The Theatre Arts & Movie Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) has issued a stern warning to actresses, Iyabo Ojo and Nkechi Blessing, to stop making derogatory statements against the guild.
TAMPAN gave the warning in a statement read by veteran actor, Jide Kosoko, who is also a member of the Board of Trustee of the Association.
The guild asked the actresses to stop their derogatory statements against TAMPAN on social media, especially on issues relating to the sexual assault case levelled against actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, popularly known as Baba Ijesha.
The statement read, “We particularly observe the continuous derogatory statements made by Iyabo Ojo against the Association and the industry as a whole.
“Please note that we are not against her stand on the issue of alleged rape or sexual assault as the case may be, which the Association and individuals have equally condemned at one time or the other, as we believe only a person without conscience will support rape or sexual assault in any form.
“However, Iyabo Ojo’s reckless accusations, abuses, and embarrassment of our sector are also totally condemned.
“As pioneers of this noble industry, if we fold our arms and allow the continuous blackmail that sends negative signals across the world to go unchecked, the current situation that had impugned on our integrity will continue to grow to the detriment of humble practitioners, whose only source of livelihood is the practice of indigenous language movies (promoting Language to preserve culture).
“This is the very sector that started what we now know as the Nigerian motion picture industry and we are proud of what we have achieved.
Unfortunately, Nkechi Blessing has also joined in the Ignoble tirades against the Association and by extension, the industry and we say enough is enough!”
According to the Association, both actresses gained popularity through the same Yoruba sector of the Nigerian motion picture industry that they are insulting.
It said, “You should, at least, realise that the industry gave you the enabling environment for whatever you may have become today.
“Without the platform God gave you and many others of your likes through us to climb up the ladder and express your creativity, you may not be this visible today.
“Though, we keep thanking God for what you have become because it is a testament to the efficacy of our industry and the platform we all belong to, we nevertheless say enough of this new culture of insults, derogatory comments, and name-calling!”