ByBenjamin Njoku & Etoaukwu Ngozi
There are strong indications that the politics playing out within the Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN) may soon take a dangerous toll on its members as they appear divided over last Wednesdayâ€™s election of Segun Arinze as the new president of the guild.
While Lagos State chapter of the guild, in a statementÂ signed by its chairman, Mr. Ernest Obi, described the election as â€œnull, void and of no effect,â€ stressingÂ that â€œit was a breach of AGN constitutionâ€ since he, Arinze is not a member of AGN Lagos chapter.
Some members saw the election as a welcome development to move the guild forward.
Among the AGN members who have lend their support to Arinzeâ€™s election are veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa, Kate Henshaw_Nuttal, Emem Isong and Ebeye Amanda.
Enebeli, blamingÂ the leadership of AGN for their inability to always consult elderly members of the guild in important issues that affect of the body, cautioned against conducting another election on behalf of the guild. He argued that there is no point calling for nullification of an election that has been conducted.
â€œIf an election has been conducted and Segun Arinze emerged the winner, whatâ€™s the reason for clamouring to nullify the election?â€ Elebeni asked.
Also, speaking in support of Arinzeâ€™s election, when contacted, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal declared that, â€œI support the election of Segun Arinze in totalityâ€, while Lilian Bach preferred to remain indifferent on the issue.
Arinze, last Wednesday, in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State capital, emerged president on the platform of the Ejike Asiegbu-ledÂ leadership.Â He defeated Charles Anwurum to become the factional president of the guild. But AGN Lagos, in a statement issued within the week, described Arinzeâ€™s election as a sham.
Rising from a meeting of the state chapter, members of the guild vowed that the â€œEjike Asiegbu false attempt at bravado will not go unchallengedâ€, adding that â€œit is very sad that Segun Arinze will allow himself to be used as an escape goat by the discredited Asiegbu.â€
Obi, describing Arinze as â€œnot a duly registered card carrying and financial member of the AGNâ€, said he is not qualified to contest for any elective position under the platform of the guild.
The chapter said while there is a subsisting matter in court awaiting judgment, which hitherto makes it impossible for Asiegbu and his cohorts to organize an illegal election, as far as it is concerned, there was no election held.
On his own,Â Arinze has advised the Kanayo.O.Kanayo-led caretaker committee to shun their â€œselfish interest and join hands with him to move the guild forward, adding that â€œthe guild is above every person.â€