Our century has witnessed an unprecedented dominance of the screens which rather than serve the common good through being a ministry of communication and information through which many can be positively transformed, the mass media has become a ministry of propaganda. Rather than make men more sociable it is making us anti- social.
One prominent effect of this propaganda is the promotion of nudity, indecency and pornography in all forms of entertainment; music videos, lyrics, films, commercials and even children cartoons etc.
Unfortunately, this danger hasn’t been seen or properly fought by the right agencies both at the local and international level.
This lacuna made me participate in the 5th International Conference on Women and Children the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos.
In my paper I observed that that the television, internet, mobile phones and the social media are the veritable means of promoting child pornography and indecency therefore special efforts should be made by all stakeholders to guide children and indeed everyone in the use of these means of communication so as to prevent their nasty impacts on our minds. While urging parents and guardians to live up to their bidding, the paper called on Nigerian law enforcement agents to effectively enforce the various Nigerian laws prohibiting child pornography/ indecency in order to stem the tide of violent behaviour among children. Over the years, there have been literally hundreds of studies examining the connection between pornography and aggressive behaviour of children, the results of which show that exposing children to pornography can lead to increases in their aggressive attitudes, bad values and bad behaviour.
One of the Nigerian regulatory bodies I dealt on was the National Film And Video Censors Board( NFVCB), I observed that the Censorship criteria provides as follows:
(1) The Film Censors Committee in reaching a decision on a film shall ensure that—
(a) such a film has an educational or entertainment value, apart from promoting the Nigerian culture, unity and interest; and
(b) that such a film is not likely—
(i) to undermine national security; or
(ii) to induce or reinforce the corruption of private or public morality; or
(iii) to encourage or glorify the use of violence; or
(iv) to expose the people of African heritage to ridicule or contempt; or
(v) to encourage illegal or criminal acts;
(vi) to encourage racial, religious or ethnic discrimination or conflict; or
(vii) by its contents to be blasphemous or obscene.
(2) The Film Censors Committee shall not approve a film, which in its opinion depicts any matter, which is—
(a) indecent, obscene or likely to be injurious to morality; or
(b) likely to incite or encourage public disorder or crime; or
(c) undesirable in the public interest.
For a very long time, the Censors Board hasn’t been doing its job; their inactivity opened the flood gate to all kinds of harmful multimedia’s. Great was my Joy recently when the Board gave up to the 31st of January 2016 for all in the sector to bring their films for censorship while those with uncensored films and unclassified foreign films should clean them up. After this period the board has promised to strictly enforce the laws, by confiscating the offending products and prosecuting the merchants. This move by the Board is a welcome development in our fight to create an environment of purity and sanity, we wish them well in their fight and we are ready to cooperate in creating a decent civilisation where the dignity of the human person is respected.