To foster a robust relationship between civilians and the military, the Nigerian Army has opened a window for collaborations with Nollywood filmmakers on movies that will endear the military to the people including a possible story about insurgency war against Islamist extremist group, Boko Haram.
While making this appeal, Major General Rogers Ibe Nicholas, Chief of Civil/ Military Affairs, Nigerian Army Headquarters, noted that this is part of the new focus of the military in the new dispensation under the leadership of Major General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Chief of Army Staff.
The army chief spoke at the unveiling of a movie entitled 76, which is set against the backdrop of war and nation building.
Starring Rita Dominic, Chidi Mokeme and Ramsey Nouah, the Adonis and Tonye Princewill production is inspired by events which led up to and followed the botched 1976 coup d’état, and features real life, archived, actual footage that contributes to the movie’s overall authenticity.
The executive producer, Tonye Princewill confirmed that the execution of the movie was also done with approval and support from the Nigerian Army. He revealed that the army made available the facilities at Mokola Barracks, Ibadan where the Izu Ojukwu directed movie was shot for six months.
Maj Gen Nicholas said: “With every regime come different concepts and ideas. So with the coming of Maj Gen T.Y Buratai as Chief of Army Staff, he has a vision which is to have a professionally responsive Nigerian army in discharge of its constitutional mandate.And part of that is to develop a military/ civil relationship that will close the gap between the military and the civilians. That is what we are trying to do.
The issues of people not have channels to complain are now a thing of the past. Right now we have a human rights desk in our office.
We are collaborating with the National Human Rights Commission and the Nigerian Bar Association.
“We welcome and encourage any filmmaker who wants to do a movie on the insurgency war as long as it is within the confines of the law. Interested participants can come up and we will look into it and collaborate.”
Asked about funding, the army chief said: “When we are collaborating with a filmmaker, it means that there is counterpart funding for it. This means that it is a two-way traffic, not that the Nigerian Army alone will fund such movies. If you come up with a proposal and you think that it will be beneficial to the Nigerian Army and indeed, Nigerians as a whole, then we will be ready to look into it.”
Adonis Productions is already considering the challenge thrown by the Nigerian military. Princewill, who is also the patron of the Nigerian Association of Movie Producers, expressed his willingness for collaboration with the Nigerian military.