Screen celebrities: Greater Nigeria on their mind
Tomorrow is October 1, Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary. As usual, the day offers Nigerians both at home and abroad, the opportunity to reflect on the journey to nationhood. Celebrity caught up with a few screen celebrities and they share their thoughts on the Nigeria of their dream.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde:
Well, I dream of a country where the judiciary works, the law works and Nigerians will be proud to identify as citizens.
My dream Nigeria would be the day we finally have steady power supply; where our leaders will come into office with a purpose of leaving a great legacy that impacts and better the lives of the citizens; where peace would reign with true understanding and definition of ONE NIGERIA.
Ambassador Grace Ama:
For me, Nigeria at 57 is time to rediscover our statehood through justice, equity and rule of law. It has become a common phenomenon or ritual for citizens to express their views during independence anniversary. Most times, these views are mere semantics as there is no indication that the leaders bother about what citizens say. However, we will continue to express our views hoping that one day our leaders will allow citizen participation in governance through public opinion. The problem we have in Nigeria leading to the recriminations in different sections of the country is as a result of the gap between the leaders and the citizens. I would, therefore, like to see a Nigeria where leaders are accountable to the people. A Nigeria where citizens will ask questions about how public resources are expended and get response.
A Nigeria where leaders who have failed the people would not have any reason to remain in power; a Nigeria where the electoral process is free from manipulation and where there is a political culture that entrenches transparency, credibility and fairness in our elections such that those who represent the people in elective positions are true reflection of the expressed wishes of the electorate. As for the entertainment industry in Nigeria, it has become a major contributor to Nigeria’s GDP. It is the largest job creation network in Africa. Nigerian government must pay attention to the industry and provide it with necessary incentives and support to enable it open wider space to accommodate many Nigerians with the talents and vision for the industry.
As an ardent believer that the greatest resource bestowed upon Nigeria, is the human resource— the robustly rich, creatively, relentless, innovative and resilient mind of the Nigerian. Not the lush green vegetations, or the abundant minerals and precious stones, not even the crude oil. The Nigerian will thrive in any environment, any vocation, any endeavour, good or bad… Therefore it is the values that the mind embraces that will determine the quality of our future. My dream Nigeria will be a Nigeria where the divide between the haves and have nots has become so limited that recognition accolades and honours are no longer given as a result of wealth/riches but for contribution to the betterment of the environment and of humanity
My dream Nigeria would be a Nigeria where peace actually matters and our leaders are held accountable for every word that comes out their mouth. I dream a country where the three arms of government are checked by each other, where human rights actually matter and means a lot to the government and where policies are put in place for the betterment of the nation. As for our industry, I expect that the government should bring up reasonable policies to guide and help the entertainment sector.
My dream Nigeria is one where leaders are not motivated by poverty and greed because I believe these are some factors that make them embezzle and misappropriate public funds. It’s one where her citizens realize that change starts with everyone and not necessarily at the top. My dream Nigeria is one that is devoid of tribalism and hate. It’s one where everybody recognises the other as their brother and sister and treats them with love and respect. In my dream Nigeria, her citizens vote in the right leaders. Her citizens recognise and understand the power they wield and they hold every public officer accountable. My dream Nigeria is a fertile environment for everyone, including my industry – The Entertainment Industry. She recognises the potentials of my industry and massively invests in her because she realises that aside the fact that she would be helping an industry grow tremendously, she would be creating a massive revenue avenue for herself. I can only dream of my dream Nigeria while I contribute my best towards making her a reality.
My dream Nigeria quite simply is one where there is a system that works. It is one where leaders are held accountable for their actions or the lack thereof. It is one where requiring emergency healthcare services is not equal to a death sentence. My dream Nigeria is a Nigeria where quality healthcare is available and accessible. It is one where the movie industry is a viable and profitable one and actors (and pensioners from other professions) are not doomed to die in penury in old age.
I dream of a country where government at all levels would appreciate the revenue generation and job creation potentials of the entertainment industry. The Culture Ministry at Federal and State levels still has a lot of job to do in recognising the place of our industry in national development. They need to support us so we can contribute our quota to the growth and development of Nigeria. It shouldn’t be just about asking us to pay tax. They should support us.
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