Some directors in the Northern Nigerian Hausa film industry popularly known as Kannywood have reacted to a recent directive by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, on the ban of the use of police kits in films or skits.
The police boss, in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the Police Force spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, announced that filmmakers, comedians and skit makers have been banned from using police uniforms and other kits in their acts without explicit permission from the police as the law entails.
The statement added that actors should stop portraying the Nigeria Police in bad light or ridiculing it in their activities.
However, a prominent director in Kannywood, Aminu Saira, told BBC Hausa that they will consider or study the directive and if it is in line with Nigeria’s laws they would comply with it.
Saira further said that if their findings show they are not contravening any law of the land, they will join hands with Nollywood to challenge the directive in a court of law.
He said, “The police and filmmakers are all guided by Nigeria’s laws. All people residing in Nigeria must subject themselves to Nigeria’s laws. So, if Nigeria’s law prohibits the use of police kits in films, we must abide by that, we must respect the law of the land. We have no alternative.
“But if the law doesn’t prohibit it, then we will do everything jointly with Nollywood to seek legal interpretation of the law whether or not police kits can be used.”
According to him, Kannywood has already been seeking permission for police-related scenes in their films from the Kano State Commissioner of Police.
He said due to some incidents that happened in the past, they were ordered to seek permission in any role relating to police in their films.
“Right now, there is a company that was certified by the Police which specializes in processing anything related to police such as guns, uniforms etc. That would be used in films. You send the script to them and they will consider it and seek for a permit from the police,” the director added.
Another director, Aminu Bono, who said that there was little or no consultation from the IGP argued that it is globally not possible to restrict the use of outfits worn by lawyers, soldiers or doctors by filmmakers because they are simply replicating realities of their respective societies.
He noted that in all their films, they acquire permits from the police.
“We in Kano State, there is a department that takes care of such things under Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO). The Police sometimes visit our film locations and guide us on how to do things related to police activities.
“We did films that affect the police directly where we used facilities of Kano Police Command Headquarters. In films like ‘Kwana Casa’in and ‘Barazana’, we worked closely with the police,” Bono said.
He further revealed that the police have representation in Kano State Films Censorship Board where Kannywood films are sieved prior to their public debut.
Bono added that the IGP can still review this order with informed discussion with relevant stakeholders.