By Omiko Awa
THE Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently presents Jos Repertory Theatre in a play titled, A Ray of Hope, in Lagos.
The play talks about the harmful effects of violence, especially political violence in the country.
Beginning with a market scene, all was well in the market and its environs until a customer comes to buy a piece of cloth; though the said customer sensing the trader’s sharp practices changed his mind of buying from him, but his female co-seller seeing the customer leave the first seller’s shop presented hers. The first seller taking offence with second seller for not allowing him to make quick gains prevents the second seller from selling the piece of cloth.
In course of the emerging confusion, the customer leaves the market for the hapless traders to sort out things for themselves.
The imbroglio so created further brought the resentfulness each group holds against the other to the fore. This raised fear over some traders’ inordinate ambition to control the affairs of the market. This fear soon leads to violence and the destruction of wares, killing and injuring people.
To sue for peace, the customer who had ignited the time bomb calls all the stakeholders in the market to resolve their differences and to also choose credible leaders to mediate among warring parties and nib any future crisis in the bug.
The nine –man cast crew excellently knitted the market scene into our political life; showcasing how security operatives have cooperated with politicians to rig elections and undermined the fate of the majority of the people.
Apart from showing the dangers of tribal politics, ethnicity, vendetta, ethno-religious problems, kinship politics and other crisis that could endanger life, disrupt economic activities and create social dislocation, A Ray of Hope highlights how the Red Cross Society in their non- partisan stand provides aids during warring periods, provide succour for the wounded, re-unit displaced families and visit detainees in prison.
Speaking on the drama, the crew director, Wapi Barau says, “ it should be noted that violence and disagreement among people of any society is inevitable; but man has been given the divine opportunity to manage any of such acts that come his way.”
“The play aims at preventing violence and other related acts that may disrupt the 2011 election. Our contribution, is that of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), which says there can be and there should be peace during the 2011 elections and after,” he notes.
Established in 1863, the ICRC is at the origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence, by providing assistance that make live. It directs and coordinates international relief activities conducted by the Movement in situations of conflict. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
The play, which will soon be shown on TV and aired on radio across the country, has been performed before a mixed audience in designated halls in Jos, Plateau State; Kano, Kano State; Port- Harcourt, Rivers State; Obalende, Lagos State; FCT Abuja.