Foremost Nollywood actors, Ibinabo Fiberesima and Emeka Ike, have settled their 12-year rift, which had split the Actors Guild of Nigeria into two factions.
The pair had been embroiled in a legal tussle over who should occupy the position of president of the AGN.
A truce was however brokered at the 2017 Peace and Reconciliation Conference held in Enugu, recently. The crisis was resolved at the closed-door forum, which had representatives from 29 AGN state chapters in attendance.
Images of the two erstwhile sworn enemies in a friendly pose have also gone viral on social media.
Confirming the development in a chat with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, Ibinabo said: “By the grace of God we have made peace and there is no more war between Emeka and I. We will call for an election in the coming weeks to elect a new AGN president because there is none as we speak. We had to make peace at this time because our tussle for power only stagnated the guild and also rubbed off on the nation’s movie Industry.”
Emeka also corroborated Ibinabo’s claims in a chat with this newspaper.
“Ibinabo and I are no longer at war. We had to make peace because our rift has been of no benefit to the guild and Nollywood in general. For the sake of the masses, actors, stakeholders and Nollywood, we made peace. We will call for a press conference in Lagos next week, where we will outline our plans for AGN and Nollywood going forward,” he said.
Reacting to the move, an actor, Obi Okoli who is popularly known as Sir Okoli, said it marks the beginning of a new dawn for Nollywood.
According to Okoli, who is also a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Film, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu, the crisis has made it impossible for the industry and Nollywood to soar higher as anticipated.
“AGN’s decision to come together as one big family devoid of acrimony is a good omen and a news that gladdens my heart, especially for the theatre, film and entertainment industry. For over a decade, the actors had lost the comradeship of oneness and other benefits that come from being together,’’ he said.
In the past 12 years, AGN had been embroiled in a leadership crisis, resulting in the dismissal of its National President, Ibinabo, in 2016 by a Federal High Court.
Ibinabo’s dismissal followed a suit filed against her re-election by St. Maradona Mikevine, a veteran Nollywood actor.
The actor, who was the National Treasurer in the election that ushered in Emeka as AGN president, said he was unhappy with the goings-on in Ibinabo’s reign as ‘figurehead.’
Mikevine had also argued in his suit that the election that introduced Ibinabo into the system was conducted pending a subsisting court order containing the conduct of an AGN election, with Emeka filing the initial suit.
The pair( Emeka and Ibinabo) had been battling for the leadership of the guild since 2005, after the tenure of Ejike Asiegbu as National President of the guild expired.
Meanwhile, actor, Emeka Rollas has been sworn in as new president of the GNU, an interim government under the umbrella of the AGN.
Rollas has promised that his two-year term as leader of the guild would be full of positive reforms, stressing that he will work with all aggrieved parties for a better AGN.