Interviews

April 12, 2024

‘Why we want to celebrate our Military, Police in Nigeria’

'Why we want to celebrate our Military, Police in Nigeria'

By Elizabeth Osayande

A mention of a military or police staff oftentimes resonates with brutality, fraud, and abuse of human rights, among other vices.

However, a team of young persons under the umbrella of the Pristine Initiative, believe that with love, and gratitude shown to these people, especially to those who put their lives on line to defend the country, and the entire citizens, a new positive narrative will be built, and sustained.

In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, the convener of the Pristine Initiative, Okolo Samuel, also known as Samuel Leumas shared more light on the “Changing the Narrative” event, aimed to celebrate heroes in the military and police forces.

How do you describe The Pristine Initiative?

The Pristine Initiative is a poetry structure that has multiple platforms and projects; it is devoted to poetry and appreciation of human effort through love and gratitude. Our focal point is using poetry and other forms of art to entertain and enlighten the audience of the imperative essence of love.

Tell us about “Changing the Narrative”

“Changing the Narrative is the first project amid many pending projects; slated to hold on June 15 at the University of Lagos, UNILAG Akoka. It is a poetry event that tends toward celebrating our brothers and sisters who have sworn oaths to protect the territorial integrity of the Nation called Nigeria.

This event tends to appreciate and show gratitude for their efforts and also curb brutality perpetuated by some elements in their ranks. As a people, we must understand that a policeman is first of all, a human being with emotions, challenges, and struggles they bear.

What we are saying, we need to appreciate those that put their lives on line for the protection of our sovereign nation and her people. The occasion will also serve as an avenue to address the bad eggs among the Force, be it military or the police.

The event will also provide us an opportunity to discuss with these personnel on the military
organization and their job description, which is going to inspire us to initiate a process to curb or
end brutality from these personnel against civilian population;

There will be an award presentation as a substance of love and gratitude. That is celebrating military and police personnel with excellent records in the service per event. We have celebrated an Army officer and a Naval Officer, respectively. we are looking towards expanding our horizons by looking for a female officer with a track record.

Why UNILAG as the venue?

Faculty of Art, University of Lagos, UNILAG, will provide an opportunity to have an interface with the Academic community, and an avenue to work and be with brilliant young minds in their prime in the pursuit of knowledge.

Who is your target audience for the “Changing the Narrative” event?

The youths are our major target, especially the young officers encouraging them with our
art and initiative, as we promote Love, Gratitude and Business Initiatives. This is the third edition, and we have previously attracted high-profile individuals and personalities like Mrs. Nigeria 2021, President of PIN (Poets in Nigeria), Multiple Award Winning Poets, And also Port Harcourt’s Poet’s in Residency.

What are the challenges you and your team have in hosting this event?

Finance is our major challenge. Our budget is One Million. So, we need partners and sponsors to team with us on our mandate. Which is preaching and promoting love among Nigerians, most especially to those in the force who are the real heroes of our time.