Lagos State governorship candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD), High Chief Owolabi Salis, has described theatre practitioners as direct influencers of the society.
Salis spoke when the Lagos State Theatre Arts Association of Nigeria (LSTAA), endorsed his candidature at the Star Alliance Lagos Theatre Arts Conference, in Ikorodu.
Salis said, “They are the faces of the people. So, their endorsement means the people believe and would support my mission to rescue Lagos from systemic slavery.”
He presented a paper at the event on ‘Improving on the living standards of the people’.
Although he said, “Our movies and stagecraft reveals reality unlike those of the Western world that are full of tricks and are technologically enhanced fiction.
“This reality made our stage and screen popular in Asia, Europe, America and with the Jews.
“All that thespian need is the opportunity to connect with the big movies and theatre producers in the western environment.”
Salis added that Nigeria need a proper theatre calendar that includes local and international event that can offer them opportunity to create more wealth and improved the economy of the nation through theatre.
He urged them as artists to expand their notion of what theatre can be if we truly believe our arts as a basic human right.
Salis charged the practitioners to put on theatrical productions that would help educate the masses on their conduct especially when it comes to violent act during elections.
“This is one of the many things we can do to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
“If a government is not concerned about the welfare of the governed, that is slavery.”
He encouraged them to be focused on innovations, hone their skills and creativity.
“My lecture harps on the living standards of the commoners in Lagos and I have really dealt with it terms of their basic needs because the government needs to address the basic needs of this less privileged people, the commoners, grassroots people.
“Now I tried to look into the health situation because there is so much widening gap on health matters in Lagos, a lot of rich people are okay but poor people buy antibiotics to address some of the problems they are facing.
“Look at housing, for the past 20 years there has been no housing for less privileged people and rich are the only one living in comfort, there are a lot of commoners living under the bridges. We are going to address that if we win this election.
“Then we talk about food a lot of people are hungry because the economic situation is so bad, the grassroots people that most of them have no.
“Jobs and there is a systemic slavery going on trying to use our people for violence while they take own children abroad and take good care of them, but the children of the less privileged people are being empowered into violence.
“Give them guns and cudgels, these guys are killing themselves, so we have to address this social malaise for them to live and have good life.
On his part, Mr. Omolulu Faniyi, Chairman, of the event, said the party was the foundation of democracy in Lagos State, adding that since the current leaders have enslaved the people, AD has come to reinstate true democracy.
Faniyi emphasised the wealth of experience and exposure possessed by the gubernatorial candidate as the main attraction that drew his attention to the party, couple with the fact that many developmental projected would be facilitated by him.
A veteran Yoruba actor, High Chief Koran Kehinde Remi, said they have pulled out the drums to support the gubernatorial candidate because of his competence and interest to develop the profession.
Remi said several act was put together by the Umbrella body of the arts community to show the many talents thespians have.
He lauded the gubernatorial candidate for sharing innovative ideas that will help the profession experience boast and development.
“The profession is like a market with many roads to reach out you can reach out with various act,” he noted.
More so, as part of the day’s activities was dinner with the monarch of Igbogbo kingdom, at the 30th anniversary of Igbogbo Day.
His Royal Majesty Oba Abdul-Semiu Orimadegun Kasali the Emugoriade 1, Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom, elucidated that Salis influence in his kingdom is great due to his philanthropist nature, he has been able to touched all facets of live.
The monarch said High Chief Owolabi Salis is undoubtedly an illustrious son of Igbogbo and we can attest to that fact, he has no doubt made us proud and we wish him well in his ambition.
Simultaneously, as part of the grand finale of Ikorodu Day celebration, Ikorodu Oga Development Association, IKODASS, has honoured High Chief Salis with a Merit Award.
Speaking on the award, His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabir Adewale Shotobi of Ikorodu Kingdom epitomised Salis as a man with the heart of gold.
“He is a philanthropist in nature, humane, caring and one who respects culture.”
Reacting to the award, Salis said Ikorodu has been instrumental to the promotion of Yoruba culture worldwide, noting “I respect culture because Nigeria’s multi-cultural nature is important to the black race globally.”