Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has asked filmmakers in Nigeria to stop promoting money rituals and kidnapping in their movies.
According to Fashola, money rituals as often depicted in Nollywood movies is a myth.
The former governor of Lagos state said this at the fourth annual public lecture/symposium organized by the United Action for Change, where he was the guest speaker during the week.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Insecurity: Taking actions against organized crime’, Fashola said Nollywood could be reinforcing kidnapping through the belief system that human skulls and other parts of the human body could be used for money rituals.
The minister said it is necessary for moviemakers and policymakers to change the narrative, to save innocent lives from being wasted.
He said, “Some people believe that if you get a man’s head or a woman’s body parts, they could be turned into money.
It’s not true! And when you ask people who believe in it if they have seen it happen before, they tell you someone said they had seen it.
“However, it has become a reinforced belief through entertainment, social media, and Nollywood.
How can a human head bring money? Money is paper invented by man, not God. They put the paper in a machine to print what we call money and that is the only place money comes from.
“But the challenge is the belief system. Just think about how many people have been missing — through kidnapping — because some people believe that it exists. The police could tell us the number of people they have apprehended with human parts, such as skulls. This belief system must go.
“Therefore, all of us, including those who make the films, must reverse the story and start selling a new story that money is printed in a machine and not through any other way like money rituals.”
In 2019, there were stories of fraudsters using women’s pants for money rituals, but Fashola discounted the belief, saying there’s no connection between paper (money) and cotton (pants).
He said, “It is not true, or how does that happen? What is the connection between paper (money) and cotton (pants) or has anybody seen cotton money before?
Those of us who have influence and authority must take positions to see to the reversal of this kind of beliefs.”