Jos museum cries for re-birth
In less than few months of assuming office as curator, National Museum Jos, Mrs. Carol Ezeokeke is battling to re-orientate the staff. But the poor state of infrastructure at the museum is one major challenge, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME
The curator of National Museum, Jos, Plateau State, Mrs. Carol Ezeokeke has decried the poor state of infrastructure at the museum, a situation she said, demands urgent attention of the authority in order to save the institution from total collapse. She disclosed that because of ageing, virtually all the buildings at the nation’s oldest museum are leaking including her office. Ezeokeke also identified mobility as another major challenge she had to contend with since assuming office as the curator of the museum. “My greatest challenge is mobility and the structures are ageing. Even my office is leaking. The buildings are all leaking, from my office to the library, accounts, store etc. In fact, the underground store is being threatened,” she said.
But in order to overcome the challenges, she has charted a new road map starting with the hosting of a re-packaged international museum day celebration last month. She initiated a three-point agenda upon which she anchors all her activities to revive Jos museum, citing re-orientation, restructuring and repositioning as the agenda for better service delivery to the public.
In an exclusive interview with The Nation, Ezeokeke said she met a work force with very low morale, a defeatist and poor attitude to work which, she added negated individual productivity and overall performance of the museum. She explained that in order to get the best from the workers she had to start with motivational strategies, using different approaches of orientation and taking advantage of the strength of the workers to achieve results.
According to her, the new road amp became necessary because she met a wok force of low morale and defeatist attitude to work. “First assignment was to motivate and re-orientate the workers. In fact, there are four museums in one in Jos. I had to give the staff a new orientation because our size must be o strength. The Jos Museum must move up and I told the staff I will put square peg in square hole, though I was deployed from the Institute of Museum and Archeological Studies, Jos. That was the first major step followed by the restructuring. She noted that after the international museum day celebration on May 18, she saw a new zeal and dedication among the workers, adding that to say she has committed followers, is to say the least.
She described museum as a product of tourism and destination, which must be kept alive.
This year’s museum day in Jos was celebrated with a difference. The event featured six local government councils in the senatorial zones presenting their traditional cuisines, dance drama, fashion show, poetry and football match. The event was designed to showcase the intangible heritage of the councils as well as other councils outside Jos.
To further attract tourists to the museum, the Coronation Hill, which lies within the museum premises is being considered for development by the museum authority in Jos. Atop the plateau is a flat landscape capable of accommodating the structures. But there is a rugged foot path leading to the hill top that requires improvement for convenient walk.
“We are reviving it for tourism destination. Each nationality in the state can erect a structure reflecting their identity. For instance, the Bassa people in Jos East are very interested. The hill, which provides an aerial view of Jos, will when developed, serves as recreation facility as well as geographical and environmental centre for learning,” she said.
In Umuahia, it’s children feast
By Ozolua Uhakheme
Assistant Editor (Arts)
‘Our great love for our future leaders cannot be quantified in material terms. We owe them every responsibility to bring them up in the fear of God and provide quality leadership, training and education to them for the actualization of their hidden roles of fatherhood, rulership and role modeling.’ This was the position of Director, Research and Education, National Gallery of Art, Dr. Kweku Tandoh while speaking at this year’s children day celebration organized by the National Gallery of Art, Umuahia, Abia State.
Dr. Tandoh stated that NGA in its mandate to fish out talents in visual art discovered in the children, great potentials, which in all proms and caprices are jewels in the hands of a prosperous nation. It is in this regard, he said, NGA designed the children day activities to provide platform for the actualization of their talents, as well as access to instructors who would expose the children to information and learning instructions capable of harnessing their innate abilities.
This year’s event was held by NGA in collaboration with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Pacesetter FM 103.5 with supports from numerous sponsors like Hoeffers Restauant and Fast Food, ABC Transport Abia Line Transport, Seven Up Bottling Company, Eastern Comfort Hotel.
