Many who know Nkiru Sylvanus regard her as one of the best things that has ever happened to the movie industry. In this exclusive interview with ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM , the director general, Imo State Film Academy speaks on her relationship with the Imo State governor and other issues. What have you been up to lately especially since the premiere of your much acclaimed film, The Voice?
I’ve been busy with a couple of other movie projects since then. Of course, you know that entertainment is my first love. So it’s always dear to my heart; you can never let go of your first love. I’m working seriously, so you are going to hear from me soonest. I’ve got a couple of projects lined up for the year, but as you know, it’s the election season and there is a kind of lull. But trust me, as soon as we get over the election fever, I’ll swing into action.
You were the Special Adviser (AS) Lagos Affairs, to the government of Imo State, SA on public affairs and now the Director General, Imo Film Academy, what do you think are the chances of the governor in the coming election?
The chances of His Excellency Anayo Owelle Rochas Okorocha are non-negotiable. In fact, there’s no other candidate as far as Imo people are concerned. This is a man that has come to be adored by the people of Imo state. He has achieved way more than any governor that has led Imo state in the past. His works speak for him and the people of Imo know that Rochas Okorocha is a man that represents progress. Imo state has moved forward under him, the state has developed in all ramifications. From health to education, infrastructure to empowerment and what have you! So, Imo people definitely want the governor back because they don’t want to go backward. Rochas Okorocha within a short period has taken Imo people miles ahead. They are now proud of their state.
In most of your interviews, you’ve always expressed passionate views about the governor. It was even rumoured that you were dating him. What can you say?
Rumours are what they are, baseless rumours! The governor is my boss, but it will be unfair to see something good and not mention it. I speak passionately about him all the time, because of his good works, his belief and his passion for positive change. This is a man whom the people of Imo generally love for his good works. Since Okorocha became governor, the number of dualised road networks has increased, creation of new access roads are uncountable, while old dilapidated roads have been repaired and rural roads are uncountable. Positive impacts have also been made in the rehabilitation of public utilities, health, agriculture, youth empowerment, infrastructure improvements, etc. I can list his achievements from now till tomorrow and it won’t end.
But where do you think these negative rumours are coming from?
They are all lies. Propaganda fueled by those who are enemies of the state. They’ve realised that Okorocha’s achievements cannot be faulted and so resorted to propaganda by trying to massively misinform the people about his person. Another disappointing aspect is how people are sacrificing good governance and credibility for religious bias. Even some men who are religious leaders are now pitching their tents with different politicians because of selfish gains and have joined in fuelling political propaganda across the country. We face the same issue here in Imo State. Where is the love of God in all of this? It’s disappointing that discrimination has entered and taken root in Christendom.
But can we really separate religion from politics?
It’s not about separating religion from politics now. The problem is that churches are now involving themselves in partisan politics; one would begin to wonder how it got this bad. I know churches as a place where we live it all for God but what went wrong? Nigeria is a religious country and there is no way you can insist on a particular religion only being in power. I hear some pastors say “we can’t vote for a Muslim; we must vote a Christian,” my question is, when will that end? How do they intend to achieve that always? Or is it just for now? APC has a Muslim-Christian ticket, PDP has Christian-Muslim candidates, so what’s the confusion here? And after PDP’s four years more, that is if they get it, under their arrangement, power goes back to the north, what next? I think we should pray more for the unity of this country. Religious war is such that never ends and we do not want to go there. We shouldn’t allow these power hungry politicians destroy the church and this country. My advice to Nigerians is to look before you leap, think before you act or talk. While Christ tarries, let us try to love our neighbours as we love ourselves! That’s the word of God and love is the greatest of all.
What’s your opinion about the shift in dates of the 2015 election?
For me, it was a huge disappointment because by now, the nation would have left the corridor of uncertainty to the path of moving forward. The postponement is a big setback for the nation and democracy but anything for the peace and progress of Nigeria is okay! So we patiently await the holding of elections on the new dates.