By Dansu Peter
A veteran Yoruba movie actor and filmmaker, Alhaji Kareem Adepoju, popularly known as Baba Wande has sued for peace among members of the Association of Nigeria Theatre Arts Practitioners, (ANTP) after a court judgement on the crisis rocking the national body of the association.
Baba Wande said the judgement of the High Court sitting in Ejigbo, Osun State on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 that Comrade Victor Asaolu should remain in office as the President of ANTP till February, 2018 was not a solution to the crisis bedeviling the association.
The ace Nollywood actor called on all stakeholders including the South-West governors to intervene in the matter to save the ANTP. Baba Wande also appealed to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona to wade in
He noted that the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu has been making frantic efforts to resolve the crisis and urged the monarch to intensify his efforts so that the Yoruba movie industry would unite.
It would be recalled that leading members of the ANTP pulled out from the association and form a parallel association christened Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria, (TAMPAN).
Mr Adebayo Salami, also known as ‘Oga Bello’, Prince Jide Kosoko and Mr Dele Odule, who had a running battle with the President of the association, Comrade Victor Ashaolu over the leadership tussle in ANTP formed TAMPA in Lagos.
In a chat with this reporter at his Osogbo residence, Baba Wande appealed to all Yoruba film actors and actresses to come together and speak in one voice so that the Yoruba film industry would develop.
His words: “Some of us feel that the tenure of the President of ANTP, Comrade Victor Ashaolu has expired but the man insisted that he has not finished his tenure and he took the matter to court instead of leaving the office.”
“The man has been in the office as the ANTP President since 2010 whereas he was supposed to spend four years. The matter was brought to the court in Osun here and after several years of litigation, the court eventually ruled that Ashaolu’s tenure will end on February next year”.
“As law abiding citizens of this country, we must respect the court and obey the judgement unless anyone is interested in appealing the judgement in the higher court and that cannot be a solution to the problem we are battling with.”
“I like to appeal to all Yoruba film makers, actors and actresses to unite and speak in one voice in the best interest of all of us. This current crisis in the ANTP would not benefit anyone of us and the society.”
“I also want to call on all stakeholders, especially the governors of Osun, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Oyo state Governor, Senator Isiaka Ajimobi, Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwumi Ambode, Ekiti state governor, Mr Ayo Fayose and Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene in the ANTP leadership crisis.”
“I’m also appealing to our traditional rulers in Yorubaland, especially the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona to wade in and help us settle the dispute so that we can be together.”
“We are grateful to the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu who has been making frantic efforts to resolve the crisis. We appreciate his efforts so far and we also want him to intensify efforts so that the crisis would be resolved and we will unite so that our association would be great again.”