Did the governor of Bauchi just star in Tope Oshin’s “Up North”?

Everything will be revealed in a tweet, I promise. Or rather, a series of tweets. The past month has seen techpreneur Editi Effiong and founder of the digital company Anakle turning his Twitter into some kind of travelogue. Currently in Bauchi for the shooting of Tope Oshin’s upcoming film Up North, Effiong has provided interesting insights on landscape and the indigenes and even recently tweeting something as existentially simple as this weather report:

And then this:

And this happened:

The story, as Effiong narrated via a thread, was that he had met Governor Abubakar on a flight in 2017 while returning from a research trip in Bauchi. He told the politician he was working on a film to be shot in Bauchi, and they would later bond in a way that Effiong couldn’t have expected, the governor wielding his power and status in providing all the access Effiong needed to seamlessly shoot Up North in the state (including giving out his convoy with escorts and sirens etc).

During pre-production, the governor asked Effiong if he could read the script of the film and when he saw that a Durbar will be needed, the governor introduced Effiong to the Emir, and even got permission to shoot at the Emir’s palace. And it gets better: seeing that the film required a governor, Governor Abubakar offered to play the role and here we are, an incumbent politician making his Nollywood debut. In a way, I think we have all been Schwarzeneggered.

“I’m trying to diversify my state economy and I have been begging Nollywood people to come and make films here,” Governor Abubakar said, when asked Effiong asked why he was so invested in Up North, “I have to support you guys, so you can go tell others. Also, you are employing a lot of Bauchi people.”

Effiong originally wrote the script for Up North and with tweaks from writers Naz Onuzo and Bunmi Ajakaiye, the movie is coming to life via Anakle Films, in conjunction with Inkblot Productions. Toplined by Banky W in his sophomore role, the movie also stars Big Brother Naija alumna TBoss, MTV Sugar Naija’s Rahama Sadau, Michelle Dede, Akin Lewis, and industry luminaries Hilda Dokubo and Kanayo O. Kanayo.

Shot in Lagos and Bauchi, principal photography started May 22, and the movie tells the story of a young rebellious heir whose NYSC year doesn’t go quite as planned. Up North is slated for release in December 2018.

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