,
popularly known as the Eyo Festival, is rarely observed and only comes up as a
traditional rite of passage for Obas, revered Chiefs and eminent Lagosians.”


Akinbile-Yussuf, stressed that “the Eyo Masquerade is
equally used as a symbol of honour for remarkable historical events.


“It signifies a sweeping renewal, a purification ritual to
usher in a new beginning, a beckoning of new light, acknowledging the blessings
of the ancestors of Lagosians.”


Lagosians are not
Gangsters-Says Eyo custodian,Shodipe-Dosunmu


In an earlier reaction via a statement, Shodipe-Dosunmu,
described the film as reckless, disgusting distortion of the sacred
illustration of Lagos culture.


According to him, “There is a film presently being promoted
by one Jade Osiberu and another character called Kemi Akindoju. The so called
movie is an ugly, hate filled mockery of the Lagosian heritage.


“In their reckless, disgusting distortion of the sacred
illustration of the Lagosian culture the film makers reduced the Eyo masquerade
into a gun toting killing machine, clothing their misfit actors in the full
regalia of the Eyo and with the Aga depicting some Conclaves.


“This is a total abomination. It is not only a distortion of
our culture, it is a dark insidious profiling of our people as criminals and
murderers rampaging across Lagos.


“The Adamu Orisha is a treasured cleansing ritual, a sacred
rite performed on the passage of an Oba or for their coronation.


“It is also used to honor distinguished Lagosians as their
final rite of transition.


“Since Ejilu and Malakin, the brothers of Olori Olugbani
first initiated the Eyo rite in celebration of Oba Ado Keme, the Adamu Orisha
has become a sacred ancestral heritage celebrated with awe and deserving


“It signifies a sweeping renewal, a purificational ritual to
usher in a new beginning, a beckoning of new light, acknowledging the blessings
of our ancestors.


“To use the sacred Adamu Orisha Masquerade as an object of
terror and loose criminality is to savage and despoil the Lagosian tradition.


“It is vile, evil, perverse; an utterly sadistic mangling of
who we are as peace loving, accommodating and enlightened people.


“We demand an immediate withdrawal of this sacrilegious and
outrageous trash.


“We demand that the National Film and Video Censors Board
and all appropriate authorities to ban this blatant mockery disguising as
cinematography and impose the most punitive sanctions on the sponsors of this
venomous ethnic profiling.


“We also appeal to the Lagos State Government, the Oba of
Lagos Alayeluwa Oba Rilwan Akinolu, all the custodians of our tradition
including the Alaworo of Adamu Orisha and Akinsiku Chief Ademola Dosunmu to
rouse up in protective defense of our tradition against the ravages of these
agents of condemnable pollution of all that we cherish in this sacred soil of
Oba Ado Keme.


“Ethnic profiling is recognized as a crime against humanity
by the International Court of Justice.


“This provision can also be invoked against these
sacrilegious hate baiters.”


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