BY BENJAMIN NJOKU & Austin Ogwuda
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has described Enebeli Elebuwa’s death as “painful and saddening.”
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sunny Ogefere, yesterday, said the governor was shocked that the concerted efforts by well-meaning Nigerians to save his life did not yield the desired result.
He said: “I am particularly touched because as a renowned Deltan and talented Nollywood actor, Enebeli still had a lot to offer to Delta, to Nigeria and the entertainment world.
“I recall that the thespian came to limelight in the 80s when he played the character, Andrew, in the Federal Government campaign to get Nigerians to believe in Nigeria. And since then, he remained dominant in the entertainment industry.
“He prayed God Almighty to grant the family, Nigerians and the colleagues in the entertainment industry, the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Confirming the sad news to Vanguard, on the telephone, Secretary-General of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Mr Yakubu Abubakar, said the leadership of the guild had declared a three-day mourning in honour of the departed actor.
He described the late actor as a father and a veteran who would be greatly missed by colleagues and the Nollywood community as a whole, adding: “We have lost a gem. Personally, he was a father to me, right from the NTA, he was there for me. He motivated and inspired me so much in life.”
The immediate President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Mr. Segun Arinze, described Enebeli as “a father-figure, an uncle,” adding: “He inspired a generation of Nigerian artistes. He fought gallantly and he was a great actor. We all called him Andrew but unfortunately, he has checked out.”
For Ejike Asiegbu, past president of AGN, “Enebeli battled death for several years when his ailment started gradually he conquered his prime enemy only for another challenge to take place. He bestroded the stage and screen like a connoisseur.”
Also, paying her tribute, award winning producer, Emem Isong, described the Enebeli’s death as “a huge loss to the industry, noting: “He was a veteran actor, a very interesting person to work with. I have worked with him a couple of time.”
Elebuwa, 66, died Wednesday after losing his one-year battle with stroke at the Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad Haryana, New Delhi, India.
His death came shortly after that of other veteran actors, Akin Ogungbe and Peter Eneh.