Kaduna senator, Shehu Sani, has apologised after photos of a veteran Hausa movie actor he posted online sparked angry reactions from the man’s family.
Ailing Hausa film legend, Kasimu Yero’s family reacted furiously to Mr. Sani’s decision to post the “insensitive” pictures after he visited Mr. Yero.
The pictures of the actor in shorts exposing his frail body shared by Mr. Sani did not go down well with the family. They condemned it as invading his privacy for political reasons and depicting their family as not being responsible for his upkeep.
The veteran actor, who is currently battling an undisclosed illness, is fondly remembered for his role as “Uncle Gaga”’ in the now rested ’80s situational comedy, Cock Crow At Dawn, and as one of the lead characters in Abubakar Imam’s Magana Jari Ce.
The viral photographs were taken when Mr. Sani and his team visited the actor’s Marafa, Kaduna State residence on Sunday.
But Mr. Sani, who shared the pictures on his social media handles, while announcing his visit to the bedridden actor, maintained that it was done in good faith. The senator also said his conversation with the actor centered on his career and life after television.
But, Mr. Yero’s family members will have none of it. They accused the senator of ridiculing their father by posting the images online.
Speaking anonymously in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES, one of the daughters of the actor insisted that the senator did not visit their father in good faith.
She noted, “No man will take the pictures of an ailing man like my father only to share it on his social media handles. All that has transpired saddens me and my family is unhappy with the humiliation that Mr. Sani’s visit has caused us. The senator should be one to even caution his photographers against sharing my father’s pictures online for our family’s sake but alas, he was one of the people who personally shared it on his Twitter and Instagram.”
Mr. Sani’s Special adviser on Politics and Ideology, Suleiman Ahmed, gave details of the visit in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES.
According to him, a staff of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria and a member of the Yero family facilitated Mr. Sani’s visit.
“The visit was conducted with two journalists from Rariya and Daily Trust and in the presence of one of Kasimu Yero’s daughters. The discussion was centered on the artistic contribution of Kasimu Yero and at no time did the actor ask for any personal favour or even disclose that he was ill.
However, Mr. Yero asked the Senator to sponsor the reproduction of a new Magana Jari Ce.
“After the meeting, the Senator made a post on the visit to Kasimu Yero in appreciation of the role Kasimu Yero in promotion of culture and art. This indicated that the visit was in good faith,” the statement said.
“The Senator wishes to reiterate that the visit was not meant to ridicule the family of Alhaji Kasimu Yaro or belittle their responsibility and catering of him, in this regard, we wish to apologize to the family if the visit had portrayed them in a bad light.
“The details of the visit were covered by Daily Trust of June 12, 2017 and also Rariya, we are not aware of the assertion that there was solicitation by any group or individual on behalf of the Senator. The senator is still availing himself to funding reproduction of Magana Jari Ce, which Kasimu Yaro said is his wish.”
Mr. Yero has stated his side of the story in an audio sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.
He said, “It is only but fair to welcome anybody who says he is coming to visit me. Sen. Sani approached me and said he was here to greet me. I was happy and when we got talking. I asked him if it there was any way we could reproduce some of our films that portray the typical northern culture.
He agreed and asked me to write a proposal and promised to get me sponsorship.
“He subsequently gave me the sum of N100, 000 as a gift and I thanked him. The next day my children told me that the pictures I took with Mr. Sani have gone viral and I looked a shadow of myself. I told them I was not aware of the pictures. I never gave out my account number looking for assistance as displayed on some social media platforms.”