**Veterans In New Body, TAMPAN
It is common to see professionals coming together to form associations through which they have common fronts and agitate on behalf of their members. These bodies are created to serve the interest of members always, and they represent the collective voice of members of the associations. Over time, some of these associations have become the determinant factors in the running of things in the bigger society.
For instance doctors in Nigeria, organized under the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), have gained a reputation that is respected by the government. The same applies to the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and so on.
All the above bodies gained respect because of their adherence to strict internal democracy, and their ability to maintain relative peace has earned them respect in the society.
Another notable professional association in Nigeria is the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), which was formed some years ago and which did much to protect the interest of actors/actresses in their fold. However, things later fell apart in the association when the centre could no longer hold due to some irreconcilable differences.
Prior to this time, leadership position was not lucrative in the association as there was nothing to fight over because the government did not give much attention to the association then. But some years ago, when the government and some corporate bodies started showing interest in movie industry, becoming a leader of the group became like fighting for seats in the senate or even becoming the president of Nigeria.
This may have led to the leadership tussle between Victor Ashaolu and Dele Odule, which was later taken to a court in Ibadan, Oyo State. Though the matter has been brought to an end by the court, however, recent happenings in the actors’ body are indicating that all is still not yet over.
After the court declared Comrade Ashaolu as the President of ANTP based on the last election of the association, Dele Odule, a popular actor, in a chat with Nigeriafilms.com some days ago described the judgment as an injustice to him and vowed never to recognize the leadership of Ashaolu.
And true to this, barely two days after the discussion, a new body was formed by some veterans in ANTP. On Sunday, February 9, 2014, some actors met at the residence of Adebayo Salami, aka Oga Bello, in Ikorodu, Lagos to float a body known as; Theatre Arts and Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN).
Those at that meeting, according to information, included Prince Jide Kosoko, Yinka Quadri and several others.
From what Nigeriafilms.com gathered, many popular Yoruba actors have since pitched tent with the new association, thereby leaving the ANTP in the cold.
Actors such as Kunle Afolayan, Taiwo Hassan (Ogogo), Yomi Fash-Lanso, Fathia Balogun, Mercy Aigbe, Saidi Balogun, Tayo Odueke (Sikiratu Sindodo), Iya Rainbow, Iya Awero, Lere Paimo, among others have joined the fold of TAMPAN.
However, the Ogun State chapter of ANTP seems not shaken by the decision of these aggrieved actors to form another parallel body. The chapter described the motive behind the formation of TAMPAN by these popular actors as ‘greed’.
In its post on Facebook, the Ogun State chapter of ANTP said that the parent body still stands and that those who moved to TAMPAN would see the laudable achievements Comrade Ashaolu in ANTP very soon now that ‘the black sheep of the association have left.’
As it is now, Yoruba actors in the movie industry appear not to be united since the two bodies would now see themselves as competitors.
Events watchers described the move as unpleasant and they insisted that stakeholders must come together to iron things out for the actors to save the industry from collapse, since according to them, a house divided against itself cannot stand.
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