7th May, 2012
Following the show of shame that marred the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) election in Benin, Edo State penultimate weekend, national president of the guild, Segun Arinze, has resigned.
In his resignation letter made available to NollywoodReel, the popular actor wrote: “In view of the recent happenings in the actors guild of Nigeria and the recently botched elections in Benin. It is indeed a sad development for AGN. In actual fact my tenure as president ended on the 9 December 2011 but I stayed on as president in deference to the BOT and the vast majority of our members who prevailed on me to oversee a successful transition through a free and fair election.
“The event in Benin on the 28 April, 2012 is now common knowledge. I know I constituted an independent AGNEC that was supposed to be devoid of any electoral rancour or external influences. For my integrity and honour, I hereby resign as president of Actors’ Guild of Nigeria and it comes into effect immediately. I thank the BOT for all the support given during my tenure, the state chapter chairmen, my fellow presidents from other guilds in Nollywood, all AGN members and especially the media for their tremendous support during my tenure. I want to thank profoundly my wife Julie for holding on during the challenging period of service to the guild. I wish the guild the very best as we move forward.”
The resignation of Arinze has, however, been greeted with controversy. While it is being speculated that he was actually compelled to resign by the guild’s Board of Trustees (BOT), it is also rumoured he resigned because he is responsible for crisis that botched the election.
But in a telephone conversation with NollywoodReel, Arinze denied being forced to resign or responsible for crisis that marred the election.
According to him: “I was not forced by anybody to resign. The resignation came willingly because my time was up. I only stayed behind in office to oversee a successful transition of office, but since everything turned out the way it is, I have no choice than to resign.”
Asked if he was responsible for the botched election, he said: “That’s not true. The mobile policeman that came to the election venue with me is my personal security. Besides, the fact that I didn’t allow Ibinabo Fibresima (during her manifesto reading) to take credit for the transfer of Ifeanyi Dike to India for kidney transplant doesn’t mean I didn’t want a successful election.”
When NollywoodReel called a member of the guild’s BOT, Emma Oguguah on phone, he confirmed that the board didn’t force Arinze to resign. Asked to give account of the crisis that eventually marred the election, Oguguah said: “I’m still waiting to hear from the AGNEC chairman, Sunny Mc Don. He is yet to give us an official report, so I can’t speak on that for now.”
Meanwhile, an official mail sent by Oguguah to the BOT and Segun Arinze, which leaked to NollywoodReel, shed more light on the crisis that marred the election and why Arinze resigned.
In the letter, Oguguah wrote: “We need to dissolve the AGNEC committee with immediate effect. Their job was to conduct election and nothing more, since the election failed, Mc Don must step down for us to appoint a non-B.O.T member to conduct the election.
“I will suggest the new committee must be given a guideline and rules that must be followed till the end, and also given free hand except they depart from the set guidelines.
“Again the following people that played a key role in the security problem that led to South South not voting must be dealt with by our constitution. They are Dauda, Emeka Rising, Alex Idu, chairman Delta State and one other member from his state and Ochendo,” the Oguguah added.
He further wrote that the states that had not held elections must be given dates to conduct their elections. He also added that the problem of Lagos State chapter must be dealt with, a committee set up to deal with it and make recommendations to the president, while the BOT should give the new AGNEC its approved list of cleared candidates and guidelines to follow.
The concluding part of the revealing and controversial mail will be revealed next week.