– Nigerian rapper Falz gt his satirical song This Is Nigeria banned by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC)
– It was banned for the line ‘This is Nigeria, look how we living now. Everybody be criminal’ – The lawyer-turned-rapper says he will sue NBC if he discovers that the reason his song was banned was not genuine It is no longer news that lawyer-turned singer Falz’s song This Is Nigeria has been getting not too good reactions from some sector of the country since its release. Some people are not comfortable with the level of satire used in the song. Recently, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fined a radio station in Jos, Plateau state the sum of N100,000 for playing This Is Nigeria. They claimed the song is unfit for airplay because of the line, ‘This is Nigeria, look how we living now. Everybody be criminal’. NBC stated that the line made the song vulgar and this contravenes section 3.6.1 and 188.8.131.52 of its constitution. Falz has since reacted to the ban of his song by the NBC. The lawyer-turned-singer who is also the son of radical, activist lawyer Femi Falana SAN has said it was ridiculous for the commission to ban his song. He argued that it was not a vulgar song but a socially conscious piece of art which addresses the current issues in the country.
The rapper said: “There is absolutely nothing vulgar about the song and I think it is ridiculous that the Nigerian Broadcast Commission singled out the least vulgar line in the song and ascribed it to be the reason they banned the song. It is a very simple and clean song. The only thing is that I was very blunt about the way I talk about things. I do not know maybe some messages in the song hit them and that is the real reason they banned the song. The line was, ‘This is Nigeria, look how we living now. Everybody be criminal.’ If they ban this song, then I do not understand them because that song is definitely not a vulgar song.” Speaking further on the ban, the Jenifa Dairy actor said he is not sure if there was any conspiracy to ensure that the song never enjoyed airwaves but he was aware that the song could have hit some nerves of certain people. Based on this, the lawyer in him sprung up as he revealed that he will write the commission officially through his lawyers to know the reason behind the ban of his song was banned and if need be, he will seek a legal redress in court. He said:
“I do not know if the fact that some group wanted me to retract the song is linked with this new development but I know that there were a lot of messages in the song and it is hitting a lot of people in the wrong places and that is what is making them react in that manner. However, there was absolutely no basis for the NBC to ban that song. I am going to have to write to them through my lawyers to find out what is really going on. When I find out the reason behind the ban, I could ask them to lift it if need be and if they do not adhere to my request, I might have to seek legal redress.”
First negative reaction to the song came from an Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), which asked that the song should be banned because its video has some ladies dancing Shaku Shaku in Muslim hijab. This they claimed is against the Islamic religion. The group in a statement asked Falz to withdraw the video within seven days or face legal action. Falz’s banned song This Is Nigeria was originally performed by American rapper and actor Childish Gambino whose version is titled This Is America. Falz tackles corruption in government and churches, SARS brutality, yahoo boys and herdsmen killings in his own video.