The Lagos State Government has chided the producers of the newly-released ‘Gangs of Lagos’ film over what it described as “cultural misrepresentation” as well as depicting the culture of the state in a derogatory manner.
Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, while reacting to the controversy trailing the film, said the Ministry, being the regulatory body and custodian of the culture of Lagos State, viewed the film as a mockery of the heritage of Lagos.
She expressed disappointment in the producers – Jade Osiberu and Kemi Akindoju – for portraying the Eyo Masquerade as a gun-wielding villain while adorning the full traditional regalia.
According to Akinbile-Yussuf, “We are of the opinion that the production of the film ‘Gangs of Lagos’ is very unprofessional and misleading while its content is derogatory to 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”.
She stressed that “the Adamu Orisa, 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.”
Earlier, the Adamu Orisa Cult, through the Akinsiku Of Lagos, Chief Adebola Dosunmu, had urged the general public to disregard the “mischievous impression created by producers of the ‘Gangs of Lagos’ film.
Dosunmu explained that the Eyo Adamu Orisa festival is usually held to accompany the soul of the departed reputable sons and daughters of Lagos State, including Obas and Chiefs, and most times to usher in a new Oba of Lagos and is one of the manifestations of the custom and tradition of the people of Isale Eko and the entire Lagos.
He added: “The Adamu Orisha play is more than culture or tradition to some Lagosians, it is more or less like a religion where notable Lagosians and Nigerians being members and the sanctity of same is under the control of the Awe Adimu.
“The film titled ‘Gangs of Lagos’ portrayed this our noble tradition and culture as a notorious criminal for nefarious activities and thereby misrepresent our culture and tradition to the entire world, which is disrespectful to the people of Lagos and by extension the Government of Lagos State that promotes the Eyo as a cultural symbol of the State.”
He insisted that the Eyo Adamu Orisa is a peaceful masquerade that usually uses its “Opanbata” (staff) to pray for people during festivities and urged the general public to desist from using the Eyo for any mischievous activity because of the spiritual implications of such.
The movie was released on Amazon Prime Video on April 7 with rave reviews in many quarters.