Editorial on p.1 of the Wednesday, July 30 issue of LEADERSHIP newspaper, Abuja
After bullying the flourishing Hausa movie industry into near-extinction, jailing actors, producers and marketers, the Kano State Censorship Board has announced a plan to punish authors that refuse to register with it, beginning from August 1. The move, under the state government’s controversial morality programme, is full of contradictions. It is clearly aimed at emasculating creativity and freedom of expression.
The battle against moviemaking has created massive unemployment in a state that has since lost its lead in local industry, and the new theatre of war opened against writers would create more joblessness, discontent and cripple scholarship, all of which are dangerous to public peace. This is a painful irony for a government full of authors and scholars.
Governor Ibrahim Shekarau should stop the slide towards madness. His minders such as those censors would achieve nothing but further odium at a time other societies are keen to honour their home-grown thinkers.