Hollywood-Based Nigerian Filmmaker ‘Jeta Amata’ weighs in on Nigerian Politics: I AM NIGERIA – What kind of ancestor will you be? How will you be remembered?
Several Nigerian entertainers have been sharing their views and opinions about the upcoming general elections, with a number of them stating why they are favoring one candidate over the other. The Presidential, Senatorial & House of Representatives elections is scheduled to hold tomorrow, March 28, while the Governorship and State House of Assembly’s will take place on April 11.
In an open letter written by the multiple-award winning Filmmaker, Jeta Amata, and shared with Golden Icons, the Director/Producer of the block buster film, Black November, which is currently showing on VOD across the United States and can be picked up from various stores in the US including Walmart, Amazon, Red Box etc, talked about his viewpoints on the ongoing “name-calling, mud-slinging and insult regarding the present state of Nigerian politics.” The filmmaker further urged Nigerians as they cast their votes tomorrow and in 2 week’s time , they should remember the kind of country they want Nigeria to be – a country that will ‘rise and stand proud.’
Read Jeta Amata’s full statement below:
We live in a world where the means of communication have never been so easy, so available, so all-enveloping. So why is so much of our communication so mean?
I have tried hard to stay silent while watching my colleagues, friends and associates allow their views to degenerate into name-calling, mud-slinging and insult regarding the present state of Nigerian politics. Healthy debate appears an anachronism, reasoned argument diminished much like lively conversation has descended to the lowest common denominator of endless tweets. Do ideas have a place in modern politics, or has ideology beaten intellectual growth to a mangled pulp.
There is an election to decide and President Jonathan and General Buhari are both leaders and representatives of people, irrespective of their political orientation and affiliations. They are the men of the moment, the choice a nation has to make. If na so e easy, why no be your papa dey there? (In pidgin English-If it were that easy, your father would have been the one there) Calling either of them names, whatever the reason, does not honor democracy, nor promote positive change. It merely goes to show how corrupted our consciousness has become as a people and as a nation.
What kind of roles models have we become? For those of us with children, how will your children describe the words spat from adult mouths? Is this doing our duty – preparing our offspring the way our fathers prepared us for this day? I weep at our state of existence. Are we helping to create a better tomorrow or are preparing a tomorrow in which our children will resort once again to fighting themselves over who is right and not what is right? Will they even know the difference?
It is not about who is right my brothers and sisters, but WHAT is right. I implore you to think again.
I do believe things can turn around, because like my grandfather taught me at an early age- human nature can be changed, not by insult, but by inspiration. If you love your children and siblings like I love mine, think of their future while pushing your own boundaries. Nigeria is ours, Africa is ours, the World is ours to prepare the stage for our growing ones. If we think our fathers have failed us, or our elders have gone astray, then let us focus our attention squarely on our children and make sure they don’t suffer the way we have.
We live in a world rent asunder by perverted ideologies borne of man’s worst excesses – hate, greed, intolerance. America, where I currently reside, possesses a barely functioning political system these days. Yet I can still marvel at American ideology that sought a better tomorrow for her children. America may have her own problems but this is still a country with a black President where, only some fifty or so years ago would not have allowed me to ride the same public transport as a white man. Just 50 years ago! My father was alive then, President Jonathan was alive then, General Buhari was alive then! And, in that time, positive, all-encompassing change has not only come to America, but has become an accepted part of her social fabric, unchallengeable, immutable.
We can dream a better nation, we can plan for what our Nigeria will be 50 years from today. We can all stand up and speak in one voice for the sake of our children. Yes we can!
Though Africa’s shaped like a question mark, Africa’s got the answer. The answer to all our problems, lie within us. Let us not allow the dark tales of our past design our bright future because, unlike the past, our future is in our hands, and the way we commune and relate to ourselves, the way we take blame where blame is deserved, accord praise when praise is deserved, will be a blueprint for how our children will interact. Think of their smiles, think of the joy we give them when they run into our arms, when they say the word “mommy” or “daddy”. Think of how worried we get when they become weakened by as little as a cold, yet we allow them to grow to fight and kill each other for wealth and power, for fame and fortune, for irrational hate, for nothing. There are other fights – battles we all must wage – against malaria, Ebola and AIDS, against poverty. Together we can will them to be mere figments of our imaginations.
Unite my people, not because of the politicians who seek your vote, or the politics of the brash, the brazen, the bullies, but unite because of little Goodluck, little Mohammed, little Sege, little Bola, little Yemi, little Ngozi, little Nnamdi, little Aisha, little Akpos, little Barack and my own little Veno. They are the innocents, the good. Let them grow with their dreams, and let them dream. Teach them unity is strength.
Remember this as we go to the polls – we want Nigeria to rise and stand proud. There is, in this world and in our nation, enough for everyone’s need, but not nearly enough for everyone’s greed. Just like the 1952 words of Wole Soyinka, my grandfather and a few other students of the then University College Ibadan, now University of Ibadan, I AM AGAINST TRIBALISM AND ETHNICITY, I AM AGAINST MORIBUND CONVENTION, I STAND FOR HUMANISTIC IDEALS, I STAND FOR COMRADESHIP AND CHIVALRY! I am a living man, I am Nigeria!
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