Play Network to dramatise 1993 plane hijack
The story of Nigeria’s 1993 plane hijack is to be turned into a feature film called Hijack ’93.
The news was revealed by Play Network CEO Charles Okpaleke, who said that Nigerian storytellers should focus on Nigerian stories, both classics and real-life events, and turn them into feature films.
In 1993, four Nigerian teenagers, angry at events that followed the June 12 elections, hijacked a Nigerian Airways plane that was heading to Abuja from Lagos.
According to Okpaleke, the story will be based on accounts from the four hijackers.
“Since history was taken away from our Nigerian curriculum, we leave our kids with little to no knowledge about their past heroes, about the ‘villains,’ about the country that was and everything that has led to the Nigeria that is,” he said.
“We decided to take this responsibility upon ourselves, lest stories like that of King Jaja of Opobo – which we are currently in the phase of pre-production – the Nigerian Airways flight hijack, and many more, be forgotten.
“Two years ago, we interviewed three out of the four young Nigerians who hijacked athe plane in Nigeria in 1993 to protest the annulment of the June 12 elections. These young, brave, patriotic Nigerians were in their early 20s, and after they got arrested, went to prison for over a decade at such a prime moment in their lives.”
Okpaleke added that auditions for the film will begin next month, via Play Network. Hijack ’93 is being produced in partnership with the British Film Institute and the British government.