Screen Celebri­ties:

Greater Nige­ria On Their Mind

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - FRONT PAGE - By Shaibu Hus­seini

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.

Sam­basa Nz­eribe:

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. Fred Amata:

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 havenots 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

An­gela Phillips:

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. Ifu En­nada:

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.

Kiki Omeili:

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.

Doris Simeon:

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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