By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA- A Popular Nigerian actor, Chief Pete Edochie has been reportedly kidnapped at Nkpor, a suburb in the commercial town of Onitsha.
Details were still foggy at press time, although the State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka confirmed the development when Vanguard called him. He however, said that the state police command was still trying to get a clearer picture of the situation.
Vanguard gathered that shortly after the kidnap, somebody called his sister in-law, Mrs. Rita Edochie, who is also an actress, asking her to call her Edochieâ€™s number, adding that the number rang several times, but was not answered..
It was then that the family got the information that three people were allegedly shot during the scuffle to kidnap him before the kidnappers were able to take him away.
State Police Commissioner, Mr. Uzor Amankulor said in a telephone interview that he immediately relocated to the area with a view to rescuing the popular actor, adding that he and his men have started combing the bushes in the area to rescue him.
Pete Edochie, a devout Catholic, is considered one of Africaâ€™s most talented actors, by both Movie Awards and Movie Magicâ€™s Africa Magic Cable network.
Although a seasoned administrator and broadcaster, he came into prominence in the 1980s when he played the lead role of Okonkwo in an NTA adaptation of Chinua Achebeâ€™s all time best selling novel, Things Fall Apart.
Edochie descends from the Igbo people in Nigeria.
He has two sons that take to his acting traits; Linc and Yul Edochie.
Edochie got into radio broadcasting in 1967 as a junior programmes assistant after which he was elevated to the level of a Director.
He was director of programmes, but doubling sometimes as Deputy Managing Director and occasionally acting as Managing Director.
He quit ABS because the government decided to politicise the affairs of their FM station, thereby resulting in the entire management being asked to move out, including him. He was to be the immediate successor to the MD but had to leave and enrol into the movie industry.
Prior to that, he had featured in Things Fall Apart and had won an International Award. The BBC flew into Nigeria to interview him for his role in Things Fall Apart .He lived with his wife and two sons in Enugu, Enugu State in south-eastern Nigeria.
In 2005 the Actors’ Guild of Nigeria placed Pete Edochie and several other actors, including Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Nkem Owoh, Ramsey Noah, Stella Damasus Aboderin,Chinwe Okeke and Richard Mofe Damijo on a one year ban from filming after they were said to have been collecting huge fees from producers due to their A-list celebrity status.
The ban placed on these actors was seen as doom in the Nigerian film business, but currently, the actors are back in filming.