Calling Peter Obi a Nollywood actor is demeaning to actors in Nollywood — AGN slams El-Rufai

The Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has criticized the governor of Kaduna, Nasir el-Rufai, for referring to Peter Obi as a “Nollywood actor.”

In a recent interview, the governor dismissed Obi’s prospects of winning the presidential race as a candidate for the Labour Party (LP).

“Peter Obi is a Nollywood actor and that’s all he will be. This election is between the APC and PDP because they have the footprint; they have the spread. Ethnicity and religious bigotry will not take you anywhere and that’s what the Labour Party campaign is about,” he had said.

However, in a statement released on Saturday by Kate Henshaw, the guild’s director of communications, it was said that such an “offensive” comment is intended to diminish an actor’s “intellectual competence.”

The AGN president, Emeka Rollas, said in a statement that the remark is “not only insulting to the acting profession but also demeaning to the actors in Nollywood.”

The attention of the leadership of the Actors Guild of Nigeria has been drawn to a derogatory statement made by the diminutive governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, referring to one of the presidential aspirants as a ‘Nollywood Actor” the statement reads.

“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 ingenious capacity to lead and develop Nigeria more than some average leaders in government houses today.”

The guild called on the governor to “withdraw his nescience statement and tender an unreserved apology to Nollywood Actors immediately”.

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