A group of film producers in the northern sector has, through its lawyers, written to the president of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) Augustine Abbey popularly called Idikoko, telling him to step aside and hand over the leadership to an Interim Management Committee (IMC) within two weeks or be dragged to court.
Although his tenure of office expired last December, Idikoko continues to occupy the position of FIPAG president, leading to the ultimatum by the northern group. Interestingly, Idikoko has called their bluff and sworn not to step down.
Idikoko has made it clear he wants to contest elections to renew his mandate as FIPAG President, yet he has refused to listen to calls from members of the Association that he should exit his position and allow for an IMC to take over leadership until after the election.
Currently, FIPAG is on the verge of splitting into fragmented pieces over the issue and there are calls for the Ashanti Regional members to form their own independent Association if Idikoko continues to be in office.
For sometime now, several news reports on FIPAG have suggested members were having serious problems with Idikoko. Though a few members of the association had come out to speak publicly about their grievances, the association’s mouth piece, Socrates Sarfo and Treasurer Helen Omaboe have been the most vocal.
Recently, Socrates and Idikoko clashed on Peace FM’s Entertainment Review on Saturday in an unanticipated verbal brawl between the two officials of FIPAG. This was after Idikoko answered questions from host Akwasi Aboagye concerning operations of the association and its upcoming elections, as well as concerns from unnamed members.
When it was Socrates Sarfo’s turn to comment on the president’s responses, he cunningly asked Idikoko to tell the whole world what his functions as FIPAG president were. Socrates further questioned Idikoko on why he had taken over the responsibilities of the treasurer.
It was obvious that all is not well at FIPAG. Idikoko, in his response, sounded angry.
He said he found Socrates’ question unfortunate because their constitution spelt out the functions of the president. To him, Socrates was not fair to him by asking the question on a public platform.
However, Idikoko’s response was that he as president was the main head of the association and could be held responsible when things went wrong. Idikoko said he therefore had the right to ensure every department of the association functioned effectively.
However, he did not explain why he had taken over the treasurer’s job, because, according to him, he did not want to publicize the negative reasons that pushed him into doing that. He preferred to do that at their meeting, he said.
This appears to be the beginning of a new era in the affairs of FIPAG.
Not too long ago, movie producers from Kumasi who were registered members of FIPAG threatened to stage a massive demonstration against the association’s president, Idikoko and his executive over what they described as an unfair distribution of some GH¢200,000 given to FIPAG by COSGA, as monies accrued from copyright levies. The new brouhaha is also about money.