The death of one of Nollywood's actors, Lugard Onoyemu may be painful to many, but the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) may feel more pained taking into considerations circumstances surrounding his death and the 'attitude' the Ibinabo Fiberesima-led AGN had towards the actor's death.
You will recall that late Lugard died on Thursday at the National Stadium, Lagos, in preparation for a novelty match played between AGN and the Sun newspaper.
As we confirmed, the novelty match went ahead as planned on Saturday.
In a statement made available to Nigeriafilms.com the president of ANCOP, Alex Eyengho, described AGN's action as "unbelievably insensitive, manifestly clueless and extremely uncaring."
Eyengho said Lugard Onoyemu, a former Secretary-General of the Lagos chapter of AGN, shouldn't have got the treatment he got from AGN.
Part of the statement reads, "the attitude of the leadership of AGN is condemnable by any right-thinking stakeholder in Nollywood, knowing the role the late Onoyemu played in adding value to the AGN brand."
Eyengho further said in the statement that ANCOP was still in shock that "the AGN leadership had the heartless courage to go on with the scheduled novelty football match as if the life of the deceased meant nothing to the guild.
"I have always said it that it is the measure of respect we accord ourselves in this industry that we should expect to get from outsiders. How on earth could Lugard Onoyemu die on the training pitch in preparation for a novelty match, and his colleagues went ahead with the same match, less that 48 hours after his death, as if nothing happened.
"As if the novelty match was more important to the leadership of AGN than the life of the late Onoyemu. A concerned and sensitive leadership would have postponed that match indefinitely or at least for two weeks or more in honour of the deceased. Going ahead with that match as scheduled showed that we don’t value ourselves in this industry.
"I am extremely disappointed in Ms. Ibinabo Fiberesima and her team at the national level of AGN and whoever is the current Lagos state chapter Chairman of the guild. It is not enough to observe a minute silence during the match. No, the match should have been postponed indefinitely.
"Or was there something at stake that made the match irreversible as scheduled? How do they want the family of the late Onoyemu to feel over the way their husband, father, brother and son was treated by a guild and industry he served meritoriously all these years?
"This is very sad. I know that the next thing now is to invite the industry to a ‘Candle Light Night’ for the deceased at Ojez in Lagos, raise some funds in the name of the deceased, make some speeches, make some noise in the mass media and the story ends there. For how long are we going to continue like this?"
Reacting to these allegations, Ibinabo, when contacted on phone, said that the novelty match was not organised by AGN as claimed by Eyengho.
She told Nigeriafilms.com that the Sun newspaper only invited AGN to play the novelty match against their team in celebration of the media giant's 10th year anniversary.
According to Ibinabo, Eyengho is just seeking unnecessary relevance. She said that Eyengho is leading an unknown group in Nollywood and is seeking publicity for himself and the group by attacking everyone in the movie industry at every opportunity.
Ibinabo asked where was Eyengho when Lugard was sick and needed help? She however said that Lugard's death was painful to her.
© 2013 Nigeriafilms.com
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