Tinubu honours late mother, promises more investments in entertainment industry

By Stephen Angbulu

President Bola Tinubu has promised to prioritise investments in Nigeria’s arts and culture sector, saying it is crucial for educating the Nigerian child and benefiting the country.

He observed that the entertainment industry deserves more attention and recognition as it rekindles history and equips the younger generation with the knowledge of past events.

“I will invest in the play, nothing could have been better than rewarding a very thorough research,” said Tinubu at the presentation of a stage production held in honour of his late mother, Abibatu Mogaji.

The play titled, ‘Abibatu Mogaji: An Opera,’ was staged at the Conference Centre of the State House, on Tuesday, with the Vice-President, Senator Kashim Shettima; Senate President Godswill Akpabio; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, and other dignitaries in attendance.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed details of the play in a statement titled, ‘Abibatu Mogaji The Play: President Tinubu honours late mother, says administration will invest more in arts for the education of the younger generation.’

“President Tinubu’s mother passed away on June 15, 2013, at the age of 96, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of service to family, community, the underprivileged, and the nation.

“The President said he inherited his resilience, determination, and discipline from his mother, who was ‘tough and determined,’” the statement read.

Tinubu said, “My first restaurant was the best. My first toilet was the best. My first bedroom was her back. There is no way I could have come this far and become this old without her care.”

He thanked the play’s producer and director, Mr. Ola Awakan and Dr. Ahmed Yerima, respectively, for scripting and directing a play to immortalise his mother.

Tinubu commended the “thoroughly researched” play, which reflected her moments on earth.

“I could see that they know her very well. She was tough. She was a disciplinarian. I can thank God for the gift I got from her. It was an enduring gift of character and determination. Never give up,” the President stated.

Tinubu, who excused himself from the State House Conference Centre midway through the presentation, implored the understanding of guests, saying he had to meet other leaders of the Economic Community of West African States who had been on the waiting list for three days.

He, however, handed the remaining part of the hosting of the evening to his VP and his son, Seyi Tinubu.

Before leaving he told guests, “…my first restaurant was her breast, my first toilet was on her lap, and my first-ever bedroom was on her back. There is no way I could have been this old without that care.

“I thank Ola Awakan, he’s a very great researcher, producer and thoughtful person to have come up with this and I can see some faces of Mama’s children; Tunji Alausa and the rest of the people are here.

“I’m so grateful to all of you in large numbers; I will have enjoyed the audience more with you. I’ll find another opportunity to do that. But I asked for this assignment. Through your exercise and commitment, you gave it to me.”

The President added that “only 48 hours ago, they renewed my mandate as the Chairman of ECOWAS. So, if they now give me an assignment, I don’t have a choice but to do it. Thank you for sharing your evening to celebrate my mother, a great woman. Thank you.”

Tinubu said his son, Seyi, and other family members would benefit from the production, noting that theatre conveys lessons from history through re-enactment.

In his vote of thanks, the President’s son, Seyi, thanked the managers and crew for putting up a brilliant performance to immortalize the late Iya-loja of Lagos.

Awakan thanked the President for the opportunity and support to stage the play at the Presidential Villa.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the play, Awakan noted that the character of the president’s late mother embodies these essential qualities, which are crucial for the development of society.

He said the play aims to immortalise Mogaji’s legacy and use her attributes to inspire generations of Nigerians, both present and future. (Punch)

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