Actress Stella Damasus has reiterated her readiness to face any female executive of the Actors Guild of Nigeria over the choice of Senator Elisha Abboh.
The ‘Between’ star said she felt angry to know that the female executives of the AGN supported the idea and even took pictures with the Senator during the investiture.
In an exclusive chat with The Nation, Damasus said, “When I put out that statement, I dared them to come after me because you know how people like to go on the defense and come for you. They start asking whether I pay my dues or if I’m a member of AGN. I don’t care about titles or memberships. I care about humanity, and I care about people. I care about women’s rights and human rights. That person who was beaten up is a human being first before she is a woman. I didn’t mention any names, but trust and believe that I was and I still am very ready for any female in the governing body of AGN. I called all of them out, and if there’s any one of them that feels like ‘Oh Stella is calling us out, she has no right. We are going to come to her.’ I am so ready.”
On why she kicked against Abboh’s investiture as the guild’s patron, Damasus said, “My major battle with him being patron is with the women in the guild who have positions. They stood beside this Senator and allowed this to go on. Trust and believe that there are some of us fearless and bold women that would never have stood for this. We would have walked out during the discussions and taken action immediately.”
Continuing, she said, “I saw pictures of the event, and these women were all there smiling, and I wondered if they were paid, cajoled, or threatened! A lot of people expect us, actors, outside of the governing body to speak up and speak out. However, my question is, what about the women in there who know what this man represents and haven’t said or done anything. You are the ones that I’m pointing a finger at because you should have said or done something. You are in a position to, so why haven’t you said anything?
“Everybody knows where I stand when it comes to violence against women, for a man, who is also a senator, to lay his hands on a woman. Even if legally, the court clears him, the fact remains that he assaulted a harmless woman, and it’s appalling. It was heartbreaking that the women in government did not go up in arms against this man, but for the industry that I came from, to make him a patron of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, is simply unacceptable and so annoyingly painful!”
Damasus lent her voice to the call by top Nollywood stars including Kate Henshaw, Hilda Dokubo, Iretiola Doyle, for the removal of Senator Elisha Abboh as the patron of the AGN.