The much talk about African Movie Academy Award (AMAA) will now hold in Abuja, instead of Bayelsa State. Peace Ayiam-Osigwe, President of the AMAA announced the change in venue at a press conference this afternoon.The event has been slated for Saturday 26 April 2008.
This is necessary because of the present political mood of Bayelsa State, the host of the biggest movie award in Africa in three consecutive years. The nullification of the election of the Governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva and upcoming election in the state are some of the reasons why the organizers believe the award should hold outside the state.
Peace announced that it was a collective decision taken by the board of trustees, UBA Plc the title sponsor of the ceremony and other stakeholders. She, however, told the press that Bayelsa State is still very much involved in the ceremony.The only difference is that it wont hold on their soil.
The Award holds this Saturday at the congress hall of Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja. Everybody involved, from the UBA to the Bayelsa government and the board of trustees of AMAA are making sure the award have the usual razzmattazz.On that day, the world will focus on Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
“Since guests are arriving from across the globe for the awards, it is necessary to be cautious even if we as Nigerians would not find the situation uncomfortable or threatening. Right now the state is preparing for an election and we want them to be focus on issues at hand. Again, it might not be appropriate to hold the awards at the same period of electioneering campaign. Last year we avoided holding the awards during the election, which was why we decided to hold it before the election. So, there is nothing new moving the awards from election period.” She said
She, however, assured that the organisers are going to put up a good show at Abuja such that participants would not miss the Bayelsa hospitality.
She also noted that as an academy, it represents the Pan African award, and as such do not represent Nigerian award. On the nomination exercise carried out in South Africa, Anyiam said it is important for AMAA to do the nomination in South Africa as it is part of the whole Pan African voice. “It is made up of the whole of Africa and those in Diaspora,’ she added.
Pix 1-Peace Ayiam- Osigwe (middle) adressing the press