LAGOS/Nigeria: Under the aegis of Entertainers for Good Governance, all presidents of guilds and associations in the entertainment industry has called on all political parties to make concrete manifesto that will move the creative and entertainment industry forward in their quest to govern Nigeria saying that the entertainment industry is not partisan and should not be portrayed to be so.
Arising from a meeting held on Friday, November 24 at the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos, the group maintained that entertainers are the first set of people employed by all politicians to drive their vision to the voters through the voice-over artiste voicing their jingle, an actor acting their script and a musician singing their jingles. Apart from that, the entertainment industry presently has a GDP contributing capacity of over 7billion dollars to the economy. The membership strength of the entertainment industry nationwide is estimated at 20 million including their fans therefore it is a force that cannot be overlooked.
Speaking at the meeting, the national President of Directors Guild of Nigeria Mr. Fred Amata represented by Mr. Mathias Obahiagbo reiterated that the structure of the guilds and associations in the entertainment industry has been neglected for too long. “It is this structure that has been the brain behind the big stars that you see. It is this structure that controls the over twenty million membership.”
On his part, president, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Mr. Emeka Rollas said; “during the voter’s registration exercise we all mobilized our members nationwide to participate in the exercise and going by the statistics of the recent INEC release of voters, Actors Guild have about two million registered voters nationwide, PMAN has over a million of its members who have PVC. Why is it so difficult for politicians to recognize this fact and plug into it, then make a clear-cut blue print on how to develop the industry which has changed the bad image of Nigeria at the global level?”
In this light, the body has come out to speak in one voice to declare for good governance in Nigeria.
With over 20 million strong registered and practicing entertainers nationwide eligible to vote with their PVCs aside their millions of followers, it is an established fact that the entertainment industry has the strength to change the narratives in the polity.
Making her remark, President of Voice –Over Artistes of Nigeria (AVOA) MS Ngozi Ogbonna who believed that the creative industry has been neglected for long insisted that the practitioners are professionals who are contributing immensely to the nation’s development including its co-existence. She said the mistake of 2015 should not repeat itself, a situation where some individuals who didn’t have PVCs to vote, claimed to have had the mandate of the industry only to end up painting the industry partisan at the end of 2015 general elections.
Also pledging his support is President of Performing Musician Association of Nigeria (PMAN) comrade Okwudiri Casmir, aka Uncle Pee who was in attendance with veteran musician, Friday Igwe (Baba Fryo) and Dr Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli (MFR) a veteran musician and former President of PMAN.
With one voice, the body hereby request that a clear cut agenda for the creative industry be put in place by all political parties.
They also requested for a town hall meeting with all nominated presidential and governorship candidates before the 2019 general elections.
In addition, Entertainers for Good Governance warns that anyone dealing with individuals on behalf of the entertainment industry is dealing with that individual at his or her own risk as that person’s action does not represent the position of the body.
Other guilds and Associations in full support of this initiative include Association of Movie Producers (AMP); Creative Design Guild of Nigeria (CDGN); National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP); Script Writers Guild of Nigeria (SWGN); Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners(ANTP); Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP); Film/Video Producers and Marketers Association