Heads of some guilds in the Nigerian film industry have been accused of secretly collecting N250,000 each to mobilise members for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Industry sources said that the money was paid for Nollywood practitioners to attend Atiku’s interactive session with the creative industry on Wednesday, January 16 at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos.
Among the guilds present at the event were Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN), Association of Movie Producers (AMP), Creative Designers Guild of Nigeria (CDGN) and Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOPS).
The AGN mobilised more than 100 members while the others sent about 50 each.
This online newspaper could not independently verify which of the associations’ heads collected money.
A member of one of the associations who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said “although Nollywood stakeholders had decided not to collect money from politicians some people secretly collected N250,000 to convince their members to attend the Atiku event.”
Apart from guild heads, some of those who spoke on behalf of Nollywood were allegedly paid by organisers of the session.
“We thought the era of politicians making us look cheap by giving handouts had gone, but some people negotiated for money behind us.
“While some of us went there because of our conviction that Atiku will make a good president, some people got paid after the event and kept it secret,” the association member continued.
An invitation to the event sent by Don Pedro Obaseki stated that there would be no financial compensation for attending the session.
When some guild heads pleaded that they needed money to get their members to the event, a popular female figure in Nollywood was said to have intervened to make funds available.
Transfers were allegedly made after the event.
This paper learnt that entertainers who attended an event organised by the Buhari Support Organization in Abuja last month were also given money for transportation and “incidentals”.
Payment ranged from N100,000 to N500,000 depending on the profile of the entertainer.