The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has denied threatening Pete Edochie, a Nollyood actor, over ‘Fatal Arrogance’, a forthcoming movie alleged to have misrepresented the sect.
On Monday, the 73-year-old movie star had alleged threat to his life by the group, better known as Shiites, over his role in the army-backed film said to have focused on the killing of its members in 2015.
Reacting in a statement by Ibrahim Musa, its spokesperson, on Tuesday, the IMN said the ace actor attempted to give its movement a bad name by attracting “cheap sympathy” from Nigerians with his narrative.
The sect also said that Edochie’s explanation was “inexplicable, his reasons flawed and his excuses unimpressive, irrational, and at best absurd”.
“The petition written by the IMN to the Inspector General of Police and the Film’s Censors Board doesn’t threaten anyone’s life. Issuing of threats has never been in our character,” the statement read.
“Pete Edochie should be honourable enough to accept that he allowed himself to be used to further vilify victims of one of the worst state-sponsored massacres of its citizens. He could still redeem his name as other actors in the ill-fated film are doing.
“If Edochie has any character as he claims, he would not have accepted to act any role in a film that seems to change the narrative and distort history based on a book distorting facts! If he had any integrity, he would not have accepted to appear in a movie tarnishing the image of an oppressed personality like Sheikh Zakzaky and still think he did nothing wrong because the Sheikh was not mentioned by name.
“Any serious artist worth the name must, first of all, undertake some kind of serious research to get the facts of any script brought to him right.
“Had he been bold enough to cross-check, he would have realized that genocide took place in Zaria in 2015 where over a thousand Nigerian lives were wasted by the sponsors of the film.
“He would have come across the very many attempts by the perpetrators to hide these heinous crimes, firstly by the burial of their victims in mass graves, an internationally recognized crime…
“He would have realized the matter is currently a subject of investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The script before him is a continuation of that desperate attempt to distort facts.”
It is understood that the group linked the Edochie-backed film to a book by Kuanum Terrence, a one-time national coordinator of the Benue Youth Forum whom they dubbed a military apologist.
This had come months after the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) partnered with the country’s defense headquarters (DHQ) to help Nollywood “correctly” tell military stories.