By Theresa Moses
LAGOS/Nigeria: The much talked about novelty match between the Emeka Rollas’ led Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) team was a huge success as actors from across the federation turn up to add glamour to the event as well as to support their own.
The match which took place at Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai Sports Complex, 9th Brigade, Nigerian Army Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos over the weekend ended in a draw but its thrills and frills can’t be forgotten in a hurry as Major General LO Adeosun and Major General JS Malu scored for the COAS team while Steve Eboh and Sunny McDon scored for the AGN team respectively.
Representing the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, Major General Adekunle Shodunke in his speech appreciated the movie industry’s contribution in ensuring security in Nigeria and its support for the army.
“Thanks for the participation in the Nigerian Army Day Celebration and Combat Support Arms Training Week (NADCEL). I recall when the actors’ guild visited the chief (Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai) to lend their support to our effort in ensuring security in Nigeria. Today’s event is in demonstration of the corporation between Nigerian Army and the civil society. One of the pillars of the chief officer is effective civil relationship which is what we are engaging in and to participate in all civil activities and we are proud to have our actors here with us.
I can tell you that there’s no other way we would have celebrated our army day better than having people like Emeka Rollas, Sani Danja, Segun Arinze, Sony McDon, Ejike Asiegbu, Ebele Okaro, Steve Eboh, Ijeoma Imoh, Inem Peter, Chika Austin, Chinyere Wilfred, Jumai Joseph, Frank Dallas, Abubakar Yakubu, Andy Ike and how they display their skills on the field of play. And our father, Chief Chika Okpala, popularly known as Chief Zebrudaya alias 4:30 who came to support his colleagues. Thanks for coming sir. I send the clip of the football match to the chief of army staff and he gave a thump up. I appreciate you all for your good works and support for the Nigerian army, we pray for the growth of the entertainment industry in general and continue to make Nigeria proud as always” he said.
In his speech, Chief Chika Okpala, MFR popularly known as Chief Zebrudaya Okoroigwe Nwogbo alias 4:30, an appellation he got from his role as “Chief Zebrudaya” in a TV comedy series, New Masquerade (1983-1993) expressed his gratitude in his unique style of talking: “The dem people of the army, my colleagues and other dignitaries present. When we visited the chief of army staff he promised us a game play either in boxing tournament or football match. Today we have succeeded with football match, who knows about tomorrow in boxing. We are so happy. People understand it from the outside as no penetration area but look at us the actors; we dived and penetrated to score goals twice. Are you seeing what am saw. So I appreciate”.
In his closing remarks, the National President of AGN, Mr. Rollas thank God for the successful conduct of the event especially the immense contribution of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and support for actors. “I recall when we paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja (Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai) he promised that today will come to be and it has come and gone. I’m very happy that the match was played, no victor, no vanquished because our members were really scared that if we defeat the army in this match the guardroom will be so filled with people. But we thank God it was a draw so nobody is going to the guardroom. I want to thank the army for this hosting, generosity, welcoming, excitement and all actors who left what they were doing to be here, the BoT chairman, Prince Ifeanyi Dike for being here with us; he had to cancel an important appointment in Abuja to be here. To members of the Lagos State Chapter led by Moji Oyetayo, executive council who left Enugu and other states of the federation to be here, my amiable special advisers’ etc, thanks for all your time today”.
Amongst those present were Ifeoma Okeke, Remmy Ohajianya, Harry B Anyanwu, St. Maradona, Hon.Desmond Elliot, Halima Usman, Chinedu Ikedieze, Hakeem Rahman, Chiege Alisigwe, A.B Cowboy, Benedict Johnson, Doris Ogala, Sharon Francis, Arinze Okonkwo , Nkechi Nnaji, Mary-Jane Okoye, Rachael Oniga, Shasha Donald, Md Coker, Icon Concept, Maryam Hassan, Sam Anokam, Tessy Gold, Chukky Egbu, Mathew Nwankwo, Ashiedu Gabriel, Unaebu David Fryo, Mr Emmanuel Igwe, Mrs Emmanuel Igwe, Oluwadamilare Oyeniyi, Emmanuel Oguguah, Chiedu Ikeagwuonu, Stanley Otulaka, Biodun Alao, Nazareth Jesse, Emeka Duru, Precious Eze, Boma Arinyedokiari, Calister Okoronkwo, Amaka Nze, Ngozi Nnadozie