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Academics, professionals, others storm Ibadan for Ayinde Barrister Festival




The Ilaji Hotel and Resorts, Akanran, Ibadan hosted a community of fans of the late fuji musician, Dr Sikiru Ayinde Balogun, popularly known as Barrister.


Between February 9 and 10, 2024, the fans converged on Barrister’s hometown where they celebrated his legacies in a colourful ceremony, featuring live performances by musicians. Jumat service was observed on Day One at the Mufutau Olanihun Mosque. Prayers were offered Barrister who clocked 76 years posthumously on the day.


That was followed by the unveiling of Barrister Cenotaph at the entrance of Ibadan on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Two bossom friends of Barrister, Otunba Adisa Osiefa and Chief Kola Oyadeji jointly performed the unveiling ceremony.


Gala Night rounded off the day at the Ilaji Hotel and Resorts, Akanran where all fans groups mixed with one another in a convivial atmosphere and danced to different tracks of Barrister.


An Ibadan-based famous On Air Personality, Alhaji Gboyega Lawal joined the fans at the Gala Night and paid a glowing tribute to Barrister.

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He recalled an incident at a party where he would have died save for Barrister’s prompt intervention. “For this, I will never forget Alhaji,” he said.


The grand finale on Saturday also featured presentation of awards and premier of “Mr Fuji Barry Wonder”, a documentary produced by a US-based Professor Saheed Aderinto who thrilled the large audience with exclusive memorable images of Barrister, his band members, family and fans.


The Ibadan-born Aderinto revealed that he had commenced shootings of the documentary in 2021 at different locations in Nigeria and his US base where he is a lecturer.


He said the documentary was not made for commercial purpose but posterity to preserve the role Barrister played in carving out an unknown genre among Nigerian indigenous brands of music.
The scholar also said that the documentary was produced with a view to telling critical knowledge that is close to the heart of the people who use the medium of documentary filmmaking.

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“To preserve the legacies of Barrister through the medium of a film. To place Fuji at the center of global knowledge production. To increase the global attention on Fuji. To take the name of Fuji and Barrister into academic domains where they don’t exist for now,” he said.


In attendance at the ceremony was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Barrister Mutalubi Adebayo who described Barrister as a superstar both in life and in death.


The former Oyo State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, who received an award from the organiser of the BarryFest, exclaimed that he had never seen a late Nigerian musician as more blessed with dedicated fans as Barrister.

Vice-Chancellor of Ojaja University, Eyenkorin, Kwara State, Professor Jeleel Ojuade presented a paper which dug deep into Barrister evolution as a force to reckon with in Nigerian indigenous music industry.


Chairman and Secretary of the BarryFest Planning Committee, Alhaji Olaide Olawumi and Agba Akin Ademola Adesingbin expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the event, which they both described as an improvement over the maiden edition held at the same venue and Barrister’s Fuji Chamber residence, Isolo, Lagos.

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“All we need to say is to thank God for His grace over the planning committee. We faced few challenges along the line due to the state of the nation’s economy. But God helped us to overcome those challenges.


“We thank all our members for their enthusiasm towards the BarryFest. They are all wonderful. We also thank all our invited guests for honouring us with their presence and support. We shall continue to hold them in high esteem,” Adesingbin said.

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Why Junior Pope refused to wear life jacket – Movie producer Adanma Luke





Adanma Luke, the producer of the ill-fated movie, who had been silent since the day of the accident, in a series of videos on her Instagram page narrated her side of the story, claiming that the late Pope was offered a life jacket, but he rejected it because it was dirty.

She also revealed that she was supposed to be on the boat that capsized.

Luke further revealed that she couldn’t speak because she felt it was all a dream and hoping to be awakened from it. She added that she had been making efforts to recover the other bodies from the river and transporting them to their families to be laid to rest.


She said, “So, on that day, while I was getting ready to go drop the memory card with the crew on set, I was accompanied by my brother’s children. We were all supposed to be on that boat together. I was supposed to be on that boat.

“My production manager was calling me to bring the memory card, so they could start filming, and I told him to come and collect it. But, he insisted that I should bring it to them.

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“When I got there and I saw Emeka, my DOP, sitting quietly with people surrounding him, I started shouting, ‘What is happening? Somebody talk to me’. Emeka then said, ‘JP, Abigail, Friday, and Precious are gone. I did not understand.

“My director was saying that he didn’t know what happened. He and the DOP wore life jackets. There was still one life jacket available; I don’t know who had it.

