Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, has drawn criticism for comparing Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, to a “Nollywood actor.”
El-Rufai’s has drawn criticism from the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), which described it as disrespectful and an insult to the organization.
The response was expressed in a statement released on Saturday and signed by Kate Henshaw, the Guild’s director of communication.
The group is requesting that the governor of Kaduna State recant the aforementioned comments and issue an apology.
Recall that on Thursday, El-Rufai had described Obi as a Nollywood actor who was incapable of winning the elections when he was featured on TVC’s Journalists’ Hangout.
However, the AGN has said the governor’s usage of an actor to make such examples in that context is unintelligent and arrogant.
The guild submitted that “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.”