The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has called on Nigerian youths to be more patriotic and promote national unity and peaceful co-existence and stop focusing on making quick money.
Garba Abari, NOA chief, made the appeal on Saturday night at the private screening of a National Development Film Project, “The Pledge”, in Abuja. The movie was produced by Uchenna Simon, popularly known as Prince UC Mgawa, while Paul Apel Papel directed the film.
Mr Abari urged the youths to preach patriotism and nationalism in all their words and actions. He said: “Nigerian youths have a fundamental role to play. Nigeria is essentially a country of youths because more than 65 per cent of our population is below the age of 35. So, this country belongs to the youths.
“Nigerian youths must have a new idea different from the ideas that are currently being propagated.
“Our youths must wake up to the fact that they are the nation’s builders, not nation’s destroyers and have a role to play.
“The only way to do that is to propagate new ideas that are built around patriotism, love for country and not about getting rich quick.”
The director-general, who described “The Pledge” as a nationalistic movie, also urged Nigerians, particularly politicians, to emulate the character of Onyema in the movie, who had the mindset of “Nigeria first” amongst Nigerians.
“The takeaway from this movie is that we must first and foremost put the nation first. Let’s be good ambassadors of ourselves, good ambassadors of our country and well-wishers of our country.
“I believe that together we shall join forces and ensure we have a fulfilled country of our dream,” he said.
In his remarks, Mr Simon, who runs Tagwaye Charity Foundation and executive-produced the movie, said that the film aimed at preaching peaceful co-existence and administering the mindset of Nigeria first amongst Nigerians.
“This movie does not in any way promote or campaign for any presidential candidate or any political party, the aim is to promote a nationalist agenda. We want all politicians to imbibe this character.
“This movie, which stars world-class actors and actresses, was carefully scripted and ultimately delivered to showcase the urgent need for peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians,” he said.
The producer, who said the movie project was conceived over 10 years ago, said that it had finally seen the light of day in spite of the hurdles with the first viewing by way of a private screening to selected critical stakeholders in the country.
According to him, after this private screening, the movie will be made public for people to watch and learn from it.
The director of the movie, Papel, said that the film captured how ethnic and religious sentiments could be addressed in the nation’s politicking.
“We use this movie as a medium to send a message. If Nigerians watch it, they will see the kind of leadership the country needs to unite us as a people and the nation.
“We were able to surmount the challenges that came with it because we had go to make sure that it came out before the 2023 general elections,” he said.
He also said the movie captures how ethnic and religious sentiments can be addressed in the nation’s politicking.
“This is a movie where we are seeing that we need someone who is a nationalist, someone who is for everybody, not someone who is pathing on a direction.
“This issue of tribal or regional governance has really messed up the politics in this country.
“So, we need people who are competent and people who think about the country as a whole. That is the core message of ‘The Pledge’.”
However, the movie was funded and produced by Tagwaye Charity Foundation, an NGO set up to tangibly advance the productive capacity of young Africans and decisively fight against social vices in the country.