As the 2023 general elections draw closer, a Nollywood filmmaker, Pascal Atuma, has urged Nigerians to look beyond religious and ethnic lines while casting their votes in the coming elections.
The socially-conscious filmmaker, based in Canada, said this in a statement on Tuesday.
Mr Atuma, whose most recent film, ‘Clash,’ topped the Netflix charts in July 2021, said Nigeria has failed to achieve her full potential due to a wrong leadership choice.
He wrote: “As grateful as I am, I also have mixed feelings because of the adverse effects of tribalism, religious intolerance, bitter politics, and corruption in Nigeria, my country of birth. We have failed to attain our full potential mainly due to bad choices in choosing some of our past leaders.”
“I encourage all Nigerians not to vote along religious, ethnic, and tribal lines come 2023, and youths must rise and save Nigeria. The older adults are almost close to their heavens; the younger generation should say no to crumbs while our leaders bury Nigeria and the future of Nigeria before they depart”.
Mr Atuma, whose breakout directorial debut, “My American Nurse,” premiered in the United States at the 2006 Pan African Film Festival, also actively encouraged Nigerian youths to participate in the forthcoming elections.
He noted that if Nigeria must progress, we must eradicate tribalism and unite the centrifugal forces into forces of Nigeria beyond ethnic and sectional sentiments in the choice of candidates into public office.
He wrote: “Unity is the ability to pull towards a common goal at a given time. Ethnic and tribal divides are common amongst most Countries of the world, but weaponizing Ethnicity is more prevalent in 3rd World Countries where leaders take advantage of tribal sentiments to appeal to sectional support. Evidence abounds that such leaders hardly can mobilize the entire country’s potential for growth and development. Our inability to unite our country has affected our country negatively. Therefore, inefficient governance is a direct result and Correlation of tribalism in Nigeria.”
According to Mr Atuma, when tribalism clouds our judgment, we make bad choices of leaders, thereby making it extremely difficult for the best hands and professionals to participate in building a nation.
“Tribalism will raise primordial favors above rewards for good jobs done, creating a downward slope for Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and hence impoverishment is imminent. Therefore, if Nigeria must progress, we must eradicate tribalism. Let’s unite the Centrifugal forces of Nigeria beyond ethnic and sectional sentiments in the choice of candidates into public office.”
“Development and wealth do not speak the language of Ethnicity; Growth and development speak a universal language. Therefore, if Nigeria can look for the best men and women irrespective of tribe or religion, we will have a chance to rebuild Nigeria from its present ruins caused by years of Ethnic Politics and confusing religion.”
As a director, he’s helmed most of his movie productions. As an actor, he starred in several of his productions, as well as other projects including ‘Sweet Revenge (Winner 2018, Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud, Just For Laughs “Eat my Shorts” Lions Gate Competition).” “Bloodlines,” “LAPD African Cops,” “The Other Side of Love,” “My American Nurse,” “Faithfulness,” and “Secret Past,” Amongst others
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