Fostering peace on the Plateau
Last year November, the hitherto peaceful hilly state of Plateau suffered avoidable human and material losses following some skirmishes in some parts of the state. Today, the National Artistes Platform Initiative is using art fiesta to reinforce those values that bind the people once noted for peace and hospitality, reports Assistant Editor (Arts), OZOLUA UHAKHEME.
After a series of seemingly senseless carnage on the Plateau, the traditional trade mark of the people; (peace and tourism), is fast regaining its lost values. And to foster a smooth return of culture of hospitality and peace to Plateau state, the National Artistes Platform Initiative, an NGO, is using the rich but diverse cultural heritage of the people as a veritable avenue. Tagged Plateau State Cultural Expo 2009, the event is being organized by the NGO following the need to rebuild pillars of reunion amongst the people through cultural exposition that features art exhibition, dance performances and lecture from the 17 local government areas in the state. It is also organised as part of the efforts to energise the on-going government’s revitilisation of the cultural sector by re-enforcing the strategies in the preservation of Plateaus state heritage.
The chairman of the central organising committee of the expo, Mr. Yusuph Dilas, said the event became necessary at a time like this to tell the world that Plateau state is determined to keep their culture of peace and hospitality despite the recent crises. He noted that the expo would also serve as a platform to showcase the culture of Plateau to the world while using the platform to bring everybody together once again as a peace loving people.
“Apart from the exhibition and dance performance, the event will feature a lecture to be delivered by one of the state governors who will talk on the theme; Culture and the challenges of social integration an development. The lecture will focus on restoring peace in the state and the nation because we cannot afford to change our identity from being a home of peace an hospitality,” he explained in an interview with The Nation in Jos. The three day event, which is being supported by MTN, FCMB, Nigerian Breweries Plc, NTA Jos, Glo, Fidelity bank, Zenith Bank and Finbank among others will open on September 11 till 13, at the Jos Township Stadium and the Plateau Hotel Rock Garden, Jos. Dilas disclosed that the organizers of the expo have one hundred percent support and cooperation from the state government adding that the commissioner for tourism, culture and environment, Barrister Joel Gwatau is interested an supportive of the event.
‘I sign the totality of my person on my paintings’
Three years after his last solo at the Nimbus Arts Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, Duke Asidere, one of Nigeria’s modern artists will on June 23 present his recent paintings, drawings and water colours at Thought Pyramid, Abuja to the growing Abuja art market. Assistant Editor (Arts), OZOLUA UHAKHEME was in his studio.
Encountering Duke Asidere is always a refreshing exercise for every social commentator. He is not just a painter ‘imprisoned’ by his studio activities. From talking art to politics, philosophy, career development, environmental degradation and Niger-Delta crises, he is always at home. A recent meeting with the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria trained fine artist at his studio in Egbeda on the outskirt of Lagos, revealed the many elements that inform the near deviant approach to art, the theme of his art, his studio life and why he is obsessed to information in the newspapers as against the electronic media.
His moderately furnished apartment that also doubles as studio is a true reflection of his person- restless, media freak, especially newspapers, and a man with high taste for aesthetics. And all the furniture, electronics and fittings are in their right places. But for his paintings, no place is a ‘no go area’ not even his bedroom.
To him, painting each day is a normal exercise. And he is not dispose to keeping the palette wet primarily because of an impending exhibition. “I simply work not to prepare for an exhibition. So, everything I do affects my mentality and the paintings. In fact, all the emotions I feel about the nation find expression in my paintings. Anything that comes to my mind, I do. That is how I do my art. And that aspect of painting for buyers is a different issue,” he said, noting that his art is an embodiment of his total personality.
But can one separates Asidere from his paintings? Asidere who taught at the Auchi Polytechnic, between 1990 and 1995 explained that he never signs his signature on his paintings just as signature. “I sign my person and the totality of me and not just a signature on the works,” Asidere added. Despite the relative hunger among many artists, Asidere abhors commercialization of art and the artists. He says when an artist commercialises everything about himself, he stands to loose the potency of his woks. “For any artist, the day he stops searching, it is all over,” argued.
