Nollywood crises: AGN rejects new Caretaker Committee | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nollywood crises: AGN rejects new Caretaker Committee

Posted: Jun 18, 2016 at 6:40 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hazeez Balogun – Lagos

Ever since Actors Guild of Nigeria’s (AGN) president, Ibinabo Fiberesima was elected, there has been a lot of moves to unseat her as the president. It became more intense as the actress herself has been away for a while. A body led by actor Emeka Ike had tried to take over the secretariat of AGN to no avail.
Another body now championed by some top actors including, Steve Eboh, Hakeem Rhaman, Bob Manuel Udokwu, and Ernest Obi are now poised to take over the guild. Calling themselves the new care takers they held a meeting at the Upcountry Hotel in Anambra State recently and came up saying they had assumed control of the guild.
They said that in order tEmeka Rollas save the crisis-ridden guild from further disaster following when Mr. Maradona Johnson got a judgment from a Federal High Court in Lagos dissolving AGN board and rendering the last election null and void since March last year, they have decided to form a new caretaker committee to stir the affairs of AGN.
In a chat, Bob Manuel Udokwu says, “In the quest not to leave a lacuna in the governance of the Actors Guild of Nigeria National Executive, the chairman of all the chairmen of the state chapters (Mr Agility Onwurah) in line with paragraph four of the judgment convened a congress.”
He said the essence of the meeting was to discuss and seek a lasting solution to the lingering crisis in the Guild and the need to constitute a solid structure to resuscitate the guild. The congress was attended by the chairmen, representatives and stakeholders.
According to a communiqué issued by the group, their aim is to take up the leadership of the guild, and also retrieve all relevant documents, properties and or/ materials belonging to the guild in line withSteve Eboh paragraph four of the court judgment. They also hope to provide good platform for reconciliation of aggrieved members and ensure peace and to reach out to sister guilds for good alliance.
In a swift response, the National Executive Committee of AGN sent in a release denouncing any such committee. “We received the news of a group purported to have set up a Caretaker Committee to take over the Guild as a shock because no group/stakeholders approached the National Executive Committee on the said meeting. Also our State Executive Committees were not aware of the purported meeting. Much as we would not like to respond to the resolution of the said stakeholders meeting which looks like a child’s play to us, however we need to set the records straight for avoidance of doubt by our teeming members and the general public,” th
e release said.
They say the fact remains that Ibinabo Fiberesima is the only elected President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria. They claim that the matter between St. Maradona Mclive Johnson and AGN which judgment was pronounced by the Justice T.S Tshoho of the Federal High Court Lagos on March 16, 2015 is a subject of appeal at the Federal Court of Appeal Lagos, no:  Ca/l/498/16.
“The National President is not also moved by all these distractions as she remains focused and committed to the welfare and well-being of our members. She cannot be cowed out of office. We have respect for the rule of law and shall abide by the legal and constitutional process in order to entrench a lasting peace in our noble Guild. We urged our members to equally disregard the so-called resolution which is aimed at satisfying the inordinate ambitions of disgruntled few in the Guild,” said Abubakar Yakub, the Secretary of Actors Guild.Bob Manuel-Udokwu
But the new group is not relenting. Steve Eboh who was named Caretaker Committee Chairman said this about his new appointment. “I am happy that the congress found us worthy to serve in this very tasking committee in this period. Nevertheless, we promise to do our best to bring back the past glories of this noble guild. We appeal therefore to all lovers of the guild to come together; let us work out a way forward. It is therefore my opinion that all hands must be on deck in this period of trial in the life of the guild. Let me appeal that each time the CTC calls on any of you please do oblige us. Finally, we promise to bring the guild to an enviable height and also promise to conduct a credible national election by the special grace of God.”
The Ibinabo Fiberesima executives continue to denounce the new caretaker committee and they continue to work with the committee that is on ground. They also say they will not relinquish any guild document or position as long as they are the duly elected executives.
“It is not possible. They do not have the constitutional rights to set up any committee. We are in court for appeal and until that is heard, they have no rights. They are not even genuine chairmen of the guild. They call themselves a group of stakeholders, really?,” one of the excos said.
For now, the AGN secretariat is still in control of the Ibinabo-led AGN, and the day to day running of the secretariat continues as usual.
Other Nollywood practitioners have continued to ask for peace to reign and both sides should sheathe their swords. “Fresh elections are in a few months, why should some people decide at this time to disrupt a system that is working. If anyone wants Ibinabo out, they should go to the polls and contest. With what is going on now, there will be uncertainties about the coming elections and Ibinabo might be asked to stay in power for longer. Is that not counter-productive for them?” asks a prominent Nollywood player.