Salisu Muhammed Officer is the Secretary, Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MOPPAN), Kano state chapter. In this interview with ALIYU ASKIRA, he speaks on alleged blackmail and intimidation by the Director, Kano State Film Censorship Board, Ismail Na-Abba Afakallah, among others.
You and the Director, Kano State Film and Censorship Board, Na-Abba Afakkalla, were best of colleagues until recently. What happened?
Well, that is power for you. Nobody anticipated that Afakallah would turn his back against those who made him what he is. When he was appointed, all of us rejoiced because he is our friend and a stakeholder in Kannywood. As such, what we had expected was for him to create conducive atmosphere for our members to progress in their businesses.
To our surprise, he engages in activities that are meant to send our members to prison. And, on our side, we resisted all his policies. I, being the secretary of MOPPAN, who has control over all the administrative matters of the association, was at the forefront of the resistance of his policies. That is why he decided to cheapen himself by blackmailing me and hung on my neck fictitious allegations of fraud and impersonation.
Worse still, he even reported me to the DSS, CID and Kano State Anti-Corruption Commission, all in the name of vendetta.
Reports have it that MOPPAN and the director are in court. What is the matter about?
It started like this. You know that one of the problems we are facing in Kannywood is piracy, and because of that, we have a committee that comprises all arms of the security agencies. From time to time, they visit states and local governments to raid pirates and prosecute them.
So, whenever they are going on operation my office gives them Letter of Legitimacy. That was what Na-Abba called impersonation. He said I was acting on powers vested in his board. However, in the law setting up the board there is nowhere that says it will be the body to prosecute pirates. That is why we decided to take him to court.
Now, take the case of Rahama Sadau for example. This is our member that we expelled because she violated our policies. When we tried to recall her, she committed another offence, which is considered more grievous than the first. On her Instagram, she openly confessed to having committed fornication. That is another slap on the face of the industry, if you ask me.
Much later, she went to the media to apologize to Kano State Governor and Emir of Kano. We then invited her to appear before us as a way of initiating a recall process. On the day she was to appear before us, we only received information that she travelled to Cyprus. You can see that she is not serious.
Meanwhile, Afakallah had already gone on air and announced that the board had forgiven her. This is a clear arrogation of responsibility that he doesn’t have. His board doesn’t have powers to recall any actor or actress, it is only MOPPAN that has such powers. He clearly wanted to undermine the powers of MOPPAN.
So, what is the way forward?
We thought that with Afakallah at helms of the Censors Board’s affairs, we would be assisted but to our greatest surprise, he didn’t. Now, we are calling on the Kano state government to call Afakallah to order because his actions are already affecting our relationship with the state governor. He is not representing us well. The governor is no longer respecting the industry like before.