Expectedly, the interview shifted towards national issue. Hear him: “After examining the totality of our existence as a nation, I found that our leaders are the real militants. All the looters of our treasuries have never been punished. And we will not get a better Nigeria until there is bloodshed.”
Any discerning collector will certainly find works in Asidere’s studio and apartment a rich portfolio for collection. As at time of writing, he has a large collection of paintings that can conveniently serve three separate exhibitions. Yet, he is not in a hurry to show because often time, collectors come calling for them. “My drawings especially get picked up easily by clients and they pay my bills, he hinted on the marketability of his drawings on paper.
For the forthcoming solo exhibition in Abuja, he will be featuring works dating back to 16 years, which are more on women, housing and events. Specifically, he is presenting 20 paintings at the Abuja show. They are mainly oil on canvas, board, water colour, and drawings he did after the dream and queen series.
To followers of Asidere these past years, the evolution of his paintings has witnessed a great deal of experimentations, yet, he emerged distinct in content and form. In fact, from his mini sketches to drawings and paintings you constantly find those peculiar traits of his running through all. Though has explored themes like dream, queens and environment, he displays some high level of mastery of the medium, especially oil.
He has over the years broken the rules and patterns many green horns will hold as sacrosanct. The colour scheme and stylized forms are among the strong points of his works. Yet, the message of the works is never lost because like a draughtsman, he arranges all the elements in harmony and compelling format for the eyes.
But one can still discover in him some passion for experimentation. For the Abuja show, he has among others two paintings on board, which are semi-abstract. Asked why abstract on board? He simply says: “I want to feel free to splash the oil and walk round the piece while painting, and yet make impact.”
Nnenna Okore: A sweet home-coming
By Ozolua Uhakheme
Assistant Editor (Arts)
After about a decade of absence, New York-based Nigerian artist, Nnenna Okore will return to the Nigerian exhibition circuit this Saturday at the Goethe Institut, Victoria Island, Lagos. She will present Of Earth…Bark and Topography, a solo art exhibition featuring recent images and sculptures made from discarded and found objects that explore the abstract, while finding answer rather in style than in words or simplified messages. The sculptural pieces for the show broadly reference structures associated with plant, life, and environmental relief. Nnenna’s works explore how natural processes such as erosion and deformation regenerate into more stunning forms.
Expectedly, her former art teacher at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Professor of Sculpture, El Anatsui, who curated her last show New Energies in 2001 in Lagos before leaving for the US, is special guest of honour at the opening. Of Earth…Bark and Topography will un till July 10.
Nnenna art is inspired by the use of discarded and found objects in Nsukka and the environs. Her work, by virtue of these influences, celebrates the transformation of discarded materials into cultural objects, forms, and spaces and brings a critical focus to bear on the consumption and recycling cultures in parts of Nigeria. Her materials include newspapers, wax, cloth, rope, clay and sticks and she applies various repetitive and labor-intensive techniques, like weaving, twisting, sewing, dyeing, waxing and rolling, which were learned by watching villagers perform everyday tasks. These processes accentuate colors, textures and other visceral qualities of her sculptures. But is Nnenna offering something special for her Nigerian audience?
Nnenna who bagged a BA degree (first class) in painting from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1999, is an Assistant Professor of art, North Park University. She also bagged MA and MFA degrees in sculpture from University of Iowa in 2004 and 2005. Currently, her work is on display at Sakshi Gallery, India, and her second solo will open at Chicago Cultural Centre in July. She will also exhibit in a year-long exhibition titled Trash Menagerie, curated by Janey Winchell at the Peabody Essex Museum, in Salem Massachusetts and runs from June 20, 2009 till June 2010.
