Actors’ Guild Crisis: Emeka Ike, Ibinabo trade words

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The struggle for the leadership of the governing body of Nigerian actors, Actors’ Guild of Nigeria, has remained a seemingly endless affair for some time now.
Though the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, stripped Ibinabo Fiberesima of her position as the president the Guild and handed power to Emeka Ike, the case had been taken to the Court of Appeal.
A statement, which was released during the week by the Secretary of the Fiberesima camp of AGN, Abubakar Yakub, instigated a fresh face-off. According to the statement, Fiberesima remains the only elected president of the AGN.
The statement said, “The National Executive Committee of AGN 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 NEC 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, we need to set the records straight.” It added, “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.
“Until final judgment is given by the Supreme Court, if it takes us there, it will ever remain like that. Examples abound of how state Governors were sacked by tribunals and even appeal courts, but were never removed from office until Supreme Court gives its final judgment.”
Yakub said that the national and states’ executive committees as well as committed members were not deterred in the face of all the provocations coming from a particular section of the Guild.
He disclosed that the AGN President was also not moved by all the distractions as she remained focused and committed to the welfare and well-being of 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 lasting peace in our noble Guild. We urge our members to disregard the so called resolution, which is aimed at satisfying theinordinate ambitions of a disgruntled few in the Guild,” he said.
Speaking with The Point, the ‘new’ president of the Guild, Emeka Ike, insisted that he had no issue with anyone as he was only following the rule of law.
He said, “We have judgment on our side. Educated Nigerians like you should not allow illegality to stay because you want to do your job. Since there is a court order, please advise Nigerians to obey it and stop spreading negativity.
“The only place you can get judgment regardless of who you are is the court. If the court says you should pack out and you’ve refused to pack out, it shows that you are lawless. These (Fiberesima and her camp) are group of people who don’t respect the rule of law. If you don’t respect the court, who do you want to respect?”
According to him, if the aggrieved section of AGN feel they need judgment, they should file their records and go back to the Appeal Court.
“For like a year, you didn’t compile your records. But you are going about collecting money from people and saying you have appealed. Now, you are asking for time to compile records after a year, are we stupid?”
On why he had decided to stay away from acting, Ike said he got tired of making money for South Africans.
He lamented: “Why would I be acting for South Africans? The last time I acted was six years ago. I stopped because I cannot continue working without getting royalties. They pay all other countries but when it comes to us, they say we don’t deserve to be paid. They keep lying that we are just 10 million people who subscribed to DSTV, but I know we are more than that. If you multiply N10, 000 by 10 million, that is N100 billion every month.
“I am trying to see how our structure would affect productivity and take home. If we continue to talk about peace, it wouldn’t make sense unless there is protection of human rights.”