On a warm evening of Sunday the 11th day of December 2022, we at TellThatStory in conjunction with Talent Trust and Dr. Osaigbovo Eriamiantoe screened the movie by the award-winning Omoregie Osakpolor – Nation Forgotten at Deepend Cinema, here in Benin City. The session had an engagement with different genres of artists from around Nigeria, from scriptwriters to poets, filmmakers, designers, programmers, and photographers to mention a few. The evening was well spent. Nation Forgotten is a documentary film on the plight of Nigerian pensioners. More than nine pensioners with stirring testimonies lament the pension fraud in Nigeria, non-payment of their gratuities, and pension allowances, and the troubles of living with barely anything in a country where getting by is difficult for even the rich. The film opened up a conversation right after the screening between the author of the movie Osakpolor and filmmaker David Akwara, who worked very closely with him during its production. Babawale Obayanju, moderated this session.
It was apparent that the process of making a well-informed documentary like this requires us to patiently undergo the process. Nation Forgotten was birthed as a poem and has metamorphosed into this over 1-hour insightful documentary. It was emphasized that the success of a project like this is hinged on:
- a clear understanding of the issue at hand,
- “ACCESS” – to the people or beings involved in the issue we are trying to highlight,
- a close network of people who are willing to collaborate,
- a great team and then
The conversation about the plight of the retired elders in our country is one that all and sundry need to put their hands together to find a lasting solution to recurring problems of not having their gratuity and pensions paid as when due.
As the Bible says, labor is worthy of his wages! They have worked tirelessly for 35 years serving our dear nation Nigeria, they have saved some funds to at least help them go by in their days of retirement. Not paying them their dues is INJUSTICE!
Chapter 4 sections 33 to 46 of the Nigerian Constitution and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human rights says in summary, that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and we all have a right to dignity of human persons, and every individual holding Nigeria’s citizenship as recognized in this constitution is inherently entitled to these fundamental rights.
These rights must be upheld and everyone who means well for our nation must stand and join us to make this demand for justice.