Minister for works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, says use of ritual themes in Nollywood movies could be responsible for widespread cases of money rituals and kidnapping across the country.
According to The Punch, the minister disclosed this while speaking at an annual symposium organised by the United Action for Change tagged: ‘Security of citizens as a social contract’ in Lagos.
The former Lagos governor, who spoke on “Insecurity: Taking actions against organised crime,” said by constantly showing people can get rich in movies through money rituals, filmmakers are inadvertently fostering an unhealthy culture in the society.
He explained the rampant cases of kidnapping and arrest of people with different human parts by the police was indicative of the fact people are gradually buying the ideology that money ritual is an easy route to opulence.
“Some people believe that if you get a man’s head or a woman’s body parts, they could be turned into money. It’s not true! And when you ask people who believe in it if they have seen it happen before, they tell you someone said they had seen it,” the minister said.
“However, it has become a reinforced belief through entertainment, social media and Nollywood. How can human head bring money? Money is paper invented by man, not God. They put the paper in a machine to print what we call money and that is the only place money comes from.
“But the challenge is the belief system. Just think about how many people have been missing – through kidnapping – because some people believe that it exists. The police could tell us the number of people they have apprehended with human parts, such as skulls. This belief system must go.
“Therefore, all of us, including those who make the films, must reverse the story and start selling a new story that money is printed in a machine and not through any other way like money rituals.”
He went to dismiss claims making the rounds last year that ritualists were stealing women’s underwears to make money, saying there is no connection between such.
“It is not true, or how does that happen? What is the connection between paper (money) and cotton (pants) or has anybody seen cotton money before? Those of us who have influence and authority must take positions to see to the reversal of this kind of beliefs,” he said.
The minister’s comment comes a few weeks after Ayo Makun, stand-up comedian better known as AY, also faulted repeated use of ritual-laced themes in movies, noting such made many Nigerians to lose confidence in Nollywood films.