By MCPHILIPS NWACHUKWU
Following his recent appointment as the Acting Director of the National Troupe of Nigeria, Martin Adaji, last week in Lagos at a Press parley with journalists outlined programs of action to help promote and propel the activities of the ParastatalÂ forward.
Flanked by the Deputy Artistic Director of Dance, Dr Arnold Udoka and Deputy Director of Drama, Ms. Josephine Igberease, Mr Adaji , who until his recent appointment functioned as the Deputy Director, Administration and Finance was quick to clear the air by dispelling rumors that the est while Director of the Troupe, Professor Ahmed Yerima, who put in his resignation early January may have been consumed in the organizational politics that rocked the entire Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation the whole of last year.
According to Adaji,â€ Yerima served his tenure fully and in line with Civil Service regulations, he is due for retirement and he retired.â€ Having cleared the air, the National Troupeâ€™s new helmsman began to outline a number of measures, which he hoped would help advance the founding visions of the Troupe.
First, the Benue State born cultural technocrat revealed that the Troupe has come to the conclusion that it requires to recruit more artists; and doing so in the spirit of the Federal character principle to help up the already existing 17 member crew, who form the crux of the national compositions and instruments.
Also revealed to journalists was the plan by the Troupe to stage the FESTAC 77 Nigeriaâ€™s entry drama, Langbodo written by famous playwright, late, Wale Ogunbiyi as part of Nigeriaâ€™s 50th Independence anniversary play.
This decision , which attracted a lot of responses from the journalists, who questioned the contemporaneity of the play to Nigeriaâ€™s 50 tottering years in the journey of nationhood was laid to rest when Adaji promised that the Troupe will hire from among the huge number of play directors in the country the best ofÂ directors to direct the play as â€œ to reflect contemporary developments and thoughts.â€
He also told journalists that the National Troupe under his directorship will continue to maintain exiting international and local collaborations. In this regard, he said that the proposed plans of the troupe to tour Canada, Mexico and Egypt are still on.
About the rumour making round that the National Troupe has plans to move shop to Abuja, Adaji explained that there is every likelihood that the Troupe may move to Abuja or any other State near to Abuja since her absence in Abuja denies her opportunities of participating in many national and international programs of the Federal government.
â€œWe are Civil Servants, once all the logistics are in place, the Troupe will move to Abuja or somewhere close to Abuja in line with visions of the Board.â€ He said.