March 4, 2024

Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, Musawa, others, colleagues mourn death of Mr Ibu

Mr Ibu reportedly dies at 62

Actor died of cardiac arrest while receiving treatment —Manager
His death huge loss to the industry, nation—Obi

By Benjamin Njoku & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA — PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu, yesterday, said he received with deep sadness the news of the passing of two of Nigeria’s ace comic actors, John Okafor, famously known as Mr. Ibu, and Tolani Quadri Oyebamiji, popularly known as Sisi Quadri.

President Tinubu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale condoled with the families of “these gifted thespians who brought joy and relief to millions of Nigerians by the exercise of their geniuses.”

Also, presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Peter Obi and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 presidential election, described Ibu’s demise as “a huge loss, not just to the entertainment industry, but also, to the nation.”

In their separate condolence messages posted on their X (formerly Twitter), handles yesterday, they prayed for God to console the bereaved family and the country at large.

Also, Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, commiserated with the deceased’s family, describing the comic actor’s demise as “a sad one for everyone in the entertainment industry.”

In a statement, her Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Nneka Anibeze, Musawa said Mr Ibu’s demise was coming just 24 hours after the death of yet another Nollywood actor, Sisi Quadri.

Musawa said: “I’m deeply shocked at too many deaths occurring at the same time. Mr. Ibu was a household name who made families happy throughout his acting career.

“His death at this time is very unfortunate and a sad one for us all in the entertainment industry. We will sorely miss him. May his soul rest in peace.”

On his part, Atiku said Mr. Ibu would be sorely missed because he entertained people during his lifetime.

He said: “The reported deaths of actor and comedian John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu and ex-goalkeeper of the Super Falcons, Bidemi Aluko Olaseni, is a big loss to our creative and sports industries.

“These two great Nigerians lived to give us happy moments in entertainment and the beautiful game. They will be sorely missed.

“I pray that the Almighty shall grant their souls a peaceful repose and comfort to the grieving families and the country. Rest in peace, Mr. Ibu. Rest in peace, Bidemi Olaseni.”

Obi tweeted, “Just as I tweeted my condolence on the death of Nollywood actor, Sisi Quadri, a lot of people, through my comments section, called my attention to the death of veteran Nollywood actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu.”

Obi described Mr. Ibu’s demise as “saddening,” adding that he was a legendary comic actor, who embodied laughter, exuded joy and spread happiness.

“When sadly he took ill, we all prayed for his quick recovery and hoped he would bounce back in good health.
“His death is a huge loss, not just to the entertainment industry, but to the nation. Those artists who lighten the mood of the nation also perform a great task of helping us all weather the dark storms of life.

“On behalf of my family, I commiserate with his bereaved family, the Actors Guild of Nigeria, who just lost two legendary actors within a few days and the entire Nollywood family.

“We share the pains of his death but are comforted by the cherished moments of joy and happiness he left behind.
“May God, who called him home grant him eternal rest and grant his family, and all of us who mourn him, the fortitude to bear his sad irreplaceable loss. Rest in peace Mr. Ibu.”

Chief spokesman for Obi-Datti and Director of Media of the Labour Party, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, said Nigerians would miss Mr. Ibu’s hilarious comedy. He prayed to God to console his family at this trying time.

Mr Ibu, 62, died, weekend, at Evercare Hospital, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, as a result of a cardiac arrest.

National President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, Chief Emeka Rollas, who confirmed the sad news in an Instagram post, said Mr Ibu suffered cardiac arrest while receiving treatment at the hospital and did not make it.

According to Rollas, the deceased’s manager, Don Single Nwuzor revealed that the comic actor had been battling cardiac arrest for 24 years.

He said: “Sad day for Actors Guild of Nigeria. Kate Henshaw lost her mother earlier today and Mr. Ibu suffered cardiac arrest according to his manager, Mr. Don Single Nwuzor.

“I announce with a deep sense of grief that Mr. Ibu didn’t make it. May his soul rest in peace,” Rollas wrote on IG.

Colleagues mourn

Several Nollywood actors and producers including Bob Manuel-Udokwu, Charles Inojie, Nkem Owoh a.k.a Osuofia, Matthew Simpa, Destiny Etiko, Mercy Johnson-Okojie among others have taken to their social media platforms to express their grief over the actor’s demise.

Expressing grief over the demise of the veteran actor, Bob Manuel-Udkwu wrote: “It’s so shocking to hear the sad news of our friend and colleague John Okafor aka Mr. Ibu’s death.”

Filmmaker, Acho Ugenyi, described the late comic actor as “ a quintessential creative,” praying that the Lord should grant his soul eternal rest.

Actress Destiny Etiko, also described the late Mr Ibu as “a legend” while actor Charles Inojie wrote a short dirge in honour of the deceased.

“The peace of mind to recuperate peacefully…Was a favour too expensive to oblige you…Now, it’s all yours, bro.,” Inojie wrote on Instagram.

Mr Ibu late last year had one of his legs amputated after he cried out for financial assistance following his deteriorating health condition.