Ooni @ 45: Oyetola eulogised monarch's role in national development

… Appoints  grand patron of ZUMA film festival

By Benjamin Njoku

The Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi has called on the stakeholders in the Nigerian film industry to endeavour to build on the legacies of those who laid the foundation of the industry.

The Ife monarch made the call while accepting his appointment as the first ever grand patron of the prestigious ZUMA film  festival which is yearly organized by the Nigerian Film Corporation,NFC.

This was contained in a statement issued  yesterday by Mr. Brian Etuk, NFC’s Director of Public Affairs, in Jos, Plateau State..

In his acceptance letter, the Ife monarch  expressed willingness to explore the most practical alliances with the Nigerian Film Corporation  in resetting the nations film industry as the bedrock of our national identity, wealth creation and a viable export system.

READ ALSO: Buhari, Ooni of Ife, Makinde, Oyetola, Ortom, Dare mourn Oba Adetunji

According to the monarch, Nigeria  must continue to unsettle the armchair and traditional mono economy reliance on crude oil which has adversely affected the nation’s journey   towards the desired and prosperous destination, achievable through the effective utilization of endowed human assets.

The film industry, he further said, has the capacity and capabilities of regenerating the nation’s creative culture economy for accelerated development. 

His Majesty, however, avers that Nigeria’s film industry, from several years back has demonstrated it’s pragmatic and most dominant influence in the preservation of cultural heritages and identity, and is undoubtedly shaping the nation’s economy through the creation of jobs.

In paying tribute to the robust 21st century creative culture economy of the nation, Ooni of Ife  said that stakeholders should continue to build on the legacies of those who laid the foundation for Nigeria’s film industry. “We must be pragmatic and create the most long term strategic approach to establishing film culture as the symbol of our national assets and the emblem of patriotism”, he said.

He  commended NFC’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Dr. Chidia Maduekwe (Ishinka  Ohafia) for  his transformational leadership which has characterized the film agency’s unparalleled commitment towards the sustainable development of Nigeria’s film industry and driver of its modern creative culture, through the development of robust collaborative and partnership policies that encouraged Nollywood’s steady rise as the exporter of Nigeria’s rich stories beyond Africa.

Also, he hailed  President Mohammadu Buhari (GCFR) for approving and directing the implementation of policies and programmes that are redefining the contributions of the film industry to nation building, including the recently launched National Development Plan – NDP 2021 – 2025.

Speaking in the same vein, NFC Managing Director,  Dr. Chidia Maduekwe described Ooni of Ife, Grand Patron’s role as a crest which will further enhance the film festival as a national event for domestic and foreign audiences, and as a brand for Nigeria.

“His Majesty’s acceptance especially as a custodian of cultural heritages is indicative of his love for the nation and his avowed commitment towards nation building cutting across cultures.”

The official investiture of His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, Ooni of Ife, as Royal Grand Patron of Zuma Film Festival is scheduled to take place in Ife, ahead of the festival which is scheduled to hold from April 2 through 9,  in Abuja. The Film Festival is being jointly organized  by the Nigerian Film Corporation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

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