“But, my PM said that day, they saw life jackets there and took them. He even told the late Friday to send one to Junior Pope, but Junior Pope said it was dirty, so, he didn’t take it.


“The people who wore life jackets survived. They also told me that when they were in the water trying to survive, Junior Pope was also there, asking if everybody was okay. They even threw a gallon to him to hold onto, which he did. But, all of a sudden, they did not see him again.”

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Breaking into tears, Luke added that she considered the people who lost their lives in the unfortunate boat mishap to be her family, and they usually came all the way to Lagos to shoot with her.


She said, “This was my first time of working with JP. He and his wife are my friends. I talked to the wife sometime, and that was when she said, ‘Why aren’t you giving my husband work’? JP also said, ‘Ada, you are my friend, why don’t you call me for jobs’?


“I told JP he mainly acts action films, and I hardly produce that. He then said he also acts in love films too.”


Luke added that she was traumatised that the accident happened on the journey from her set.


“I have been so traumatised. I have been so cold. This whole thing still feels like a dream to me. It is so sad that this happened on my set. I blame myself; that I would have been in Lagos doing my thing. I blame myself for coming down to Asaba.

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“I still can’t believe this. Those crew members were my family. They have been working with me. If I am working in Lagos, they would come from Asaba to join me.”


Meanwhile, the Anambra Police Command announced that they had arrested the two operators aboard the ill-fated boat.

The state police spokesman, Tochukwu Ikenga, disclosed this to one of our correspondents on Saturday.


He stated that the boat operators were in police custody, adding that the producer of the movie, Adanma Luke, had voluntarily made herself available to the police.

He further revealed that other members of the cast and crew of the movie would be invited for questioning.


Ikenga said, “Yes, the boat operators have been arrested. Even the producer of the movie, Adanma Luke’s statement was taken and interrogation is ongoing.

“Other members of the cast and crew of the movie would be invited for questioning.”


He added that nothing would be swept under the carpet as regards the investigation of the accident.

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Junior Pope: A\Ibom Gov Eno visits, consoles family of late Nollywood makeup artist





Umo Eno, governor of Akwa Ibom State,  has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Nollywood makeup artist, Abigail Edith Frederick, in Ikot Udoma, Eket Local Government Area of the state.


According to a statement by Ekerete Udoh, the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Eno, on arrival from an official engagement in Abuja, went straight to the deceased family’s compound to console them.


The statement noted that the governor thereafter gave automatic employment in the Akwa Ibom State Civil Service to the surviving elder sister of the deceased, and directed the SSA on Humanitarian Services, Umo Ekpo, to renovate the family house and bring it to modern standards.

The governor also gave assurance of government’s assistance to the two sisters of the deceased, who are undergraduates at the University of Uyo and whose education was being sponsored by the late Nollywood makeup artist.


The governor, in his remark, said: “This is deeply unfortunate for a young girl, 24 years old, who finished her youth service just last year and decided to pursue her passion. This is a reflection of our Arise spirit. It shows that our young people are willing to go out there, not begging, not waiting for handouts, but to pursue their passions.

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“It is unfortunate that her life ended the way it did. Once I was fully briefed, I decided to come here personally with the full complement of the government to console and encourage the family. You are not just the governor when people are celebrating; in times and moments like this, you become the mourner-in-chief and give them hope.


“I trust the Holy Spirit will perfect the hope in their lives. Coming here means we care. You know Akwa Ibomites are like Americans. We don’t leave each other behind. Government will be with the family and support them.”


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Junior Pope: How ritual I performed before boarding boat saved my life – Survivor, TC





Actor Tochukwu Okafor, also known as TC Virus, a survivor of boat mishap which claimed the lives of of Nollywood actor, Junior Pope and three others, has revealed that he conducted a ritual to the water deities before boarding the ill-fated vessel.

TC Virus who is also a Nollywood actor and director, on an Instagram live session on Thursday, April 11, 2023, recounted his experience, noting that he and Junior Pope, along with their colleagues, were aboard the boat.


He described how he poured a carbonated beverage into the river before embarking on the journey, stating that it was a gesture of reverence towards the water spirits and a means to ward off mishap.

Furthermore, TC expressed his belief that the accident could have been prevented if the boat operator had tried to avoid colliding with another craft.

He stated, “Before entering the boat, I carried my…Junior Pope asked me wetin you dey do, I tell ham say I dey observe water people o. I no dey fit pass without sharing something. I don give them Fanta abeg I don’t want any bad thing to happen to me”.

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