By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Nollywood practitioners seem divided over the recent removal of fuel subsidy by the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The division came to the fore on Tuesday after aggrieved stakeholders under the aegis of the Association of Nollywood Core Producers(ANCOP) addressed the press, while disowning the earlier position allegedly taken by the Segun Arinze-led faction of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), as they resolved to throw their weight behind the government on the removal of the controversial fuel subsidy.
Arinze’s faction of AGN organised a “Nollywood Roundtable on Deregulation” held on Friday, December 30, at Eko Hotel and Suites to drum support for the federal goverment regarding the removing of the fuel subsidy.
But reacting to the ugly development at a press conference on Tuesday, in Lagos, president of ANCOP, Mr Alex Eyengho condemned the action of the Arinze’s faction of AGN, stating categorically that their position did not in any way represent the collective opinion of the entire Nollywood practitioners.
According to him, the fuel subsidy removal is anti-masses as there is no way the industry would pitch its tent against the Nigerian masses in favour of the government of the day.
His words, “after painstaking consultations by ANCOP with various stakeholders in Nollywood on this disgraceful act of Segun Arinze and co, and as a result of the abrupt removal of the fuel subsidy by the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, it was resolved, and we hereby state categorically that the Nigerian movie industry popularly called Nollywood, rejects in its entirety the fuel subsidy removal by President Jonathan.
The act is anti-masses and there is no way Nollywood would pitch its tent against the Nigerian masses in favour of a wicked cabal who have resolved to further pauperize the Nigerian masses.”
“We align ourselves absolutely with the position of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and all other progressives on this matter. We shall mobilize for, and key into legitimate protests organized by the nation’s labour movement in days and weeks ahead.
We use this opportunity to call on all Nollywood stakeholders across the country to identify with the organized labour in their respective states. It is clear that the fuel subsidy removal is indeed injurious to citizens of this country and the country itself. Nollywood can never, ever, ever endorse this pain-inducing policy of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan targeted at the Nigerian masses with a view to further impoverishing them.”
Also, sultry actress Genevieve Nnaji who happened to be one of the recent beneficiaries of National Honours by the present government has expressed worries over the fuel subsidy removal, stating that “I still can’t help but feel that fuel subsidy removal is the right move at the wrong time.”