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26 Apr 2014

ANTP Has Been Dissolved -New Faction Claims

‘They Are All Thieves’- Asaolu
It is no longer news that the Association of Nigerian Theatre Practitioners has been facing crisis in the past few years. According to records, the crisis started towards the tail end of Jide Kosoko’s administration when effort to install his own person as the new president failed. After the general election, both Asaolu and Dele Odule claimed the election was not a free and fair one as both went to court for legal intervention. At the court, we gathered the judgement was in favour of Victor Asaolu as he was pronounced the authentic ANTP president. Prior to this, we learnt some factions of the association rejected the declaration of Victor Ashaolu as its national president and have suggested that the state governors should meet with Jimoh Aliu, Lere Paimo, Dele Odule and Ashaolu to find an amicable solution to the 18 months old crisis. Over 700 members, except Paimo, Aliu and Ashaolu who were conspicuously absent, attended the meeting which was called to find a solution to the crisis.

The leadership crisis between Odule and Ashaolu, which has almost polarised ANTP, has left the association prostate as many believe it has stalled the progress of the over 30,000 strong members. Many of them put the blame on BOT members, Eda and Aliu, while others did not exonerate Kosoko, Ashaolu and Odule.

Ashaolu lays claim to ANTP’s leadership, while Odule insists that an election had not been held to fill the slot. The chairman of ANTP electoral body, Kola Olaiya said that the body has no president as no election has returned any candidate to fill the post. On allegations that Kosoko was responsible for the cancellation of the election in February, he said it was Paimo and Aliu who annulled the election by insisting that Lagos representatives for the election would not be allowed to contest because of a court injunction. The news here is that, there is a new faction of ANTP which is called The Movie Ambassadors (TMA) and some exco members of the association have been telling those that care to listen that ANTP has been dissolved.  When Global Excellence Magazine called Victor Asaolu to react to the issue of dissolved executive, he said: “ANTP is still solid and nobody can dissolve the association because it has been in existence before most of them that went to form another faction were born. They are a group of thieves and they know we are in election period, you will see them with the politicians, soliciting for help and begging for money. If one or two people left an association, does that mean the association has been dissolved? Did Oga Bello, Jide Kosoko found ANTP? The question you need to ask them is whether the association is registered and if it is registered, they should show you the certificate. When did Saidi Balogun join the movie industry that he's calling himself president. Another thing you need to know is that, all these people are still members of ANTP because they filled a form when they joined and they need to write a letter of resignation if they wish to leave the association and I am still going to take them up on that legally”.

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