Filmmaker Ishaya Bako sure has the Nigerian government in a tizzy. That’s because Bako has, with his documentary, Fuelling Poverty, kicked open a large can of worms. Crammed full of revelations about the inhuman underhandedness that led up to the massive Occupy Nigeria protests of January 2012 (and a cinematic account of the nationwide remonstrances), the sub-30-minute visual tell-all is President Goodluck Jonathan’s worst nightmare, captured on film in vivid colour.
From its rousing soundtrack featuring songs by Afrobeat legend Femi Kuti and singer-songwriter Asa, to the powerful deliberateness of the footage employed, there is no room for anyone to doubt that this is the story of Nigeria’s great fuel subsidy whooper, the story of the man on the street, and an artful stripping away of the coat of arms-emblazoned sheets that have long masked corruption in this once-great country. The truth couldn’t have been told any better.
P.S. A collaboration between writer/director Ishaya Bako and producer Oliver Aleogena, production of Fuelling Poverty was funded by The Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA). According to this report, the documentary has been banned by Nigeria’s federal government and Bako has been placed under security surveillance.