The Oba Of Lagos Instructs The Producers Of Gangs Of Lagos To Exclude Eyo Character From The Production
The Oba Of Lagos Instructs The Producers Of Gangs Of Lagos To Exclude Eyo Character From The Production

Following the release of the movie “Gangs of Lagos” on Amazon Prime Video, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has requested the immediate removal of the Eyo masquerade’s image and representation from the film. The movie, produced and directed by Jade Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju, written by Kay Jegede and Jade Osiberu, has faced criticism for portraying the Eyo masquerade as the “first gang of Lagos.”

In a statement obtained by a correspondent, Oba Akiolu condemned the film, describing it as defamatory and sacrilegious, causing significant reputational harm to the Eyo brand. The report emphasized that the Adimu Orisa and the manifestation of the Eyo are cultural heritages protected by the Oba of Lagos, belonging to the indigenous people of Lagos. Oba Akiolu stressed the need for explicit permission from the indigenous owners before utilizing or disrespecting these traditions in any manner.

Previously, Oba Akiolu sent a three-page letter to Greoh Studios, the producers of the movie, and Amazon Web Service on June 28, demanding the removal of Eyo’s image from the film. He accused the producers of exploiting the appearance of the Eyo for commercial gain without proper authorization from the oba’s office.

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The letter also called for a proposal to restore the sanctity of the Eyo, compensation for the infringement of intellectual property rights, and an appropriately worded apology to the Oba and the people of Lagos within 14 days.

The 14-day ultimatum is set to expire on July 12. Notable figures, including the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Isale Eko Descendants’ Union, and actor Jide Koskoko, have expressed their disagreement with the portrayal of the Eyo masquerade in the movie.

Meanwhile, co-writer Kay Jegede clarified that the movie did not aim to denigrate the Eyo culture. In an interview, Jegede explained that the film’s characters, including a criminal disguised as a revered cultural symbol, should not be interpreted as disrespect towards the symbol. He hoped that the story would be seen as a depiction of the human spirit’s resilience despite challenging circumstances.

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