The Actors Guild of Nigeria has amended its constitution to address the challenges being faced in Nollywood and take the movie industry to greater height.
The AGN leadership ahead of its upcoming national elections, held a constitution review presentation on Sunday in Lagos.
At the press briefing, the constitution review committee officially handed over the amended constitution to the AGN Board of Trustees.
In attendance were Emeka Rollas Ejezie, President Actors Guild of Nigeria, Prince Ifeanyi Dike, Chairman AGN Board of Trustees, Kenneth Okonkwo, Chairman Constitution Review Committee, Steve Eboh, Chairman AGN Electoral Commission, and Moji Oyetayo, Chairperson AGN Lagos chapter.
Others are Frank Dallas, AGN Publicity Secretary, Sunny McDon, members constitution review committee, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Hon. Desmond Elliott, Hajia Salma Ibrahim, Ronnie Dikko, Ayokunle Ajisafe, Edith Irabor, Onwurah Agility, amongst others.
In a statement, Kenneth Okonkwo highlighted the key areas of the new AGN constitution.
He urged movie practitioners to abide by the new rules and regulations and ensure the faithful implementations.
Part of the statement reads: “We all know that laws are the foundation of great institutions. As a result, the administration of President Emeka Rollas worked assiduously to secure the review of the constitution of the guild, by this committee , to give legal backbone and empowerment to AGN organs and institutions of governance.
“Actors Guild of Nigeria has come of age and requires the foundation of good laws to sustain the skyscraper of entertainment which Nollywood has become worldwide. We are today the second most powerful movie making nation on earth and this requires a solid foundation of good laws to sustain this great achievement within a short period of existence of Nollywood.
“We must admit that when Nollywood started, with the production of that great movie LIVING IN BONDAGE, produced by Mr Kenneth Nnebue and acted by Mr Kenneth Okonkwo, sometime in 1992, there were no laws, rules, structures, organs or institutions to model the growth of the emerging movie industry on solid ground.
“Every practitioner made his own rules with resultant effect that indiscipline, confusion and unprofessionalism reigned supreme in the industry. It was in this kind of atmosphere that Actors Guild of Nigeria was born to coordinate and protect the interests of actors in Nigeria.
“As a new association that grew out of necessity and emergency, it was not surprising that the initial legal framework and constitution of AGN did not build enough bulwark to protect and shield the Guild from the natural challenges of the growth of a new born. It was not long before the consequences of this weak foundation began to manifest on the Association. The AGN was soon plunged into intractable crises from the top echelon of the Guild that lasted for years and nearly led to the demise of the association.
“The elders and lovers of the arts intervened and mediated in the crises and eventually the mantle of leadership fell on this astute gentleman, President Emeka Rollas, who immediately realized the importance of good laws as the foundation of great institutions and consequently this committee.
“Our job in this committee is clearly spelt out, which is to give birth to a new AGN, through the instrumentality of a new constitution. This new constitution has laid a solid foundation for the uninterrupted growth of AGN and Nollywood to any height without the irritation which often leads to crises.
“We have established enough checks and balances that will prevent the emergence of a dictator who can manipulate the constitution and precipitate crises to keep himself/herself in power in perpetuity.
“We have created the National Executive Committee to function more as the Legislature, the National Working Committee to function more as the Executive and the Disciplinary Committee to function more as the Judiciary with enough checks and balance.
“We have introduced the Annual General Conference and Annual General meeting for AGN to provide an avenue for the whole members of AGN to come together to air their views on the matters that affect the Guild and to familiarize and promote good relationship among themselves.
“Moreover, it will afford the members the privilege of showcasing AGN and the entertainment potentials of the country to the world. It will also be a forum for the training and education of the members on current acting skills, production skills and business opportunities available to members in the entertainment world through symposia, lectures, seminars during the Annual General Conference. It will provide avenues for members to network with other producers, actors and actresses around the world who will be invited from time to time to the conference.
“With the strengthening of the Disciplinary Committee, no officer or member of the Guild will be sanctioned without being given a fair hearing. Every infraction of the law and breaching of the constitution of the Guild or misconduct must be referred to the disciplinary committee which will give the member or officer a fair trial before recommending appropriate action to be taken against the officer or member.
“The process of appointing the memes of Disciplinary Committee and the Electoral Committee was build in such a manner to guarantee their Independence and impartiality.
“With all these safeguards and bulwark, we the members of the committee which include Chairman, Dr Kenneth Okonkwo, Secretary, Ronnie Dikko, Members, Bob Manuel Udokwu, Hon. Desmond Elliott, Hajia Salma Ibrahim, Ikechukwu Ezenaga Esq., Edith Irabor, Ayokunle Ajisafe, Keppy Bassey Ekpeyong, Onwurah Agility are sure that AGN have been established on a solid for its advancement.
“We must note however that no matter how beautiful a legal document is, it requires men of integrity to ensure the faithful implementation of the loft aims of the Guild. We therefore urge all the members of Guild to participate fully in the activities of the Guild henceforth to ensure that only men of integrity emerge as leaders of the Guild.”