BADAMASI: Filmmaker, Obi Emelonye Unmasks IBB

BADAMASI: Filmmaker, Obi Emelonye Unmasks IBB

So much has been said, written, rumoured and even predicted at different times at different forums about Nigeria’s most popular, dreaded and longest serving military president so far, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (popularly known as IBB).

However, nobody has been able to capture, unmask and present his story in a movie just as a few African leaders like Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba and Idi Amin, in the past.

But a film that will do it all is set to roll now and brain behind it all is one of Nollywood’s best hands- Obi Emelonye who has been through many creative projects, is generally seen as a formidable artistic force on the African continent.

He explained during its unveiling in Lagos recently that BADAMASI will be shot for cinema with the highest level of technical details and visual realism ever seen in Africa.

The project, billed to commence next month will be shot on locations in Minna, Abuja and Lagos with its post-production slated for London between August and September. “Its world premiere will hold on our Independence Day, October 1st at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja as well in cinemas across the country,’’ he assured.

The film, according to him, will be hard-hitting (and) controversial, but historically factual in its treatment of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s rise from orphan obscurity to the zenith of Nigerian military power; “unafraid of touching raw-nerves,” and being boldly revealing with the ultimate aim of giving the viewers unprecedented access into some of the most defining and controversial moments of Nigeria’s journey to nationhood, from the civil war to the many coups, from the IBB years to June 12.

For so long, he continued, “so many of these issues surrounding the IBB years have been shrouded in mystery and hearsay, remaining eventually unresolved. This has not been helped by the noble silence of the man himself since stepping aside from the biggest office in the land.’’

And in a series of no-holds-barred interviews which he said were held in his house in the wee hours of the nights, the producer of “Mirror Boy’’, “Last Flight to Abuja’’ and other hit movies got him to speak, for the first time, about the controversies.

“The result is some shocking perspectives and revelations that make this film a must watch for every Nigerian and indeed every African,’’ Emelonye asserted.

However, contrary to what many people would be thinking about the big budget movie; “IBB is not the one sponsoring the project. It is a film of national relevance that the government ought to support but I am the one doing it all. It’s like Nollywood which they don’t support but we are moving on. But if anyone or organizations want to support, no problem,’’ he concluded.

THEPOST learnt that the cast list of Badamasi is soon be unveiled, but being a military thing, it will consist mainly of men.