Isale Eko Descendants Threaten Legal Action Against Gang of Lagos Movie
Descendants of Isale Eko have threatened legal action against the producer of Gang of Lagos, Jade Osiberu and called on the National Film And Censors Board (NFVCB) to withdraw the approval granted to the movie.
They insisted that Adinmu Orisha’s play isn’t in any way associated with the thuggery, violence and gangsterism as projected in the film.
“Gangs of Lagos” is a high-stakes, gritty, and hard-hitting action crime-thriller, with an authentic storyline, centred on a group of childhood friends who each have to navigate destiny, growing up on the bustling streets and neighbourhood of Isale Eko, Lagos.
The movie is directed by Jade Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju, executive produced by Adesegun Adetoro, Demi Olubanwo, Olumide Soyombo, Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, and Kola Aina; and filmed by Greoh Studios, and released by Amazon’s Prime Video Nigeria.
In a statement signed by Chairman, Isale Eko Descendant Union, Yomi Tokosi, referred to the movie as having very disturbing violent images.
He said the unique Eyo masquerade indigenous to the Isale Eko community in Lagos was illegally and scandalously depicted as being used as a camouflage, decoy and subterfuge for murderers and gangsters operating in the Isale Eko area.
In his words: “For the avoidance of doubt, the Eyo masquerade has been part of the unique cultural heritage of the Isale Eko community of Lagos since 1854 (169 years) and the Eyo is known as a masquerade for celebration in Lagos Island and not an instrument of the gang of criminals as illegally and scandalously portrayed most importantly.
He lamented that the movie has brought the Eyo masquerade and the people of Isale Eko into disrepute, who are now deemed criminally minded in the eyes of right-thinking members of the society.
“The Isale Eko descendants’ union is very disturbed that the culture and tradition of Isale Eko can be wantonly exploited in such a despicable and insensitive manner by Amazon and Prime Video to the detriment of the Isale Eko community.
“The illegal and scandalous depiction of the Eyo masquerade in the movie is actionable and a petition has been lodged by the IDU with the NFVCB including other major stakeholders.
“The IDU has among other things requested that the NF&CB withdraw the approval granted to the movie and direct the withdrawal of the movie from all viewing channels available to the public. The IDU and other community stakeholders will also be considering legal action for the damage done to the culture, tradition and image of the Isale Eko community and the Eyo Masquerade.
Reacting, Editor, The Nation Entertainment desk, Gbenga Bada, said: “I do not, in its entirety, agree with the first impression of the Eyo, which belongs to the Opa fraternity.
Though, I’m aware some unscrupulous elements hide under this age-long Eko tradition to perpetuate evil, the tone, which was too overtly conspicuous in the Gangs Of Lagos, might be misleading, especially for Gen Z.
“Where the foreign producers and filmmakers do better is they do deep research especially when culture and traditions are concerned.
“The soundtrack is heavy on Eyo chants, the depiction of the Eyo tradition might be termed fiction and art creativity but with the current reasoning of Gen Zs, is that how we want them to view our tradition? Gen Z that do not care about tradition and culture in the first place now have the opportunity to thrash the culture and tradition finally.
These being noted, the film was worth every minute of the 204 minutes spent watching.