Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has urged the creative industry to produce movies that would reshape public perception and preach peace oriented narratives in the country.
Bello made the plea while hosting the 13th edition of Best of Nollywood Awards (BON) in Lokoja.
The BON Awards, an annual Pan-Nigerian travelling film industry initiative, had in the last 12 years moved to various states of the federation.
The governor maintained that the creative industry was strategic to the development of any nation.
He stressed that Nollywood was needed now more than ever to assist the government in ensuring that the message of unity, love and peace was once again established to move the nation forward.
“The creative industry, especially Nollywood, is strategic in ensuring that the right information and perception is spread in the polity.
”As role models, your films and expression are vital to national peace and unity.
“We are at a time in our national history when all hands must be on deck. We must work together to ensure that all the negative elements, who want to divide us from remaining a united people, are put to shame,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Seun Oloketuyi, the Chief Executive Officer/ Convener of BON Awards, urged Bello to use the remaining years of his administration to open up the state to the world for more opportunities.
Oloketuyi also appealed to the governor to work with practitioners and the creative industry to ensure that the beautiful natural landscape in the state was exposed to the world through filmmakers.
”Today, we celebrate inspite of all we are going through as COVID-19 has dealt a huge blow on the industry, but during this period the impact of the creative industry kept the nation sane as millions relied on our movies to keep their mental balance,” he said.
The event was attended by top government functionaries, captains of industry and Nollywood stakeholders such as Bello’s wife, Rashida, the CEO of Confluence Rice, Mr Seun Olonade as well as Nollywood actors such as Segun Arinze and Faithia Balogun.
Others were Madam Biola Atanda popularly known as Madam Kofo, Deyemi Okanlawon, Kemi Afolabi, Yemi Blaq and Keppy Ekpeyong, among others.