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Junior Pope: Producer traumatised, blames self for taking production to Asaba

Adanma Luke, the producer of the ill-fated movie, ‘The Other Side of Life’, that led to the death of popular Nollywood actor, Junior Pope, blamed herself for taking the movie production to Asaba instead of Lagos.

 

Junior Pope, alongside other crew members, tragically passed away after their boat capsized in the Anam River in Anambra state while returning home from movie locations.

Speaking on the unfortunate incident via Instagram videos on Saturday, the movie’s producer, Adanma Luke, said the accident has left her traumatised and cold, adding that the incident still feels like a dream to her.

She also revealed that she was meant to be on the boat but had to stay back after the movie’s director asked her to bring the memory card used for filming.

On why she has not been able to make any statements since the incident happened, she stated that she has been trying to provide necessary support needed to lay the departed souls to rest.

She further claimed that her production manager told her that Junior Pope resisted the life jacket that was given to him because it was dirty.

She narrated, “On the 10th of April, we lost five of our members who were on their way to a location through boat and had an accident. I’ve been so traumatized. I’ve been so cold. this whole thing, it still feels like a dream to me.

“I’ve not been able to make any statements since, because we’ve been trying to recover the bodies.

“I’ve been providing fuel money to those looking for bodies, provided caskets, ambulance to make sure the bodies were conveyed to their villages and families.

“I’ve not been quiet; I’ve been doing things just so these people can rest. It’s so sad that this happened on my set. I blame myself that I would have been in Lagos, doing my thing in Lagos. I blame myself for coming down to Asaba.

“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. He said, ‘Mama, you know this place is far; please just bring it for us! I said, ‘Okay, why haven’t you people crossed?’ He said they were waiting for Junior Pope to arrive. On the 9th, they went there on their own, Junior Pope came on his own. He came alone.

“So, on this 10th, while I was getting ready to go drop the card with them, I was accompanied by my brother’s children, two kids that were supposed to go with me. We were supposed to be on that boat together. Getting there, I saw Emeka, my D.O.P. He was just sitting. I was surprised because I didn’t see others. I asked Emeka, “What is it?” And people surrounded him, Emeka was quiet.

“I said, Emeka, talk to me. What is the problem? Why haven’t you people gone? Where is Ogolo? Where is everybody? Has JP come?’ He was quiet.I started shouting, What is happening? Somebody talk to me.’ Emeka now said, JP don go, Abigail don go, Friday don go, Precious don go!

“I still didn’t understand what he meant by that.

What do you mean, don go, don go where?’ He said, ‘dem dey inside water. I said, let me go and look for them. They started holding me that I should not go. I said, ‘Let me be there. Let me be sure the divers are looking for them.’ They said there were over 50 divers in the water looking for them.

“My director was saying that he didn’t know what happened. He was on a life jacket. Emeka, the D.O.P. was on a life jacket. 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.

“These people with the 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 himself, which he was holding, but all of a sudden, they didn’t see him again.

“It was when they came out that they noticed that he was no longer there because they said divers came and rescued some of them while other divers were still there trying to rescue others. I still can’t believe this. These crew members were my family. They’ve been working with me. If I’m working in Lagos, they’ll come from Asaba to come and work with me. All through last year, we stayed together in Lagos. We were filming and working together.”

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