By Joshua Olomu
Abuja – Nollywood actor and producer, Rikki Nwajiofor, popularly known on set as `Rikki’, has urged filmmakers to use their works to promote and advocate peace and national unity among Nigerians.
He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Rikki, who is also the Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, the movie industry is a veritable tool that can be used to build values of love, peace and tolerance among Nigerians.
“In this challenging times facing our peaceful-coexistence as a nation, producers can and should use film to promote and sustain what bind us together.
“They should create stories and images that present Nigeria in good light and reinforce tendencies that promote our unity in diversity.
“I believe that the industry has the power to encourage citizens to see themselves as people with common interest that must work together for our nation to work again,’’ he urged.
The thespian, however, frowned at the practice of using films to portray Nigeria and its citizens in bad light, all in the name ofentertainment.
He lamented that such negative images often reinforce negative tendencies in people, and therefore, urged film stakeholders to use their works as tools for positive social re-orientation of citizens for national integration.
“There are situations in which creative individuals have lent their talents to the propagation of hate and other divisive tendencies that threatened the unity of our nation.
“The narrative can be changed with films that emphasised positive social issues and present the nation in good light to its citizens and the outside world.
“Film is a powerful tool that should be used deliberately and consciously for peace building, and there is the need to stimulate the change by the filmmakers,” he said.
Rikki urged relevant stakeholders to use films to shape opinions, propose and set agenda for government as well as mobilise citizens to work toward a better Nigeria.
He also called on government at all levels to provide support and enabling environment for filmmakers in order for them to see themselves as valued stakeholders in the Nigeria project.
“If the Nigerian filmmakers are supported and carried along by government, they will be more committed to promoting our values and government policies, instead of seeing themselves as just business people,” he added.