… Wants Sanwo-Olu to include Lagos-born film makers on the committee
By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Barely two weeks after Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State inaugurated a 9-member film production empowerment committee to fund youth creativity and entertainment activities in the state, veteran actor, Jide Kosoko has expressed the need for the government to include a Lagos-born film maker in as well as a filmmaker from any tribe of the country.
Kosoko, made this position known in a statement titled , “ My stand on Lagos State Film Fund Committee”, which he released during the week.
According to him, “It is only by doing so that the objectives of your administration for the industry can be best served.”
The veteran actor said, while he commends Governor Sanwo-Olu for coming up with such an idea, the need to give indigenous film practitioners who he said sustain what we call Nollywood a sense of belonging is imperative in this respect.
He writes: “I have been inundated by several calls and have read several arguments for and against the composition of a committee set up by the Lagos State Government for funding of the movie industry in the state.”
“For this, I cannot pretend to be unaware of the controversies that has trailed it, especially its composition.”
“Let me however start by commending our able Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for coming up with such an idea, an idea that was surely born in time and most assuredly needed. I dare say that whatever misgivings anyone may have, one thing is sure, you cannot fault the motive behind it.
We have had several administrations in Lagos and other states of the federation, but not many have given as much thought to our industry to be able to come up with such an idea and putting it to work. So, I commend Governor Sanwo-Olu for that.”
“Secondly, I must say here that I am aware of the observations of The Eko Foundation and other organisations on this issue and I appreciate their intervention not because my name is mentioned, but because their statement is not far from my view on the issue.”
“Let me, however quickly say here that I don’t know who the members of these associations are. Though I was once the Cultural Secretary of Eko Foundation when the late Justice Muri Okunola was our President. But that was so many years ago.”
“I have followed the arguments on social media, groups that I belong to and online publications and I must say I appreciate everyone that has made contributions, though I may not completely agree with some of the approaches employed.”
“That you are a Lagosian by virtue of your birth or length of stay, does not take away the right of the indigenes! Do you know the kind of struggles it took our forefathers that brought Lagos to be? Or do we have any other place called home that we go for holidays like Easter, Christmas and the likes? The truth is that no matter how accommodating Lagos is or has been, there are people who are indigenes, whose rights for inclusion must be respected without tagging it tribalism. Lagos and Lagosians, if fair must be fair, cannot be tagged with the toga of tribalism in good conscience.”
Recall that Lagos State government weeks back, set up a 9-member film production empowerment committee to fund youth creativity and entertainment activities in the state, following the disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19 that impacted negatively on entertainment and tourism in the State,
The committee members consisting of five industry practitioners and four government officials including AMAA founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, Tunde Kelani, Kunle Afolayan, Mo Abudu and Richard Mofe-Damijo as the chairman of the committee.