July 31, (THEWILL) – The Kano State Censorship Board says it has revoked all operational licences of all actors and actresses including directors and producers in its filmmaking industry, Kannywood.
The head of the board, Abba El-Mustapha, said the decision aims to sanitise the industry and ensure proper documentation.
El-Mustapha said all celebrities and producers must renew their licences to operate in the state.
“We have cancelled all licences of all guilds in the industry for proper documentation and to have effective plans that will address some of the problems in the industry.
“We have about 13 guilds; we have revoked all their licences, enabling us to sanitise the industry. Before a license is issued to any person, we must be satisfied with the person.
“The decision also affects all the singers and other entertainers in the Kannywood industry; they must renew their licences, and we are going to fetch out the bad eggs among them”, El-Mustapha told Freedom Radio on Saturday.
The move has been criticised by many as a deliberate plan to punish, through stringent policies, celebrities who campaigned against the ruling party in the state, New Nigeria People Party, NNPP, in the just concluded general elections.
During the build-up to the elections, Kannywood was divided along political party lines, with the new head of the board, El-Mustapha, a member of the NNPP.
Other stakeholders are affiliated with the All Progressives Congress, APC and the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.
In January, Kannywood stars including Ali Nuhu, Adam Zango, Sadiq Sani, Rabiu Daushe, and several others, officially endorsed the candidature of the presidential candidate of the APC), Bola Tinubu and Nasir Gawuna, the governorship candidate of the APC in the state.
Zango, who initially supported the NNPP’s presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, eventually switched to Tinubu’s camp during APC’s campaign rally at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano.
Some of the practitioners in the industry have alleged political persecution after their studios, vehicles and houses were attacked and burnt in the state after the NNPP won the governorship election.
Reacting to retribution allegations, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Halilu Dantiye, said the board was not to fight any group, but rather ensure that rules and regulations are adhered to.
“The censorship board was not established to persecute any group of people or persons. It’s meant to correct the wrongdoing in the film industry’’, Dantiye said.