We all know and love RMD – Richard Mofe Damijo as a veteran Nollywood actor, Nigeria’s own Denzel. But a lesser known fact is the actor is also a politician.
He has been the commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State for the past 7 years.
In an open letter penned by Comedian Olokpa, the rising talent makes weighty accusations. He alleges misappropriation/missing funds (to the tune of 300 million a year), suggested ‘improvements’ like a Warri Carnival akin to the Calabar Carnival, international standard TV stations and more.
Here are some excerpts:
Excitement on RMD’s Appointment
It’s with pains in my heart and with disappointment that I decided to write you this letter.
Our hopes were high when you were brought into the Uduaghan government as Special Adviser on entertainment and Talent development and later commissioner for culture and Tourism about seven years ago.
Entertainers in Delta were happy that a veteran has come back home and also in a better position to reposition entertainment in Delta state.
Because even before coming into government, you have being trying all by yourself to develop entertainment which gave birth to MADE IN WARRI. It was a proud platform for Warri entertainers coming together to showcase themselves.
It became one of the most anticipated show then in the country because that’s where you get the real Warri comedians.
Delta Talent Quest (DTQ)
The first project you embarked on was DELTA TALENT QUEST (DTQ). The aim was to discover talents in Delta state and promote them and so entertainers came out in their numbers. A special house was built in Asaba specially for this project just to mention how serious you took that project.
The project was broken into comedy, music, dance and movie.
I participated in the Comedy Audition but was not among the finally 20 comedians they picked but my close friend Koliko qualified.
I still remember how almost all the comedians in Delta state came out to slog it out with themselves and be the lucky winner of a brand new car, 1million and other benefits.
I was also privileged to attend the finals where my friend Koliko came second with a cash gift of 500k and only that competition changed his life up till today. The talented young man that use to put on old clothes suddenly became a SHINE SHINE BOBO, a young man with not even 5k in his account suddenly saw 500k in his account..
But after all the maiden Edition of comedy, music, dance and movie edition was done, it became that last time DTQ was ever mentioned.
No explanation was given as to why the project was stopped but a Top comedian recently during a chat said about 300 million is still being budgeted for that every year and part of it is now being use to finance one of the BIGGEST CONCERTS IN WARRI. But it still remains an allegation sha but you can’t ignore every allegations these days most especially in Government.
No Follow Up on the Winners
the winner of the comedy edition, I hear he now sells bread in Sapele and no longer doing comedy except once in a while.
The 1st runner up Koliko: The young man have grown to be one of the most sorted after comedian in WARRI but not NIGERIA which would have being possible if you did some follow up.
Sir a well packaged, not too funny comedian in Lagos collects 50k to 200k per wedding but give all your winner of DTQ 20 to 30k for a wedding, they will not only crack jokes, they will also dance till the end of the marriage.
The difference between Lagos and Delta is packaging and media exposure and I will come to that later.
The only people that still benefit a bit are Koliko and young chief who you something invite once or twice to Asaba to perform. And the worst part is that when you pay comedians coming from Lagos at least 500K, they pay our DTQ winners 50k and someone still cut the money before it gets to them.
So you see if there were other words I can use other than disappointment about your tenure I will definitely use it.
Sir you have being in this industry to know how things works but you just sat down, collected your salaries, bonuses plus all the CORNER MARKINGS (only Warri boys go understand).
Low Quality TV Stations in the State
Culture and Tourism working hand in hand sir but you neglected these things.
Sir you didn’t even bother to asked why there is no other Television in Delta State other than DBS and DRTV?
Why is there only DRTV in Delta state? Why no Silverbird or other privately own TV stations just as we have in Edo, Port-harcourt etc. Its an open secret that government are preventing them so that they won’t over shadow DRTV.
Ok, if that is the case, why don’t Government upgrade DRTV to international standard? Don’t tell me we are too poor not to afford it because we all know that billions flow into the state every month apart from Tax. So don’t go there.
It show there is something you are not telling us. *SUSPICIOUS*
There’s Potential for the Movie Industry
Sir it was under your Tenure that Movie producers starting coming to Asaba to shoot movies and even up till now. Asaba is now the best location right now. Some actors and actresses have temporarily or permanently relocated to Asaba.
But we have not being able to tap into that area. This is a new opportunity to partner with these people in other to expose our up and coming act.
To make them stay, Government would have build a film village in Delta state. Sir, Udu L.G.A where you come from have enough land to do and that would have being a major achievement for you and the government.
Udu people would have being grateful for that. That would have fit into the much talked about DELTA STATE BEYOND OIL but you blew off that chance.
No Tourist Attractions in Delta State
All through your time in office, you could not initiate any Carnival Celebration.
Just like we have the Calabar Carnival, a Warri Carnival would have make sense. That would have changed the face of Warri for ever. Oh, I guess you forgot. if different streets in Warri can host peaceful Carnival at night with fun fair, then Delta State Government could have done better.
I was watch your interview on Channels recently in TRAVEL GUILD. You were talking about Delta State Tourist Potential and Location but in reality there is no tourist Center here.
Like in Calabar, We have TINAPA, OBUDU CATTLE RANCH among other Tourist Destination put together by Government.
As far as OBUDU CATTLE RANCH people still travel from different part of the country just to relax. President Goodluck Jonathan at a point went there to relax.
Sir can you point anywhere in Delta State you can go and relax? Not to talk about the Governor. It’s a shame that 7 years after.
The Delta Leisure and Mandela Garden you spoke about are just on paper and you won’t be around to see it come to reality because after your tenure you will going back to Nollywood.
If you want to enjoy, you can travel round the world enjoying tourist site but there’s none in your state.
Sir I was watching the CD of WARRI AGAIN concert and I saw you laughing and enjoying yourself seriously. But sir, why don’t you pause and think for once why there are not much Warri comedians performing?
Have you bothered to ask why they only provide two slots out of over 400 based Warri comedians?
Speaking ‘The Truth’
Its a pity I come from a country where if you dare speak the truth, you are label as a REBEL but we owe it as a duty to speak out so that people should start doing the right thing. Even as we share the National cake, we should remember the Cake is for everybody.
Sir if you think all what have said is just my own personal opinion, send some neutral persons into the street, you will be shocked with the kind of feed back you will get.
Photo Credit: Comedian Olokpa Facebook / Delta State Media