Unlike her past outings, this weekend exhibition at the Goethe Institut means much to the artist as well as her admirers or fans. First, it is her first solo show back home since she left for further studies in the US in 2001. Also, the show is likely to provide opportunity for her admirers to have a direct feel of her new menus and get updated on her creative journey these past years. It would be recalled that her participation in the much touted Bonhams auction: Africa Now; African Contemporary Arts, attracted a mixed grill of media reports in Nigeria. She exhibited Ashoebi II, a 2008 piece measuring 122X229 cm, which was the cover of the brochure and put at an estimate price of between 22,000 and 32,000 pounds.
For her, the show is a sweet home coming and an opportunity to reflect on how the local art scene has fared since she left the country.
Despite all these, Nnenna will not in anyway be under pressure because she has a loaded portfolio that can meet the demands of the Nigerian audience. Apart from found objects, she is at home with several media like clay, paper, video art, installation and photography. Since relocating to the US in 2001, she has continually kept her chisels busy and sharpened while pursuing her academic career. Since Metaphors, Alternative Space, Lagos in London in 2001, each year she held one solo show till last year with Reclamation, at Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Wales and Ulukububa- Infinite Flow at October Gallery, London. Last year alone, she was in Jo’Borg, South Africa for the Jo’Borg Art Fair apart from participating in seven other group shows in New York, Illinois, London and Wales. Interestingly, she did not snub arts events on the continent, as she featured in the Dak’art biennale Senegal, in 2006. In fact, the latest show in the Oriel Mostyn Gallery's temporary Oriel 6&7 space features sculptural assemblages by Nnenna. That Nnena is an emerging star and one of the most celebrated African artists in Diaspora is to say the least. Top leading newspapers in UK and America have acknowledged this by devoting good spaces for her reviews. Little wonder Bonham auction house’s choice of her work as cover of the auction’s brochure threw up some hot debate among critics and fellow female artists in the country.
It is not unlikely that Nnenna’s kind of art find some comfort with the direction Prof. El Anatsui charted in Nsukka, which has continued to attract more disciples. Like Anatsui, Nnenna finds found objects and waste items very useful and precious. While her raw materials might be throwaway - newspapers, mud, sticks, old rags and rope - Nnenna weaves these banalities together with such intricate care that the end products appear like some kind of ritualised artefacts.
Nnenna’s art is tilted towards recycling waste to wealth. Some critics describe her works as ‘always organic in composition, her constructions have some of the ergonomic architectural integrity of birds' nests, spiders' webs or termite mounds. As a formative influence she mentions the yam barns and thatched shrines of Nsukka in South-Eastern Nigeria and the local markets where "the recycled cardboard boxes, newspapers and cement paper bags that served as insulation, bed padding, gift-wraps, mats, table covering and food wrappings were alluring to behold.’
She says of her inspiration: “Much of my inspiration stems from my childhood years at Nsukka, a small university town in South-Eastern Nigeria. As a child, I was fascinated by the social, natural, and man-made conditions in rural dwellings around the University campus. Embedded within its landscape were evocative imageries captured within its rocky slopes, and architectural structures. I came across several stunning traditional art and architectural forms, such as, roofed shrines characterized by huge mounds of sand under a thatched structure, and yam barns and fences that traced the borders of people’s compounds. I was also drawn to simple sights of bare-footed children appropriating toys and hunting tools from scrap objects.
Other compelling views that appealed to my sensibilities were the carefully arranged wares borne on the heads of street peddlers, and household items in the market place lined up on the termite eaten tables and pews, plant tubers assembled in huge piles as well as sacks of grain stacked six to eight feet high and four to ten feet wide. Of course, the recycled cardboard boxes, newspapers and cement paper bags that served as insulation, bed padding, gift-wraps, mats, table coverings, and food wrappings within the market environment, were alluring to behold.”
