Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has come under fire from the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) for equating the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party — Peter Obi, with a Nollywood actor.
The Guild portrays El-Rufai as not only disparaging to the acting profession but also humiliating to the actors in Nollywood in a sharply worded statement signed by the organization’s Director of Communications, Kate Henshaw.
Recall that El Rufai in an interview with TVC a few days ago likened Peter Obi to a joke, saying: “Peter Obi is a Nollywood actor, and that is all he will speak about. This election is between the APC and the PDP because they have the footprints and the ‘spate’. Ethnicity and religious bigotry will not take you anywhere, and that is what the Labour Party campaign is about.”
However, a recent statement released by the AGN’s Director of Communications — Kate Henshaw, shows the body’s President Chief Ejezie Emeka Rollas, saying: “The National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Chief Ejezie Emeka Rollas, says El Rufai’s statement is not only derogatory to the acting profession but degrading to the actors in Nollywood.
“The statement is intended to belittle and demean the intellectual capacity of an actor. Using actors to make sarcastic examples of an unintelligent person is arrogant and condescending of a public office holder.
“The statement is very offensive and demeaning to the Actors Guild of Nigeria and Nollywood as a whole as it was purely intended to deride the acting profession.
“Nollywood Actors have in no small way projected the image of our dear country positively from the negative perception the likes of El Rufai and his cohorts have portrayed us to be.
“The Guild is utterly bewildered by this kind of statement from a sitting governor who claims to be educated and intelligent, referring to a noble profession of intelligentsia endowed with uncommon talent.
“Chief Rollas lamented that it is quite unfortunate, as it portrays the Governor’s ignorance of the pivotal role of the actor in the emerging global creative economy after many years of his checkered sojourn in government.
“Little wonder Nigeria is battling from serious economic quagmire after many years of clueless leadership who depend solely on the oil industry as they are bereft of ideas to grow and develop the country.
“Chief Rollas asserted that actors are intelligent, educated, creative, and highly endowed with the ingenious capacity to lead and develop Nigeria more than some average leaders in government houses today.
“The national president called on El-Rufai to withdraw his nescience statement and tender an unreserved apology to Nollywood Actors immediately.”
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