By Emma Arubi
WARRI—GOVERNOR Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has blasted Itsekiri leaders for not attending the public presentation of two award-winning Itsekiri films by ace producer, Mr. Alex Eyengho.
The films, Oma-tsen-tsen and Suara-la, were presented to the public at the King George Centenary Hall, Warri, to almost an empty hall as prominent Itsekiri people and opinion moulders were absent during the event.
However, Governor Uduaghan, who walked into the venue at 6:20pm, expressed shock that the hall was not filled to capacity with the who’s who in Itsekiri nation despite the wide publicity given to the presentations of both films.
Apparently miffed by the development, Uduaghan said: “Where is the who’s who in Itsekiri land today to support the noble cause of the producer?”
The Governor stressed that Eyengho had done so much to project the Itsekiri language, customs and culture through film production, and wondered why those whose language were being projected failed to attend the epoch-making event.
Although, those he referred to as highly-placed leaders and opinion moulders were absent, the Governor, after watching the preview, advised the producer to stick to his God-given talent and profession instead of dabbling into politics.
Uduaghan said he had been in the fore-front of promoting local artistes and comedians in the state, adding that the occasion would have been an opportunity to know those who truly love the Itsekiri nation through their presence to give weight to the event which he described as a worthy venture.
The Governor said he was waiting for the time when films/videos or drama produced in local languages in the state would dominate the airwaves and shown or aired on regular basis on major television stations as is the case with Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa films and programmes.
Earlier in his speech, Eyengho said he was motivated into producing the films in Itsekiri language because of his belief that they could compete favourably with English films across the globe if given the right encouragement.
He appealed to wealthy individuals in the state to invest in the production of local film business.
Eyengho said his ultimate aim was to produce indigenous language films in all the tribes in the state.
The event was attended by HRM Ogiame Atuwatse II (CON), represented by Ojoye Oma Eyewuoma, (who accidentally was the only Itsekiri chief present), Chief Adolor Okotie-Eboh, Alex Omaghomi and a few other personalities.
Nollywood actors, including Mr. Ejike Asiegbu, graced the occasion to the delight of the crowd.