Continuing, she added: “Of all the aspects of rural life that inspired me, the use of discarded objects and found materials in coping with poor economic conditions, had the most profound impact on me. It is reflected in the visual content and imagery of my works, which by virtue of these influences, celebrate the transformation of discarded materials into cultural objects, forms, and spaces, and bring a critical focus to bear on the consumption and recycling cultures in parts of Nigeria. My materials include newspapers, wax, cloth, rope, clay and sticks and I apply various repetitive and labor-intensive techniques, like weaving, twisting, sewing, dyeing, waxing and rolling, which were learned by watching villagers perform everyday tasks. These processes accentuate colors, textures and other visceral qualities of my sculptures.
Currently, I am invested in forms that explore, or are inspired by intimate spaces, shelters, architectural and natural environments, and ideas related to textures, colors, qualities and social values associated with African fabrics, using multiples and repetitive processes.
US researcher at OYASAF for ONA
By Ozolua Uhakheme
Assistant Editor (Arts)
A US arts historian, Janine Sytsma from the University of Wisconsin, has commenced a ten-week arts graduate residency programme at the Omooba Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Art Foundation (OYASAF), Lagos, becoming the second foreign researcher so far on the foundation’s residency after Ian Bourdland. Sytsma’s research at the foundation will focus on the contemporary Nigerian art with emphasis on the ONA movement.
Speaking at an interactive session with Art writers at the foundation’s headquarters in Lagos, Sytsma said she got interested in contemporary Nigerian because of her friendship with Nigerian artists like Moyo Okediji and Moyo Ogundipe, who are presently in the US.
“I have lots of Nigerians as friends in the US while I was in school. I have also seen some works on ONA, but not as much as OYASAF has in its collection. So, coming to Lagos will offer me lots of access to other artists’ works on ONA,” she added.
Sytsma who studied at the University of Denver worked at the University of Colorado for eight years before enrolling for her PhD in Art History at the University of Wisconsin.
She explained that taking up residency at OYASAF would provide her ample access to a rich private collection that is vital to her research. She described OYASAF documentation and collection as very rich and impressive noting that she would gladly want to return for another residency as a Fulbright scholar in the nearest future.
Founder of OYASAF, Engineer Yemisi Shyllon disclosed that the foundation has since its inception in 2007 continued to undertake series of working relationship with renowned art institutions and museums across Europe and America with the aim of promoting Nigerian arts and artists. According to him, another researcher from Munich, Germany would soon be at the foundation for residency programme in Nigerian art.
The foundation’s consultant curator Dr. Ohioma Pogoson said the foundation is working on a book on one of Nigeria’s renowned sculptor, Professor Lamidi Fakeye, a 360 page publication that would be well illustrated with colour and black and white pictures would be presented to the public in August. The book, he said, would be in hard and soft (e-format) for on-line readers. Mr. David Dale is the next artist the foundation will document after Fakeye.
Echoes from plundered Benin treasures
By Ozolua Uhakheme
Assistant Editor (Arts)
Twelve years after the commemoration of the historic British punitive expedition in Benin Kingdom, arts events across the globe continued to question a number of vexed issues while repositioning the clarion calls for restitution among others. One of such events is the forthcoming solo art exhibition, 1897.com by Dr. Peju Layiwola, a versatile artist and art scholar. She will be showing some of her recent works on the continuous pillage of artifacts from Africa and focusing on European imperialism in Africa, particularly Benin in the 19th century. The exhibition will feature five metal works and three installation works made from calabash, bronze, copper and polyester. 1897. com will be accompanied by a conference on restitution and supported by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC). It will preview at the Museum of the Institute of African Studies, Ibadan in October and thereafter, in Lagos in November.
In 2003, Layiwola and her mother, Princess Elizabeth Olowu, known for their feat in the art of bronze casting, made a grand presentation of their works in an exhibition titled Of Bronzes and Prints; A Mother/Daughter Perspective, at the Goethe Institut, Lagos. She explained that 1897.com would project art as a means of recalling history in a way that is fresh and creative. The time has come for questioning a number of issues and to re-contextualize and reposition the discourse. Layiwola, who is Yoruba by origin, is a grand-daughter of HRH Oba Akenzua II of Benin (1933-1978). When asked if her biological link is responsible for the slant of this project she replies. “Naturally, one is drawn to Benin because I was born and raised there. Being Yoruba and Benin at the same time, reinforces the historical link between the two cultures. In terms of the theme of the project, one cannot but be concerned as a Nigerian about the historical injustices of the past and the continued cultural rape by western powers on Africa. 1897 is a historical marker for Benin and Nigeria as a whole,” she said.
