The Lagos State Government in Southwest Nigeria has condemned the production of the film ‘The Gang of Lagos’, describing it as very unprofessional and misleading.
The government says that the content portrays the culture of the state in a derogatory manner.
The State 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 it as a mockery of the Heritage of Lagos, a statement on April 12 had it.
The commissioner accused the promoters of the movie – Jade Osiberu and Kemi Akindoju – of portraying the Eyo Masquerade as a gun-wielding villain while adorning the full traditional regalia.
“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 State.
“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, added, 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.”
The Jade Osiberu film follows the lives of three friends who grow up in a crime-ridden Isale Eko in Lagos and are drawn into gang life.
Gangs of Lagos is the first African Original for Prime Video and part of Osiberu's three-year overall deal with the streaming platform.