Leading Nigerian actor and director Ali Nuhu has told the BBC that he was confounded by President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to scrap plans to build a film village in the northern state of Kano following an outcry from conservative Muslim clerics and their followers.
The $10m (£7.6m) project was going to be built on 20 hectares of land at Kofa village, about 70 kilometers away from Kano city, to give the Hausa language film industry and the economy a major boost.
Film making is one of the sectors of the economy that employs a lot of Nigeria’s youth.
But the local populace, especially Muslim scholars, held a different view – they used social media to voice opposition to the idea.
Controversial pictures of actors and actresses were used in the campaign to create the impression in people’s minds that the film village, which was going to be named after the president, will become a breeding ground for social vices.
Industry players have always denied the charge, but to no avail as Mr Buhari scrapped the plan.
Ever since its creation more than 20 years ago, Kannywood – as the Hausa language film industry is known – has attracted a lot of criticism from the conservative society whose realities it seeks to reflect.
It has been accused of encouraging teenage girls to run away from home with the hope of acting in films.
Others condemned the project as a misplaced priority, saying what they wanted from the government was the revival of their dams for agricultural development.
In the end, a presidential adviser, Abdurrahaman Kawu Sumaila, announced that Mr Buhari had heard the voice of the people and had scrapped the project.