Marshal Johnson, the North-East Regional Vice-President, Actors Guild of Nigeria, on Tuesday called for the enrolment of more artistes in the National Health Insurance Scheme to reduce recurring deaths.
Johnson spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, while reacting to the death of Chukwudi Anachina, the guild’s Press Secretary.
NAN reports that Anachina died on June 16 during a long battle with cancer, which came few day after the death of a reggae icon, Ras Kimono.
According to Johnson, the health insurance policy already in place for the artistes will help in reducing deaths among them.
He said: “Most times when actors or actresses have given much to the development of the industry, upon retirement, they are left alone to handle their responsibilities.
“This usually comes at a time when they are old and less productive, and have little or nothing to take care of their health.
“The trauma, desperation and tension associated with this actually make life very difficult for them, break down their immune system and expose them to diseases.
“That is why we have put in place an insurance scheme to help assist and provide for our members, even at the later days of their lives.”
Commenting, Emeka Rollas, the President of the guild, advised his members to continue to take advantage of the health insurance scheme to guide against unforeseen circumstances.
Rollas said that the guild would give the deceased a befitting burial in view of the contributions he made to the growth of the guild in his capacity as a national executive member.
He said: “We have suffered another loss in the industry and we have set up a committee to commence burial arrangement for our late colleague, Anachina.
“His death is a national issue and will be treated as such. All the national and state executive members will be fully involved in the burial plans.”
Also, Mijinyawa Barde, the Chief Whip of the guild, said that Anachina’s death was a great loss because it came at a time of national unity and reform agenda espoused by the guild.
Barde said: “He was the stronghold of the reform agenda and we needed him more at a time like this when he left, but God knows better.
“He is a veteran comrade, a man of dedication and commitment who stands for justice.
“We pray that God will send us somebody like him again to fulfill the role he played.
For now, we are all still mourning and still in shock over the loss of a great man.”