The British tactically brought Benin under it control as a protectorate in a treaty signed by the Oba in 1892 to ensure free trade to the British and to restrict the sovereignty of the Oba. British monopoly over trade had been continually threatened by the Oba. An emissary set out to see the King of Benin to persuade him to keep to the terms of the agreement. This visit was intended to be a ‘peaceful one’ comprising nine Britons two hundred and fifty African carriers carrying boxes containing weapons! The Oba had explicitly sent messages that he was not able to receive any visitors at the time. All this fell on deaf ears. The party marched on to Benin and was ambushed by the king’s men. The British attacked Benin, set the palace ablaze, and desecrated the shrines while thousand works of art were plundered. The Oba was then exiled to Calabar and senior chiefs hanged. The loot on getting to England was then auctioned. Benin art works have been attracting huge prices in the international market. The profits of which are all lost on Nigeria.
1897.com refers to an internet domain name which means commercial. The whole concept of 1897 was based on economic interest. It was economic tussle that made the British overrun Benin in 1897. It is this same economic interest that continues to feed the interest of these foreign museums. When Europeans view Benin objects in their museums, they have no cultural connections to them. The exhibition also straddles time and combines both tradition modes with the contemporary
1897.com which is also the title of one of the several installations is a visual representation of the photographic records of the pillage showing the British soldiers sitting in the midst of their loot. These pictures, in British records are a constant reminder of the shameful acquisition and have become images that come to mind in the 21st century reading of these works. Layiwola’s monumental installation comprising about 1,000 terracotta heads and plaques reawakens the debate on colonial imperialism beginning in 1884-85, the period of the Berlin conference when Africa was divided on a map between European colonies. Her choice of terracotta is for its durable nature and for the fact that it is readily available Terracotta also as a reference to the enduring traditions of Nigeria in clay beginning with the Nok tradition of 500 BC and recalls the recent debate on terracotta on the red alert list of ICOM now showing at the Musée Barbier-Mueller, Geneva which has received widespread condemnation about the legality of its acquisitions of African terra cotta.
The clamour for the return of Benin works have been on. In the 1940s, the Federal Government had to buy back some of the Benin pieces to build up the collection of the newly founded National Museum in Benin. In 1977, the Nigerian government asked the British Museum for the pectoral mask depicting Queen Idia, found in the bed chamber of the king, and chosen as the mascot for the Second World Black Festival of Arts and Culture to be loaned for the event. This request was turned down on the excuse that it was too fragile to travel. Subsequently, in 2000, Prince Edun Akenzua appeared before the British House of Commons requesting for repatriation of the works. In 2008, in anticipation of the Benin works coming to the exhibit in Chicago, a huge protest by the Nigerian community was staged. The Oba of Benin, writing in the exhibition catalogue urged the government of Austria to show humanness and magnanimity and return to us some of these objects which found their way to your country. Recently, Prince Edun Akenzua wrote the Director of the Art Institute of Chicago. Up till now, no response has come from the institution. Professor Babawale, the director of CBAAC declared recently that a letter written to the director of the British Museum did not receive the kind of attention sought after. Yet the works continue to adorn foreign museums. Some of these correspondences will form part of the extensive exhibition brochure and essays contributed for her exhibition curated by Sola Olorunyomi.
