The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, has asked the national assembly for more powers to enable it to regulate reality TV shows like Big Brother Naija.
At an investigative hearing on Tuesday by the House of Representatives, a member of the committee, Alex Egbonna, had expressed concerns that BBNaija, a show organised by South African-based MultiChoice, owners of cable television service provider, DSTV, was showing nudity and other contents alien to the Nigerian culture.
Runsewe, in his response, called for more regulatory powers. He said, “I am the first person who took Big Brother Nigeria to NBC to report them. I took it up and Big Brother (organisers) tried to reach me and I told them that if the culture in other parts of the world is to be naked – nudity- they should not bring it to Nigeria because our culture is rich and it respects integrity of our country.”
The lawmaker, however, noted that the issues raised against the previous editions were still with the recently concluded 2022 edition.
“That is the problem with Nigeria: You start something, you don’t end it. But they were still naked even in the last event. That thing you started – taking them to wherever you took them to – has not ended. That is what I’m saying. They are still doing the same thing. They should have learnt. There is no solution to what you started and that is the Nigerian factor,” Egbonna insisted.
Runsewe also recalled how he went after popular cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye aka Bobrisky, saying, “I will give you an example. When Bobrisky started behaving like a woman, I rose and followed him to Lagos. I ‘scattered’ his (birthday) party and I told him, ‘This is not our culture.’ But at the end of the day, that is just part 1. This honourable house just needs to empower us with just a legal framework and that nonsense will stop.”