The president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Emeka Rollas, has dissociated the guild from the Nollywood actors who visited the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Bola Tinubu.
After months of speculation, Mr Tinubu formally declared his intention to run for the country’s presidency in 2023.
He disclosed this to journalists after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on January 10.
In November 2021, Nollywood actor John Okafor (Mr Ibu), alongside his colleagues like Foluke Daramola, Harry Anyanwu, and Benedict Johnson, drummed support for Mr Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
Although the APC party stalwart was yet to declare his ambition at the time officially, Mr Ibu and his colleagues drummed support for him nonetheless.
The occasion was a meeting themed ‘South West Stands with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’ while the actors unanimously argued that Tinubu had impacted the people.
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Several backlashes greeted a viral video clip from the proceedings from Nigerians who faulted the actors’ partisan alliances. Mr Anyanwu was caught on camera saying, “one-day Asiwaju will rule Nigeria.”
On Thursday, Mr Rollas, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, said that the guild is not partisan and has no political affiliation.
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“Let me make this clear; actors are not supposed to be political, more especially when two or three actors are gathered.They should not be following a politician, and they should gather and do their own business, which is filmmaking.”
Although the infamous endorsement occurred in November 2021, the AGN was forced to issue a statement condemning the visit after a controversial Portharcourt-based pastor, Kassy Chukwu recently reigned curses on the actors for visiting Mr Tinubu.
In the viral video, the cleric could be heard condemning the actors, saying their endorsement of the APC chieftain would “be their end.”
Reacting to Mr Chukwu’s call out, the AGN frowned at the cleric’s remarks. According to the statement signed by the AGN national task force chairman, McSmith Ochendo, on Wednesday, the guild stated that the AGN is a non-political and non-profit making association.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to a trending video of one Apostle Kassy Chukwu the self-acclaimed oracle of the nation. In the video, Apostle Kassy @kassychukwu_official could be seen throwing curses and casting aspersions on some members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria who paid a courtesy visit to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
“He went further to deride Nollywood industry, a sector that contributes over five per cent to the nation’s GDP.
“This is very offensive and demeaning to the Actors Guild of Nigeria. The individual actors who visited Senator Ahmed bola Tinubu do not represent the Actors Guild of Nigeria. As individual actors, they are at liberty to visit, promote and even endorse whoever they deem fit to occupy the highest office in the land.
“Actors Guild of Nigeria is a non-political and non-profit making Association. It is an individual’s prerogative to support whoever they deem, and it is not enough for one so-called man of God to admonish and call out the whole of NOLLYWOOD and their families.
“It baffles us that a man who claims to be a servant of God could be seen throwing curses on members and families of the entire Nollywood. It is highly defamatory. We call on CAN/PFN and all other Christian bodies to call this nescience Pastor and his Luciferous preaching to order. Enough is enough. NB. NO MAN HAS THE MONOPOLY OF CYBERBULLYING.”