Entertainment

Igbos are behind piracy in Nigeria – OKOYE

imageApparently irked by the outrage that followed the accusation of ace movie director, Kunle Afolayan that people behind piracy are mainly Ibos, popular film producer cum marketer Gabriel Okoye popularly known as Gabosky has finally declared that Ibos are truly the people behind piracy of creative works.
This he made known in an interaction with journalists few days ago, saying ‘I am responsible for distributing Kunle Afolayan’s movies and the last time I spoke with him, I told him that things are bad because my brothers (Ibos) have been killing the business because all the works are now in the hands of pirates’
According to him, ‘there was a time we went round the country to make arrest of people behind the piracy and we compiled their names’ adding ‘ I can tell you that everyone on that list are Ibos, there is no single Yoruba name on the list, we should call a spade a spade and fight this scourge rather than playing politics or putting sentiments into it’
The movie merchant explained that piracy in Nigeria has become an institution because of calibre of people behind the evil who now parade themselves as stakeholders without any contribution made to the industry. “Most of these people call themselves marketers without a single shop where they market, how can that be?” he noted
‘I want to state that majority of the piracy is done at Alaba by my Ibo people and I want to challenge anyone to prove me wrong. We should not shy away from the truth because I get loan to do this business and I have obligation to pay back and the movie maker must also survive because that’s his source of livelihood
“Why should people who know all these problem now come up with tribal sentiment and describing someone who has made an honest opinion as being tribalistic while we leave the main issue unattended. It’s a mere jealousy. I am an Ibo man marketing all sorts of movies either Yoruba or anything, but the truth is that my people are killing those of us who are doing it legitimately” he says
On his efforts to address the problem, he disclosed that he wrote severally to the Nigerian Copyright Commission but realized that the commission is equally on the pay roll of the mafia behind the piracy, ‘ it is ironic that those who ought to be fighting piracy are actually those behind the business and that’s the truth’ he told this magazine.
Narrating his ordeal, Okoye said he was planning to release Half of Yellow Sun when the film was already in the market, also 30 Days In Atlanta, and he just got a call that the film was already in the market when he was preparing to release it, he adds ‘ now that we about to release October 1, we have just been told that it is about to be released into the market while pirate copies of Phone Swap are all over the place’ ‘If you’re in my shoes, how would you feel’ he asked.
‘The truth is that I’m frustrated, Kunle is frustrated because he got about 250 million to produce a film and he has not made his money while others are smiling to the bank, we are not attacking Ibos, we are simply defending where we are making a living and other Ibos should come out and tell those people behind it that they are criminals because criminality is not part of us.
In his conclusion ‘ I want to advise our people who are politicising this matter to go and get busy and join hands to fight piracy. Majority of these people have not produced any film in the last few years and they still claim to be stakeholders, they strife in politics and they should just face the issue rather than making it a matter of politics.
It would be recalled that Afolayan last week tweeted that Ibos are behind piracy in an apparent response to Gabosky’s marketing report to him.

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