[Lokoja]—The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, after days of uncomfortable silence has finally revealed that the military equipment intercepted by men of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) was actually meant for the making of a new state-sponsored movie titled “Inikpi Returns”.
Recall that the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye has accused the governor on the floor of the Red Chambers to have imported sewn military camouflages with boller hats, many bullet proof vests, night vision googles, tactical boots, tactical knapsacks, training canvas, boxing gloves and so on.
The Senator also revealed that the military equipment has been intercepted by the Nigerian Customs Service and urged the Senate to investigate the governor while referring to him as a threat to democracy.
However, the Governor has since denied the allegation in a press statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to Kogi State Governor on Entertainments, Arts and Culture, Mercy Johnson-Okojie and made available to the press this morning.
According to the press release, “The military equipment was meant for the making of our new state-sponsored movie, Inikpi Returns, which is a sequel to the Frank Rajah Arase directed Inikpi released late last year featuring Sam Dede, Odunlade Adekola, Saheed Balogun, Paul Obazele, Abija, Agbako among others.”
She noted that though the first Inikpi was a box office disaster due to some technical faults on the part of the costumier and the imagineer, Inikpi Returns is set to set new records in the Nigerian film making industry as the state is doing everything to make sure that it re-creates reality as much as possible which explains the importation of real military equipment from North Korea.
She further revealed that “the state is very impressed at the success and popularity of the Black Panther Movie and the whole concept of Wakanda Kingdom and which is why we are trying to draw enough inspiration from Ryan Kyle Coogler who has agreed to send his boys to help us on the set for the new movie, isn’t that impressive?
“We need to reiterate that what we are trying to do here has never been done in the history of film making in Nigeria, Inikpi Returns is set to explore the story of a secret lineage of warriors traceable to the events following the ultimate sacrifice of the legendary Igala Princess, Inikpi, to save her people.
“The movie explores these warriors as vigilante, superheroes and protectors of the Igala Kingdom right from the ancient days to the modern day and stuffs like that though I need to be truthful with you that we are yet to fully put the stories together, it is still a work in progress and all sons and daughters are welcomed to contribute their ideas on our Wiki page,” she enjoined.
In a phone call by our columnist to the Senior Special Assistant to confirm the authenticity of the release, she added, “As a matter of fact, Dino Melaye is a dishonourable Senator and what he has succeeded in his pettiness was to raise a mere false alarm to disgrace his state on the floor of the Senate. When he leaves that Abuja we will be waiting for him here at home. Anyway, we have been speaking with the Custom Boss and the whole situation was just a misunderstanding, in fact, Hammed Ibrahim Ali has not only promised to release the equipment but he has also promised to make a guest appearance in the upcoming movie.
“To us, this is not just about film making, it is not just about empowering our people and preserving our stories, it is much more about our IGR, we need to generate revenue at all cost to pay for workers’ salaries and see to the welfare of the citizens in the state. And you see, that movie when it finally becomes a box office success, it will hold the magic key to get the governor elected for a second term,” she revealed in a low whisper.
Not certain about the account of the Senior Special Assistant, our columnist further placed a call to the most powerful man in the cabinet, the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Edward Onoja, who surprisingly confirmed the release. When asked about the whole drama of sacking and reinstating all cabinet members by the Governor, he said: “You’ve said it yourself, it is all drama. It is meant to be part of the trailer we are releasing to the public for the Inikpi Returns Movie. Or would you have believed that? Of course, you wouldn’t! What kind of Governor sacks the entire cabinet at this strategic political moment? It is all part of this administration strategy to show love for Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP) and Theatre Arts Practitioners all over the world. We are very surprised to discover people are actually having headache over the issue. I wonder if they had forgotten the words of Terry Mark that “Never let somebody’s drama determine the outcome of your day.”“