16th January, 2015
A popular culture activist, Frank Aig-Imoukhuede, has appealed to the Federal Government to rescind any decision to sell the National Theatre located in the Iganmu area of Lagos State, western Nigeria.
There had been speculation that the government was planning to sell of the national monument.
It was learnt that the theatre would be converted to an emirate shoppping mall, but this had resulted in opposition from a section of Nigerians.
Speaking with TheNEWS magazine, our sister publication, as he turned 80 years old, Imoukhuede said he would not support the idea, because, among other things, it would breed terrorism and further enslave Nigerians.
He argued that such a monument should be developed and upgraded into a tourist site.
“The Englishman’s home is his castle. This is our castle. So, we have to defend it to the last because there is nothing Nigerian about that idea that they are bringing.
“Rather, it will enslave us the more, it will create corruption which they are not stopping because they will be going between Nigeria and Dubai. In the process, the trafficking and all that will be strengthened.
“And very soon, what they are trying to fight will come; it will move down south.
“They are afraid of Boko Haram, let them go and see what started Boko Haram and if you create it right here, you give it leverage and then we will have problems.
“Yemen is not far from that place. There is nothing that has happened that has not had Yemeni connection. A lot of our people claim that they came from Yemen to Nigeria.”
Continuing, he argued: “we are talking of Nigeria. If in lieu of what they want, they say: ‘we will put a tower of unity in the National Theatre’, that would have made some sense.
“People would go there and from the tower, they can see a lot of places, they can make sense. But a place for buying and selling; who is going to sell and buy?
“Don’t we have the mall in Ikeja, Surulere, Lekki and in other places? So what are they talking about?
“They are destroying culture; they have fought and fought against it and have not succeeded. Now they are trying to batter it down with people from the emirates.
“Has anyone gone to Yemen to go and do it? Have they done it in Egypt? Why Nigeria where we want to start to build our castle ourselves and create a defensive mode round it? It is stupidity, greed and avarice.”