Nollywood star, Emeka Ike, has finally reacted to the court judgement of Monday, March 16, that upturned Ibinabo Fiberesima as president of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN).
Emeka Ike, in an exclusive chat with Nigeriafilms.com, disclosed that he gives Ibinabo 24 hours to apologise to the guild or she will be dragged to court again for contempt.
The actor spoke with Nigeriafilms.com in a telephone interview on Wednesday morning. He said he will soon roll out his plans for the guild and explained why he has been fighting this issue for a long time.
Here is excerpt from Emeka Ike’s interview with Nigeriafilms.com.
What is your reaction on Monday’s court ruling
I am the president of the people.
When are you likely to resume office
We have been working from where we are and we are trying to take things easy for now. We are legitimate people.
Will you be operating from the present AGN headquarters in Lagos
We are not going to answer all those questions right now. We are going to have our conference of chairmen and also to know what structure to put in place to make it an enviable industry and not just hand picking a few persons; that is not what the industry is all about, it is a grassroots-based one.
People people who carry ID cards, who have their PVCs; people who can work and have talents to showcase and not just the few of us who are lazy and can be used to derail the growth of the industry. Just watch out and see what will happen soon.
Will Ibinabo’s appeal of the judgement not cause a setback to your resumption
She has not appealed. Do you know what an appeal of a judgement means? The judgement was given on Monday and I ask, ‘has she received a copy of the judgement she wants to appeal at the moment?’ Hello sir (referring to the interviewer), don’t insult my integrity. Before you make any appeal, you have to write papers and take the papers to the right places and you make an appeal with that.
If you don’t have the judgement papers in your hand, how do you appeal it? And when you appeal, before you get the court’s attention, you must serve it, you must give a notice of it for at least 29 days in a newspaper. There are ways things are done logically on issues like this. It is not for you do things anyhow. This is a very sensitive case. You are dealing with an A-list person. Your mindset is your mindset, it should not affect the other.
I give her (Ibinabo) 24 hours to tender an apology to the guild, 24 hours for talking about appealing this case, if not, I will serve her court papers and her cohorts; I am not joking on this matter. I am not using thugs, I am not using OPC, I am not using any cult members, I am not using the police, I am applying the Nigerian justice system and that is the civilized way of doing things.
How will you simply describe the judgement
The justice system in Nigeria is still the hope for the Nigerian nation. I have always built my confidence in the Nigerian nation. This judgement makes one see that however it is, you will get justice in the Nigerian legal system. No matter what, nobody should resort to violence to seek for justice. I will always celebrate the Nigerian legal system.
What gave you the courage and drive to pursue this case for almost six years
The concern for humanity; the disenfranchised Nigerian youths. Those now enjoying the goodness of the industry never worked for the industry. Do you know how many states in Nigeria know anything that is happening at the centre here, let’s be realistic to ourselves. Do actors in Owerri (Imo State) know what is happening right here? Same with those in Zamfara, Kano and Ibadan. There have to be a direction in all these.
This is an industry that bears a mark that we say it has added 1.45% to our GDP rise. Then what are the characteristics, the things that make it give it value? We shouldn’t just leave it to rot because we want to get some Dollars. So, we have to save the Nigerian youths like Gani Fawehenmi did for Nigeria, People like Fela did it, people like Bob Marley did it. It is wrong that a Nigerian youth will want to come and join the movie industry and the only set of producers available are those that will tell you that you need to strip unclothe as a criteria of casting you. That is a violation of their human rights. That is not the industry we built.
Now, will your government continue from what Ibinabo has done lately with AGN, selling it as good brand or you will have to start all over again
I haven’t seen any positive thing. I have to get information from her, she has to give me the keys to the office, the properties of the guild in her possession and I can make an assessment. The land that was given to them in Anambra State; that was shared illegally by the powerful people, they need to submit this land to the people of Anambra. These are one of the things we are asking for, justice for the Nigerian youths, which I believe you (interviewer) is one of.
I am not doing all these because I want to be the president of AGN, I am doing it because that child that left her mother’s house to say ‘I want to be an actress’ will have the good environment to pursue her dream.