Ernest Obi, the Nigerian actor and filmmaker, has urged crew members to fight for their rights during movie productions.


Obi gave the advice when he led a candlelight procession for actor Junior Pope and other film practitioners who died in a boat mishap in River Niger, Asaba, Delta state on April 10. They were heading to a movie location.

In a now-viral video, Obi lamented the “ill-treatment of crew members by movie producers” while urging them to “take a stand” and report the matter to the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN).

He also urged his colleagues to ensure their safety first during production to avoid accidents.


“Take a stand. Say no sir. If you are a member of the guild make a call immediately. Except your guild is comatose, or the president or chairman is not functional. Make a call and say ‘Sir, they want me to enter a forest and there are snakes here and I cannot. And the guild will swing into action immediately not after,” he said.

“I just showed some people a video. How can you employ somebody to work for you for 10, 15 days? He is lifting generators, and carrying cables. It is raining, he is out there, we are in the living room and we give him N10,000 after the end of the day. That is not just a sin, it is a sin against God. You are mounting heaps of unpayable debts on yourself.

“We all know this but we keep pretending that it will get better. We are not doing anything about it. How many times have the crew members gone on strike? Take a stand.”



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Obi further urged actors not to segregate the industry, rather they should “stand for others”.

“How many crew members do we have in Lagos? They are filming in Lekki right now, it isn’t their business. This is our Nollywood, that’s their Nollywood. Death does not hang its cloth on just one man’s body, it will get to everybody’s turn,” he added.

“But think, will there be any reason for anyone to celebrate you like this? Will there be any reason for anyone to stand up and take a walk we just took now on your behalf? When you do not stand for others, when you’re gone you become nothing. Nobody will stand for you.”

The candlelight procession was held in Lagos, Rivers, Enugu, Kwara, Abuja, Anambra and Delta.


The AGN earlier suspended all movies involving riverine locations.

Emeka Rollas, the president of the AGN, also warned filmmakers not to work with Adanma Luke, the producer of the upcoming movie in which Pope was supposed to feature.

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