Actors Guild elections: a private affair?
A successful manifesto night held , where the contestants, five out of six, took turns trying to convince those present of their sincerity to serve.
On the said day, maverick actor, Hanks Anuku stood out, with his very intelligent arguments and propositions. Emeka Rollas, managed to get a handful to listen to him, same for prince James Uche. The rivalry for the post was clearly detectable between Ejike Asiegbu and Tony One Week. They seemed to be the two titans, while the others could pass as supporters, safe for Hanks who showed his professional side by getting to the venue way ahead of the others. Ejike Asiegbu looked every inch the politician that he is. His delivery was forceful and purposeful. Tony One Week, on the other hand chose the nonchalant and airier approach to things. He chose to deliver his manifesto in pidgin English, which was criticised and applauded. And then the verdict was announced: Hanks Anuku came tops, followed by Tony One Week, Emeka Rollas, Ejike Asiegbu and lastly, James Uche.
Date for elections was fixed for 22nd of April, with inauguration for the 24th at Abuja, and contestants all returned to the drawing board to do their homework. But, recently, the rumour began to filter out that the elections are to be postponed indefinitely. By whom and for what reasons? Nobody was willing to give a definite statement.
But the electoral body to conduct the elections that were days away was yet to be constituted last week. The reason for this is given as an attempt to checkmate any intentions to rig or hijack the election to favour any group or person. But a twist to the story emerged last week with the alleged disfranchising of the Rivers State chapter of the guild from the coming elections. The idea was said to have been mooted by Sony Mc Don, a member of the Board. His move is seen by many watchers as a clear signal of the Board's preference for, and determination to see that their alleged candidate, Tony One Week, emerges president.
A confirmation of this allegation against the Board and its members was given credence when, on air, chairman of the Board, Ifeanyi Dike, openly endorsed the candidacy of Tony One Week, on the programme Igbo Kwenu on NTA Channel 10, Lagos. He was supported by Rich Azu, a guest on the programme, and a former member of the Ejike Asiegbu group.
Finally, Nollywood was able to catch up with Okey Bakassi, a member of the Board of Trustees of the AGN, and he stated thus:
Are you aware that elections have been slated for the 23rd of this month?
So why aren't you aware of this development?
Why I am not aware is probably because I have not been in town and nobody has deemed it fit to call me, to let me know what is happening. They are probably expecting that I should call to ask them.
But you are just one person on the Board?
Good. The AGN is bigger than one person, it is bigger than I am. So that Okey Bakassi does not know for now what is going on, does not mean that the activities cannot go on. If progress is being made as we speak, then it is good. We only complain when progress is not being made. At the last time I spoke with a member of the Board, the state that was to host the election was not ready for it, and based on that, the date had to be shifted. If they have fixed a new date and they are working towards it, then it is fine.
From the candidates, they seem to be ready.
The candidates have always been ready. They had a fantastic manifesto night. The only snag then, was that the date of the election was shifted.
Who are the members of the electoral body to oversee the elections?
I have not been in town, so I do not know.
Are you telling me that even with the phones you have not been corresponding with the other members?
The truth of the matter is that as we speak now, nobody has called me to say this is how far we have gone. I have to be very honest. What I am saying now, I can say anywhere.
Is this a pointer to the fact that the BOT is doing all these to be able to give their alleged candidate, Tony One Week all the needed support, and you are being kept in the dark, because you are not on his side?
How can the BOT back a member? I am not aware of that.
Or rather, Ifeanyi Dike, is said to have given Tony his blessing?
If Ifeanyi Dike has chosen…(cuts) I do not like to respond to speculations. By right, the Board is supposed to be impartial. No member of the board should be seen as backing any candidate. If any member does that, then it is illegal.
What is your stand on when the elections should hold?
The elections should hold as soon as possible. If elections are dragged for too long, unnecessary tension is created. So the earlier we get over with it, the better. There are so many issues before the association that need to be tackled. Any delay is against the betterment of the Association.