Nigeria: “Heir Apparent” back on air


Nigeria has been described as coming back on course with the introduction of “Heir Apparent” (Nigeria's Leadership Reality Television Show) conceived by IMS Advertising Limited for the National Orientation Agency (NOA) as a platform for producing capable Nigerian future leaders. The programme has been described as being capable of returning Nigeria to her old glory.

This assertion was made by former President Shehu Shagari, when the 37 contestants and officials of Heir Apparent paid a courtesy call on him in Sokoto, last Tuesday.
According to Shagari, Nigeria was derailed when youths were sidelined from the scheme of things especially leadership mentoring and all youth-friendly activities by past administrations, a situation he described as very unfortunate and devastating.

Describing the 37 contestants as Nigeria's future generational leaders who will in due course take over the mantle of leadership in every sphere of the country's governance, the former president maintained that the earlier Nigeria begins to groom leaders at their prime age, the better for the nation's socio-economic development.

"Importantly, the choice of Sokoto State by the officials to use as base for their training on cattle rearing signifies that the organisers are not only transparent but want first--hand information on cattle rearing and both agriculture and nomadic education in general," he said.

The contestants also paid an educational visit to the Sokoto State Cottage Industries along Abdullahi Fodio Road, Sokoto. They also visited Skills Acquisition Centre, The Waziri Junaidu History and Cultural Bureau before proceeding to Binedi Nomadic Settlement in Wurno Local Government Area for their practicals.

It would be recalled that the 37 contestants, who are currently in camp undergoing different kinds of trainings both mental and physical, had been to Okitipupa, Ondo State, on the same mission to receive tutorials on oil palm production as part of their pre-requisite for the emergence as the Heir Apparent.

After rigorous screening exercise, 37 contestants from across the federation were selected for the reality TV show. From a pool of over 5,000 applicants, contestants sat for written tests at both the local and state government levels where 56 candidates emerged for the final auditioning at the weekend in Abuja. The highly competitive selection of contestants was conducted simultaneously at the National Orientation Agency's offices in the 774 local government council areas and 36 state headquarters including the FCT at different stages of the selection process.

At the end of the exercise, 37 energetic young Nigerians from the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory were selected to slug it out amongst themselves for the coveted star prize of a Ford Explorer jeep, N5 million, and other mouth-watering gift items.

Group Managing Director/CEO, IMS Advertising Limited, Dan Esiekpe, explained that the first of its kind reality television show tagged 'The Heir Apparent' is a six-week long TV programme currently running on Nigerian Television Authority Network.

The programme was designed to run from October 9 to November 17, and will produce a winner who will be crowned in an elaborate ceremony as part of Nigeria's 50th Independence anniversary celebrations.

Esiekpe disclosed that elimination would be through the viewers' prerogative as they would have the opportunity to retain or eliminate participants via SMS.
Source: Daily Independent (Lagos) - 13 November 2010