The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has urged filmmakers to stop promoting money ritual contents in their movies.
Mohammed stated this on Monday, during a media visit to the Daily Trust office in Abuja.
According to him, the directive to filmmakers is premised on the confession of some money ritual suspects who claimed they learnt the heinous act from movies and on social media.
This, he said, has boosted the resolve of the Federal Government to sanitise social media.
He said, “Many have also blamed Nollywood for featuring money rituals in some of its movies, saying this has negatively influenced the vulnerable youth. To mitigate this, I have directed the National Film and Video Censors Board, the body set up to regulate the film and video industry in Nigeria, to take this issue into consideration while performing its role of censoring and classifying films and videos.
“I have also directed NFVCB to engage with stakeholders in the film industry in order to express the concerns of the government and Nigerians on the need to eschew money ritual content in their movies.”
He added, “For those who may still be in doubt, ritual killings have assumed a worrisome dimension in recent years…Recently, in Ogun State, four young men, one of whom is 18 years old, murdered their 20-year-old female friend for money rituals.
“One of them said they learnt about using human parts for money rituals from social media. Of course, you are also aware of a case involving a female student of the University of Jos who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend for ritual purposes. These killings have been widely reported by the media.
“The fact that some of these ritualists said they learnt the money-making tricks from some social media platforms has given a further fillip to our campaign to rid social media of unwholesome content.”
Mohammed said the government will not allow the social media space to be filled with dangerous content, adding that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration won’t relent in its efforts to ensure responsible use of social media.
The minister appealed to religious, traditional and political leaders to be part of efforts to sensitise youths to realise that success comes through hard work, not money rituals.
The statement comes weeks after the Ogun State Police command attributed the increase in ritual killings among young people to the promotion of such in Nollywood movies.
Abimbola Oyeyemi, the command’s spokesperson, while parading an 18-year-old man, Soliu Majekodunmi, who beheaded his girlfriend for money rituals, said some of the suspects learnt the evil acts from some of the movies they watched.
“The religious bodies should stop preaching only prosperity, you should be preaching morality more than the way you preach prosperity. Nollywood actors and the movie censors board have a lot to do to regulate the type of films they produce because some of them (ritual suspects) learn it in movies,” he said at the time.