NOT long ago, allegations of fraud were levelled against the chairman of Lagos State chapter of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ernest Obi. The multi-talented actor cum producer, however, denied all the allegations including his alleged second marriage when ENCOMIUM Weekly called at his office at Kilo Bus stop, Surulere, Lagos on Tuesday, August 24, 2010.
Your tenure as the chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the AGN ends October, 2010, how do you feel about it?
I feel happy and excited. At least, we have done our best. We hope the people that will take over the mantle of leadership of the guild will do better than us. Once again, I thank God.
What do you intend doing after your tenure?
I am going to open my office where I will return fully into film production. Although, as AGN chairman, there has been no time for personal business, but right now, I am on location with Kingsley Okereke. I am also working on my movie and another for someone else.
Are you part of the Nollywood artists that allegedly collected N300,000 each for campaigning for President Goodluck Jonathan?
I read the story in the newspapers and I saw the names of the artists said to have been involved, I don’t think any professional artists, like the ones mentioned in the story can involve himself in such because they are credible people. I don’t think they would ask for money to support a cause, especially for President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential ambition. Looking at the money involved (N300,000), its not up to the amount some of them earn from one movie. I know some of them earn close to N500,000, N700,000 and N1m. Or are we talking about N3m each?
Are you saying the story is not true?
I can’t say it is true or not. I was not a witness and I was not there, the person who did the story would have done his investigation. So, I can’t judge so that I wouldn’t be judged. I was not part of it and I am not campaigning for anybody. I am not a card carrying member of any political party.
Do you support any candidate for 2011 elections?
Not yet. Though 2011 is not far but it is still a long time. I don’t have any candidate for now but I know I am going to vote in the 2011 general elections because it is my civic right.
Let’s talk about your marriages, what is the difference between the first and second one?
Point of correction, I have never married anyone before. I keep on telling people that this is my first marriage. I am sure of what marriage means, it is to pay bride price and do legitimate and legal wedding, which I have just done with my wife. I don’t know where people got the information that I had a first marriage that didn’t last. Maybe they will produce the name of the lady and the wedding details. I am saying it categorically that I have never been married to anybody. This is my first marriage and I am happy with my family.
Is it that you had a failed relationship that many people believed led to a marriage?
No, we can be in a relationship. It is a normal thing. Everybody is involved in one relationship or the other, but we finally choose the right choice, which becomes the wife. The only relationship I have now is my wife. I am happy with her and I don’t want anything that will affect this new thing in my life.
How is your wife?
She is beautifully doing fine.
What is she doing now?
She is doing her Masters in International Relations at University of Lagos.
There is this allegation that you diverted AGN fund for your wedding, how true is it?
How old is the marriage that people have started saying negative things? The wedding is just two months old. What do they want from me? I have been in the industry for years and I have paid my dues, so I don’t expect such a wicked lie. I actually do not want to say anything about it. Let them provide evidence of how much of AGN money I diverted for the arrangement of my wedding. Again, I don’t want to make anybody popular. I think the best thing to do is to report the matter to the AGN president, Mr. Segun Arinze and the Chairman, Board of Trustee (BOT), Mr. Ifeanyi Dike and hear what they will tell you.
How much did your wedding gulp?
I don’t actually have the figure because during the planning, a lot of things were budgetted. What I am sure of is that my wedding was moderate, I went about it according to my worth and what I could afford.
How many children do you intend having?
My wife wants as many as possible, she once told me 12 or 24, but I think two is okay.
- THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010