Following the decision of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, to investigate if the controversial video of Davido’s recent duet with American rapper, Meek Mill, titled Fans mi, was censored, the Acting Head, Corporate Affairs of the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board, Mike Ekunno, has said in a telephone interview that it did not approve the video before it was released.
But the spokesman declined comment when asked if it was the responsibility of the NFVCB to approve music videos shot by Nigerian artistes. Instead, he suggested that the question should be directed to the Board’s Director-General.
In a recent report, the Director of Public Affairs of the NDLEA, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, was quoted as saying that the agency had set up a panel to investigate the making of the video, which he alleged had clearly promoted drug trafficking.
Describing Davido’s role and what fired the NDLEA’s interest in the video, Ofoyeju had said, “When our attention was drawn to the video, we viewed it and we discovered that it was improper. There is no moral lesson in it and he was just advertising drug trafficking.
“In the video, he exchanged a briefcase that supposedly contained narcotics for American dollars. He was displaying affluence in the video. If the plot had climaxed in an arrest and possible detention, we would have congratulated him on partnering with us. But the way he portrayed drug trafficking in the video was a means to an end, which the end is a life of affluence which we disagree with.”
But Davido’s manager, Kamal Ajiboye, in another interview, defended the singer and the content of the video.
“People have been talking about the matter on social media. Maybe they need to take time to watch the video again and see for themselves what it is all about. I don’t know why anybody would want to make up a story about Davido getting involved with hard drugs,” he said.
Also, responding to the decision of the NDLEA to investigate the video and, possibly, invite the popular singer for questioning, Ajiboye said his client had not received any invitation for questioning from the NDLEA.
But he noted that what the NDLEA had mistaken for drugs was actually yam flour. “The yam flour was well projected in the video. It was finally prepared as a meal of pounded yam to be eaten with vegetable soup in one of the scenes in the same video,” he said.
Noting that the agency’s reaction to the video and that of members of the public ran contrary to the message of the video, he continued, “The story is basically to dissuade people from trafficking in hard drugs. The purpose of the video is to let the audience know that since some people are making money from hard drugs, they can also make a lot of money by selling yam flour.”
Davido’s manager accused those who have lampooned the video of deliberately interpreting its message in a negative way. By kicking against it, he said, the NDLEA and other critics had shown that they did not wait to watch the video till the end before concluding that it was promoting hard drugs.