Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), has pledged the corporation’s commitment to supporting filmmakers in the production of documentaries that promote peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
Maduekwe disclosed this in his speech at the “Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Campaign” held on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Maduekwe, the Nigerian motion picture industry is a veritable tool that can be used to drive nationalism, build values of love, peace and tolerance among Nigerians irrespective of the tribal and religious divide.
He expressed the corporation’s willingness to provide funding and technical support for scripts that drive positive narratives towards stimulating national peace and security.
“The NFC is determined to assist filmmakers with the necessary support to produce films that continuously encourage peaceful coexistence because we strongly believe that the motion picture has the power to defuse tension before they snowball into a crisis.
“We have resolved to use part of the money appropriated to us by the National Assembly for film production and documentary that will tell our stories in a manner that unite us as a country.
“Film should and must be used to sustain our conversations on issues that bind us together, so we are going to use our mandate as Nigerian Film Corporation to build bridges of peace and conflict resolution.
“We are interested in looking for Nigerians who have scripts that focus on what unites us than what divides us and they will collaborate with the corporation to promote peace in Nigeria,” he said.
Maduekwe explained that the ‘Peace Campaign was organised to ignite the consciousness of Nigerians that the consequences and cost of conflicts far outweigh the processes of peacebuilding.
He said there was a need to stimulate continuous change in the perception and behavioural pattern of Nigerians through peace campaigns and engagements.
“Wrong perception capable of causing a threat to internal security must be confronted head-on because we must utilise our pluralistic structure to our advantage, as good people of a great nation.
“Sustainable social campaigns and engagements provide the platform for resolution of conflicts, and all across our communities and societies, we must ensure that our people imbibe the culture of consultation and engagement in the resolution of conflicts.
“We must protect the fundamental human rights of all our people, irrespective of the colour, creed or state of origin.
“This should be followed by the promotion of equity and justice in our daily lifestyle, as fair participation in all spheres of our human activities should and must be assured,” he said.
In his Keynote address, Sen. Philip Aduda, commended the NFC for the collaboration, adding that peace was the foundation for meaningful development in any society.
He urged the residents of FCT to ensure that the pursuit of peace and tolerance was given serious attention.
“First, FCT is the miniature Nigeria where every shade of individuals are represented from every community and from every society and from every state of the federation.
“One among two people have either their cousins, fathers, brothers, even grandfathers in the FCT, so we must continue to preach peace because FCT is a conglomeration of different people,” he said.
NAN reports that the peace summit was attended by civil society groups, women and youth leaders, delegates from the security agencies, as well as top government functionaries, including a representative of the FCT minister.