Creative Minister, Musawa Mourns Gidado, Junior Pope’s Demise

* Bodies of three movie actors involved in boat accident recovered

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

The Minister of Art, Culture, and the Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa, has described the recent spate of deaths in the entertainment industry as horrific and tragic.
Musawa, who expressed deep sadness at the demise of legendary Kannywood actress, Saratu Gidado, popularly known as Daso, and Nollywood actor Obumneme Odonwodo popularly known Junior Pope who drowned with some actors in River Anam in Anambra West on Wednesday, after shooting a movie at a location, said their deaths have left a big void in the entertainment industry.
This is as the police in Anambra announced yesterday that they have recovered the bodies of three persons who were involved in a boat mishap that killed Junior Pope.

In a statement by her Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the minister said, “It’s a sad week for us in the creative and movie industry and a black Wednesday. Losing two lives in three days is not only horrifying but colossal. We have lost great young talents and entertainment providers while generating content for Nigerian movie lovers.

“We mourn and commiserate with their families. We stand by them at  this tragic time and our thoughts are with all those who know them.”
She acknowledged Gidado’s immense contributions to the industry and the legacy she left behind, highlighting her remarkable performances and versatile talent that endeared her to fans across Hausa-speaking regions and beyond.

The minister described Gidado as not only a talented actress but also a warm-hearted individual who touched the lives of many with her performances.
“With heavy hearts, we, at the Art, Culture and the Creative Economy mourn the passing of Saratu Gidado, a veteran actress,  whose contributions to the film industry, especially in Kannywood, were immense. She will be sorely missed.

“My thoughts and prayers are with her loved ones during this difficult time. May her soul Rest In Peace,” Musawa stated.
Meanwhile, out of the 12 passengers aboard the boat, police had on Wednesday rescued seven persons alive, while the bodies of two of them were recovered, with three missing.

Spokesperson of Anambra Police Command, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, said they sent out Marine Police to look for the missing three.
In a statement yesterday, Ikenga said the bodies of the three remaining victims had been found.
“Marine Police of Anambra State Command have recovered bodies of the three remaining victims of the unfortunate boat accident involving a movie cast.
“Two of the bodies were recovered yesterday (Thursday) 11th April, 2024 while the last was washed in by the tide this morning (Friday).

“All the bodies have been deposited in hospital mortuary in Asaba while the President of the Guild of Actors and Actresses has been notified of the recovery.”
The Commissioner of Police, CP Aderemi Adeoye, however, used the opportunity to urge all water commuters to be safety conscious and avoid behaviour that may jeopardise their safety and that of others while on transit on water.

He promised expedited investigation into the sad accident that claimed the lives of five actors.

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