By Yemisi Suleiman
NIGERIA: The Series is a television drama series that is long overdue. Taking as its subject the 150 years of unrelenting struggle against European forces who appeared on our shores first as traders and missionaries, but who later, with superior arms, wantonly destroyed the centuries old civilizations established by our ancestors, we will also re-enact in detail the continual wars of resistance waged by our forefathers and mothers, first with guns and canons and bows and arrows, and later with pens and words.
We will bring to life the events and the personalities that brought about the victorious declaration of the free and independent nation that is now Nigeria.
The programmeâ€™s intention is to debunk the notion that this nation was not fought for and to reveal for all Nigerians our common heritage represented by the inspiring deeds of our forebears.
In 13 dramatic episodes, beginning with the glorious and advanced kingdoms and nation states that prevailed from the 14th to the 19th centuries NIGERIA: The Series will tell of the thousands of brave men and women who resisted the canons and maxim guns of the Europeans whose intention was to claim our land as their own. Our story will then move to the twentieth century to depict those valiant, brilliant, and determined men and women who ultimately outwitted the British and boldly declared Nigeria an independent and free nation among nations.
In presenting the 150 year struggle for freedom, NIGERIA: The Series will create for all Nigerians an acute understanding of our true heritage. By depicting our Founding Fathers from early childhood through their moments of confrontation with the British colonists, we will come to appreciate their motives, and take pride in their decision to work together for a common cause.
NIGERIA: The Series will be filmed on location throughout Nigeria with key scenes filmed in London, The United States and in Ghana. The series will be filmed using absolute state of the art High Definition technology and will gather together the most experienced Nigerian technical crews from here and the Diaspora. We will meticulously recreate five different historical eras with attention to historical detail in costumes, buildings, music and settings.
For the first time Nigerian actors a will portray characters ranging from Al Kanemi, Caliph Attahiru 1, Nanna of the Itsekiri and Oba Overanwen Nâ€™Ogbaisi to Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Margaret Ekpo and Herbert MaCaulay and dozens of others.
Scripts and story lines will be created under the guidance of an Advisory Committee headed by the eminent historian Prof J.F. Ade-Ajayi, and including Professors Obaro Ikime, Mahdi Abdullahi and others. Included among the advisers will be Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Mrs HID Awolowo and other key witnesses and participants.
NIGERIA: The Series, which has received the endorsement of The Honourable Minister of Information and Communications Prof. Dora Akunyuli, is being co-produced by The Serengeti Network Limited headed by Lloyd Weaver and Storm 360 headed by Obi Asika.