BY ‘SEGUN ODEJIMI
While the ministerial committee charged with reviewing the hugely controversial MOPICON bill is at it, huddling together in hotel conference rooms and debating what is likely to decide what direction Nollywood will head, there are 5 characteristics of this saga which shows it is just one of the numerous Nigerian diseases.
1. Absolutely disgraceful communication strategy. Just as we have the hugely incompetent Lai Mohammed, Femi Adesina and their goons in Abuja whose lack of any coherent communication skills has contributed to the present charged atmosphere within Nigeria, there are also those who see MOPICON as the next best thing after leafed moin-moin but who decided to keep their sermons to themselves until after the document was leaked and Nollywood almost became an almost APC-PDP like war zone.
It was only when there was a huge uproar after the document was leaked that they felt it was necessary to tell the average Nollywoodian why the idea of the bill should be embraced. Little wonder Lai Mohammed is their chief organizer. They are obviously taking their lessons in bad communication from him.
2. Secrecy. As if it were a secret cult scene in a Nollywood movie, the nominated members of the review committee gathered at one of the halls at the National Theatre for the inauguration ritual. Nobody was fooled by the fact that that it was done in a public space and in broad day light.
The fact that it wasn’t publicised after the initial ceremony was postponed due to Oga Lai’s Aso Rock engagement reeks of shady intentions – even if that isn’t what they intended.
3. Social media keyboard warriors. What is a typical Nigerian saga without the presence of social media keyboard warriors? These self-appointed warriors are absolute know-alls. They can give you all the reasons, off hand, why anything can or cannot work. Some come across as people who are just there, with fully loaded internet modems, staring at their screens, waiting for the next thing to oppose or scream about.
They were in full force during the #OccupyNigeria saga. They re-emerged when it was time to #BringBackOurGirls. You will recognise them by their ability to create funny looking hashtags. These special type of people blessed us with their arguments when the MOPICON document got leaked. They threatened fire and brimstone upon Lai Mohammed, Ali Mahmood-Balogun, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Shaibu Husseini, Greg Odutayo and co.
However, there’s a characteristic that sets them apart: they always go quiet after a few days of noise making. Absolutely quiet.
4. A totalitarian-looking policy. What is causing the hoopla in the first place? There always has to be a policy which at first glance looks totalitarian. Whatever it looks like from the second glance upwards is not why we are here. Take the subsidy removal thing for example. Immediately the government announced it, even the person who doesn’t have a rabbit’s clue what it was was like, “You see. I told you! Buhari is a military dictator.”
The proposed MOPICON code of ethics doesn’t look any different from that.
5. A trail of wounded relationships. It is not a typical Nigerian saga if it doesn’t leave, in its trail, a plethora of punctured relationships. This always happens because there are those who see it as a crime when other people have opinions that differ from theirs. “You don’t agree with me? You must be an enemy then.” That’s how it works in Nigeria.
Even though this Nollywood saga is still ongoing a few relationships are already getting sacrificed on the altars of ideologies. Look around you, take a quick look through the social media space and see how true this point is.
Such a pity!