The Actors Guild of Nigeria has knocked the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, for describing the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, as a Nollywood actor.
Appearing on a televised interview on Thursday, El-Rufai had described Obi as a Nollywood actor who was incapable of winning the elections.
Reacting in a statement signed by the AGN Director of Communication, Kate Henshaw, on Saturday, the guild knocked El-Rufai for the comment, and demanded a retraction and an apology.
The statement partly read, “The National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Chief Ejezie Emeka Rollas, MON, says, El Rufai’s statement is not only derogatory to the acting profession but degrading to the Actors in Nollywood.
“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 national president called on El-Rufai to withdraw his nescience statement and tender an unreserved apology to Nollywood Actors immediately.”