By Benjamin NJOKU & Bridget AMARAEGBU
A mild drama ensued on Monday at the secretariat of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, in Surulere area of Lagos, when embattled Segun Arinzeâ€™s attemptÂ to halt the care-taker-committee of the guild from conducting a counter-election that produced actor Emeka Ike as the new president of the guildÂ hit a brick wall.
Arinze last month was appointed to head the alleged government of national unity set up by the Ifeanyi Dike- led Board of Trustees of the guild, with Emeka Ike as his vice as a way of movingÂ the troubled guild forward.
He allegedly stormed the guildâ€™s secretariat with a team of policemen from Area D, Mushin, with an intention of stopping the election. However, he failed as the Kanayo O. Kanayo led- interim government,Â armed with a court order, refused to be intimidated as they went ahead to conduct the election.
In a court order dated 13th of June, 2009, and which was shown to the policemen that came with Arinze, the caretaker committee exercised the power confined on it to conduct a general election for the guild.
It would be recalled however that Mr. Arinze recently emerged president of the guildÂ in a controversial election conducted by the erstwhile president of the guild, Ejike Asiegbu in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
He was disowned by the Lagos State chapter of the body, which described his election as a â€œshamâ€,Â labellingÂ him a non-registered member of the chapter. Ikeâ€™s election is bound to trigger off another round of crisis within the guild.
Before the election, which was endorsed by all state chairmen and delegates of the guild, Emeka Ike had described Segun Arinze as a â€˜jokerâ€™, adding that, â€œSegun is not AGN president and he cannot be one. Constitutionally, he is not eligible to be a president because I learnt he is not a degree holder and not even a card carrying member.
â€œYou can ask him to present his certificate the same way Iâ€™m ready to present mine any time. What he is doing is just a waste of time because the real election is what we haveÂ just conducted today.â€
The spokesperson of the guildâ€™s interim national government, Charles Okafor, once noted that â€œthe priority of this interim leadership headed by Kanayo O. Kanayo has a mandateÂ to conduct a credibleÂ election that wouldÂ usher in a new president and executives of AGN, and nothing will change it.
The election will definitely hold.â€
He added that with the support of AGN members in the country, all hands have been on deck to conduct a free and fair elections.
Elected alongside Ike were Mr. Femi Durojiaye, (National Secretary), Mohammed Odoko, (vice-president, North Central), Sanni Mohammed(vice-president, North east)Yusuf Bako Mohammed, (vice-president, South-South), Nkiru Sylvanus(vice-presidet, South-East) and Victor Edogun(vice-president, South-West).
Others were, Benita Nzeribe(PRO), Ngozi Onoka(D.G.S), Azi Oliver Akalugu(Finance Secretary), St. Maradona N. Johnson(Treasurer) and Amniu Abdaulla Tafia, who clinched the position of Assistant secretary.