Layiwola has been working on this theme as far back as 2003. Along with the Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and five other international scholars, involved with the Broken Memory Project, she gave the History Seminar at the University of Zurich, Switzerland and in the EHESS, Paris. This project provided the basis for further work on Benin and later became part of the traveling exhibition on Benin titled ‘Benin Kings and Rituals; Court Arts from Nigeria’. This exhibition which was shown in Vienna, Paris Berlin and Chicago was brought to a close with her lecture at the Art Institute of Chicago, USA in September 2008.
She combines studio practice, a strong commitment to research work and community service. Layiwola in doing her art also teaches through her visionary e-learning vcds in the arts. Her teaching career began in 1991 at the University of Benin. She rose to the headship of the Visual Arts unit of the University of Lagos and is presently on sabbatical leave with the Theatre Arts Department, University of Ibadan. She has conducted several Art workshops and exhibitions in Europe and America. It promises to be a show with profound depth in terms of its message and futuristic projections for artists, culture workers and the government.
I am not interested in presidency- Kanayo
At a time when its counterpart, Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) is resolving its prolong leadership tussle, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), is getting enmeshed in similar battle, reports Assistant Editor (Arts) OZOLUA UHAKHEME.
The board of trustees of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has dissolved the Ejike Asiegbu led executive and appointed a caretaker committee to steer the association’s affairs for the next six months. The executive was dissolved at a meeting at the Ojez Restaurant at National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos last Friday following a resolution reached by the board at an extra-ordinary meeting held on the 15th of June 2009 at 35, Ogundana Street, Ikeja Lagos in response to executive’s failure to conduct election at the expiration of their tenure. Asiegbu’s executive came into power in June 2005.
In a 10-paragraph statement issued to the press at the meeting, the board resolved that a national care-taker committee is hereby constituted to run the affairs of the guild for six months tenure with option of renewal; that Mr. Kanayo O Kanayo be and is hereby appointed as the president of the committee of the care-taker committee of the guild while Mr. Bimbo Manuel be and is hereby appointed as the vice president of the care-taker committee of the guild.
The board also resolved that the committee must audit the accounts and properties of the guild and render a proper documentation of all registered members of the guild. “The new care-taker committee must as a matter of urgency take immediate possession of the properties of the guild. That these appointments take immediate effect even as the de facto president Ejike Asiegbu and his entire national administration is hereby dissolved for reasons which are obvious,” according to the board’s resolution.
The meeting that was attended by the BOT chairman, Ifeanyi Dike, his vice, Emmanuel Ogugua, Barrister Philip, Asiegbu’s vice-president (South-West), Hakeem Rahman, Clarion Chukwura, John Okafor, Charles Okafor, and chapter chairmen from Ekiti, Osun and Ogun States, among other actors acknowledged the position of the board on the fact that the tenure of Asiegbu as president of the guild has ‘expired and has failed, refused or neglected to conduct an election to usher in a new administration to lead our noble guild.’
In his remark, Dike said the board had to make this history and move the guild forward. But Kanayo who spoke passionately on his mission as care-taker president shortly after taking oath of office, said: “The exigency of the time calls for sober reflection. It is with all sense of humility to serve in the interim capacity. We place on record for finding us worthy. To us, the most fundamental agenda is strategy for stabilising the guild. We are poise to achieve. Actors constitute the fulcrum of Nollywood. I solicit your kind partnership and six months is just next door. I want you to get on board and help the guild.”
In response to arguments on the legality of the dissolution of the executive, Kanayo enjoined members to take the side of justice and truth while declaring that he has no intention to run as president of the AGN. “My task is to reposition AGN for next election. Fight no more and please run with me,” he assured everyone.
For Chukwura who was appointed on the care-taker committee along with Charles Okafor as spokesman, ‘today is a necessity, and don’t appreciate rancour in our rank. We are out to evolve a stable system. We need understanding and support to achieve the task to mid-wife an election for a new executive.’
But the legal adviser of the association, Barrister Philip described the development as unforeseen by the constitution arguing that the BOT is the custodian of AGN’s constitution. “The issue is not what the constitution says, but to acknowledge that the constitution does not back void. BOT weighed it against the gains,” he added.