Nollywood Movie Producer Obi Emelonye Flies A Drone Over Lagos Nigeria & Get Arrested, What Is Bad In It?
May 28, 2014 – Nollywood Movie Producer Obi Emelonye Flies A Drone Over Lagos Nigeria & Get Arrested, What Is Bad In It?
Just a few days ago the London based Nollywood Movie director Obi Emelonye posted something quite interesting through his Facebook saying “Just been arrested with my team from the UK by Lagos TV for taking aerial shots of Lagos around shoprite Ikeja; using remote helicopters. As a media house they should understand what we are trying to do. But they want to put me in jail for making Lagos look great”.
I would like to ask the general public if this is a bad news. In-fact! I started with my friends and I got answers like these “Oh what a stupid country” “Lawless and foolish Nigeria! Why the heck would he be arrested” The most interesting were the comments Obi’s friends on Facebook made, like a guy named Ilo said something like “Dumb country #they don’t know”
Seriously, I admire Obi Emeloye so much in-fact each time I see him we always talk about his work and the passion for making African movies great. He’s my role model, one of the best directors in the industry especially here in London where there’s a lot of big mouthed money charging audition scam directors and womanizers. Obi and a few others have set a difference as what a true movie director should be. Respect!
I wouldn’t actually write this article but when I read people’s comment I was forced to write something. This incident should serve as a mirror to humanity. It’s not to soil Obi’s name but to review his case whether what happened to him in Nigeria is good or bad from my own point of few.
I am not trying to say it’s a good thing that he got arrested obviously, he wouldn’t be happy about that neither am I. But for the sake of health and safety and the people of Nigeria; I wouldn’t say its bad news either.
Let the truth be told, would he fly a drone over London Bridge? For the sake of trying to “make it look great” even in your on street where you live in London I don’t think you can even do that.
Certain procedures have been laid down for one to follow when it comes to filming with drones. Here in the UK, I know there’re certain standard of drones that are allowed for filmmakers to use. Not just some toy eBay version of remote helicopters that kids play with in the parks of London.
In the United Kingdom, Your drones must be up to standard; the drone operator must be an aviation certified/licensed personal and the people living around the area where the film drones will be used must be notified by the police that drones will be used in filming in the area on a particular date.
I could imagine the kind of remote helicopter that he was using for the shot. Probably, the kind that a camera twice the size of the drone; would then be glued or taped on it. According to my friend he would say “9ja style”.
What he (Obi) did is like giving a sports car to a first time driver; to drive around Lagos. As lawless as it may be Nigeria is not a playground for people to test their dangerous toys.
Imagine if the remote helicopter goes out of range and kills someone? Or crashes into a house and sets it ablaze. Those who have been there know how Lagos is it will be a disaster, couple with the current security concerns of the state.
At that point, His Facebook friends who are cursing the country now would start cursing him and his film/shots the once that “would make Lagos look great” may never be seen and he will have more problems to worry about than been arrested. And guys like me would write some serious stuff about Him.
In the United Kingdom, he will be charged for negligence, ignorance of the Law, attempting murder, illegal filming, illegal operation of drones and his production would be considered a risk for human safety; this could land him and his a team in jail for a very long time.
I was even surprise that he got arrested in Nigeria for using drones. I would have said well done to the authorities for doing the right thing until he posted the second one few minutes later saying “we have just been released by the state governor’s security details….” Ha!
Okay, let’s say he successfully does his aerial shots and gets back to London; which I pray for. Other directors based in Nigeria would like to follow suit. It will be even worst cause in their own case most of them can’t even afford the eBay sold drones they will end up constructing some “Obunigwe” (local drones) which before it gets to perfection (probably in ten years’ time) a lot of disasters must have occurred; just imagine the chaos that will result to.
With the rate Nollywood produce’s movies, soon drones will start falling from the sky like rain drops. Then it will be too late to make amends, but if he and his team had followed the right procedures I bet they wouldn’t be arrested.
And if only the authorities would not be biased and do the right things and we Nigerians follow the law as it is written Nigeria would be much better as it is today.
The People make the country great! Let’s stop cursing Nigeria because we are Nigeria! The problem of a nation dose not rest on the nation but on its people.
Good Luck Obi! With your thing but please think safety first and follow the rules.
[Author seeks anonymity]