Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has promised to give special attention and protection to actors/actresses, as well as their equipment before, during and after movie shoot exercises across Nigeria, especially in some volatile areas.
Buratai agreed that Nollywood is a major contributor to Nigeria’s economy through foreign earnings, and also a major driver for national orientation and image making for Nigeria, hence, the need for additional security and support for the industry.
The Army Chief made the promise in Abuja, when he received the leadership of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), who visited the Army headquarters to familiarise with them and establish working relationship.
He affirmed that he had received several positive comments, and special treatment and recognition from his friends and colleagues outside Nigeria who appreciate the creativity and ingenuity of the Nollywood actors.
The AGN President, Ejezie Emeka Rollas, who led the delegation, told the Army Chief that the visit was meant to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the Nigerian Army and the umbrella body of Actors in Nigeria, considering the fact that the Actors have been in the forefront of projecting a positive image of Nigeria to the world through Nollywood films.
The AGN President who was represented by Steven Eboh, explained: “We are here to seek the partnership of the Nigerian Army in providing security for our members and production crew when filming in high volatile areas across the country, especially in the North East region.
“As cultural and brand ambassadors, our members are always afraid of filming in these volatile areas, and that had affected the quality of our production.”
He renewed the support of the Actors in peace, unity and security of Nigeria, which they intend to achieve through their quality films and other electronic productions.
He added: “We are equally available for some advocacy programmes. We can also develop some drama skits and other pictorial messages that would help in the propagation of set objectives.”
One of the delegate and popular comedian, Chika Okpala, popularly known as Zeburudayya, thanked the Army Chief for the opportunity to interact with the Army.
He assured them of the commitment of the Actors in promoting any cause that would strengthen the peace, unity and security of Nigeria.