LATEST ON ACTORS GUILD OF NIGERIA CRISES
…..AGN IS UNITED AND PEACEFUL- EJIKE ASIEGBU
…..NO PEACE IN AGN- HAKEEM RAHMAN
…..AGN HAS NEVER KNOWN PEACE- REMI OHANJAYA
After about eleven months of lingering problems The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) on 1st February 2007 through the initiative of Chief Abogo the Managing Director of Downtown Salon and Chief J. Odoabeatu the Managing Director of O'Jez Music decided to move the movie body ahead after a peace meeting was held on the same date.
According to a statement which was jointly signed by Ejike Asiegbu the National President of AGN, Chief Ifeanyi Dike (Chairman Board of Trustees), Acho Ugenyi (National AGN Secretary), Emmanuel Ogugua (Vice Chairman Board of Trustees), Zack Orji (Former National President AGN), Okey Bakkassi Onyegbule (member Board of Trustees), Chief Odobeatu (CEO of O'Jez) and two attornies each representing the guild and the board of trustees.
In a memerandum read by Zack Orji on how to move the guild forward, eleven points agreement were adopted. Some of the adopted point read as follows, "The meeting affirmed that all authority over all issues of discipline within AGN is domiciled with national and states executive; There will be an expansion of the present board of Trustees along the six geo-political zones and demographic lines of Nigeria; that the board is purely an advisory body and members should act only within that capacity at all times; AGN constitution will be reviewed; that the incumbent President is an automatic member of the board of Trustees for the duration of his tenure.
The situation however does not suggest that the problems of AGN are far from being over as the National President, Ejike Asiegbu who intends to withdraw a law case he instituted against some AGN members from the court insisted that Hakeem Rahman, Remi Ohanjaya and Roy Appia remain suspended from the guild. “We should not forget that reasons why these people were suspended from the guild ranged from fraud, misappopriation of funds and other anti -guild offences. As I speak to you these set of people have not shown any sign of remorse or apologised formally. Hence the disciplinary actions against them still stand.
Hakeem Rahman is not a professional movie artiste. He was a banker so I wonder how he wants to lead a guild of professional movie actors.” Reacting to the outcome of the peace meeting, the factional leader of AGN, Hakeem Rahman said, “ It is obvious that Ejike is making efforts for a selfish interest as I have been informed that the Bayelsa State government wants to make some money avaialble to the AGN. The people who signed the memorandum of understanding are all sympathetic with Asiegbu. Infact, they have caused more confusion now because not everybody was represented at the meeting.
The question I would ask is must Ajike Asiegbu lead by violence or intimidation? I must say we are ready for peace but not in the manner which Ejike and his cohorts have gone about it. Hence we reject the outcome of the meeting in its entirety.” In the same vein Mr. Remi Ohanjaya, the suspended Lagos State chairman of AGN when contacted to react to the outcome of the peace meeting said, “It is quite distrubing that respected people like Chief Joseph Odobeatu (O'Jez), Zack Orji and Ifeanyi Dike would allow themselves to be dragged into Asiegbu's failed project. What happened was Kangaroo peace meeting without a full representation of all members of AGN. I state categorically that AGN has never known peace and that Ejike stands impeached.
We are waiting to go to court on 20th March, 2007, afterall Ejike sued myself, Hakeem Rahman and the board of trustees. Let no one be decieved there is no peace anywhere.” It would be recalled that the board of trustees appointed Hakeem Rahman some in year 2006 as the AGN president after Ajike Asiegbu was found wanting of high-handedness and mismanagement of funds.
BY TAIWO OBATUSIN