Veteran Yoruba movie actor, Mr Kareem Adepoju, has called 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.
Adepoju, who is popularly known as Baba Wande, said the judgement of the High Court sitting in Ejigbo, Osun State on March 28, 2017 that Mr Victor Asaolu should remain in office as the President of ANTP till February 2018, was not a solution to the crisis bedevilling the association.
He called on all stakeholders including the governors and royal fathers in Nigeria’s South-West region to intervene in the matter and save the ANTP, lauding the efforts of the Olowu of Owu kingdom, Oba Adegboyega Dosunmu, in resolving the crisis.
Speaking during an interview with Channels Television at his residence in Osogbo, Baba Wande appealed to all Yoruba film actors and actresses to come together and speak in one voice to develop the industry.
“Some of us feel that the tenure of the President of ANTP, Mr 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 a court in Osun here and after several years of litigation, the court eventually ruled that Ashaolu’s tenure will end in 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 want 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 will 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, Senator Ibikunle Amosun; Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Lagos State, Mr Akinwumi Ambode; Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene in the ANTP leadership crisis.
“I’m also appealing to our traditional rulers in Yoruba land, especially the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, and the Awujale of Ijebu Land, 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 while we unite to make our association great again,” the Yoruba actor said.
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 Mr Ashaolu over the leadership tussle in ANTP, formed TAMPAN in Lagos State.