‘I do Dark October from a good place in my heart’ – Linda Ikeji

Popular Nigerian blogger Linda Ikeji don tok to BBC Pidgin about her first movie wey don stir up some tok-tok and controversy.

Dark October na Linda Ikeji first movie and she release am on Netflix on 3 February.

“Di movie dey dedicated to di Aluu Four victims and all di victims of jungle justice. I do di movie from a good place in my heart sake of say wen di incident happun 11 years ago e dey devastating to me to even watch di video and I carri dem in my heart for many years. Unfortunately, jungle justice na still problem for dis kontri. Last year, dem set one guy on fire for Lekki while pipo dey watch and nobodi stop am. For me, I no focus on di negative comments about di movie.”

Ikeji tell BBC Pidgin.

While di movie get some positive reviews from Nigerians on social media, e also cause tok among some pipo wey accuse Ikeji say she no seek di consent of di families of di victims wey di movie revolve around.

‘I do am to raise awareness

Dark October, according to Ikeji, dey inspired by di event wey happun for 5 October 2012.

Four early morning of 5 October 2012, four students bin run into local vigilante group for Aluu community wey dey behind di university of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, south-south Nigeria. Robbery bin happun for dat community in di morning of dat day and pipo bin accuse di victims say dem be petty thieves. Afta di accusation, dem beat Llody Toku, Ugonna Obuzor, Chiadika Biringa and Tekena Elkanah and burn dem alive.

Linda Ikeji tok say she do di movie to raise awareness on jungle justice sake of say na problem for di society and she dey try get goment to look into am and put policies in place to punish pipo wey dey do am.

“A lot of pipo don die sake of jungle justice and you realise say pipo wey dey present go just dey watch witout doing anytin, and sometimes, police no fit stop am sake of say di mob overwhelm dem. If law dey enacted to punish pipo wey participate for jungle justice, maybe e go stop. E gass stop,” she tok.

Di blogger say she produce Dark October to let pipo know say di victims life mata and dem take am away for no reason. She add say she do di movie to immortalise di victims and also raise awareness on many pipo wey don lose dia life unjustly and wey no get justice.

Ikeji say she start di movie for 2021 and finish last year as she add say e take am nine months to bring di project to life. According to di blogger, she dey focus on producing movies wey base on true life tori wey happun for Nigeria wey pipo don forget and she start wit Dark October.

“Di genre wey I don choose to do na factual incident, I wan do real life tori. I start wit dis one (Dark October) wey be di closest to my heart, and di next one I go do dey based on real life event. Some of di tins wey don happun for Nigeria wey pipo don forget, incident wey dey heart-breaking, shocking, incredible, I wan bring dem to di screen so dat history no go forget. Maybe di end of dis year you go see anoda project, or early next year,” Ikeji tok.

Aluu Four families reaction to di film

Before di release of di movie, di executive director of The Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiatives (TIFPI), Livingstone Wechie bin release one statement on behalf of di Aluu Four families as dem ask Linda Ikeji say make she no release di movie.

For di statement wey e release on 25 January, Wechie claim say di blogger produce di movie witout di consent of di affected families.

Wechie tok say di parents of late Lloyd Toku, Ugonna Obuzor, Chiadika Biringa and Tekena Elkanah ask am to represent dem and ensure say justice dey served on dis mata.

Di families request for di statement say make Ikeji suspend di premier of di movie pending consultation wit dem.

“In furtherance to dis notice of retraction, for dis instant time, we don instruct our lawyers to immediately serve Linda Ikeji and her partners letter of Caution/Pre-Action wit ultimatum or risk di burden of litigation,” di statement add.

BBC Pidgin reach out to di families of di Aluu Four on dia position afta di movie begi show on Netflix but dem tok say dem neva decide on dia position for now.