‘Gangs of Lagos’ sacrilegious to cultural heritage rights –Ọba of Lagos

The Ọba of Lagos, Ọba Rilwan Osuolale Akiolu, has described as sacrilegious, the controversial ‘Gang of Lagos’ which has received condemnation by a section of the indigenous people of Lagos.

“This cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artefacts and intangible attributes that has been inherited from past generations over two hundred years ago, maintained in the present by the Ọba of Lagos and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. “These traditions express our way of life and thought. They are proofs of our intellectual and spiritual achievements. They must not be used without the indigenous owners’ express permission or desecrated in any way whatsoever,” Òbà Akiolu said.

The Ọba alleged that the film grossly violated the rights of the indigenous people of Lagos, contrary to the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007.

Under international law, Ọba Akiolu noted that the declaration protects “our indigenous right to practise and revitalise our cultural traditions and customs.“This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of our cultures, including artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.

”Òbà Akiolu, therefore, demanded that the continued use and depiction of the Eyo in the film and its obvious violation of indigenous intellectual property rights as well as defaming sacred rites should stop forthwith.

As parts of peace conditions, Akiolu directed the film producers to “immediately remove, cease and desist from using the image get up and manifestation of the Adimu Orisa – the Eyo – your film Gangs of Lagos.

”He also asked the film producers to submit within 14 days a proposal for consideration for the restitution of the sanctity of the Eyo brand.

He asked the film producers to “provide within 14 days compensatory proposal for the infringement of our intellectual property rights in our cultural heritage which you have commercially exploited without licence.

”The traditional ruler demanded that the producers of Gangs of Lagos should submit within 14 days a draft of an appropriately worded apology to the Ọba of Lagos and indigenous people of Lagos.