From Tony John, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has assured the state chapter of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) and Nollywood practitioners, that deserving honour will be given to Precious Chimaobi Ofurum, a Rivers indigene, who was involved in boat mishap in Delta State.

Ofurum died alongside John Odonwodo, popularly known as Junior Pope, last weekend.

Governor Fubara gave the assurance when members of the organisation came to Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday, to show solidarity to their late member, and to formally inform the government of the incident.

The governor, who was represented by the Head of Rivers State Civil Service, George Nwaeke, said it was their visit that has brought to the knowledge of government that an indigene of the state was one of the victims.

Governor Fubara commended the Nollywood practitioners who have demonstrated enviable solidarity to one of their own, which suggested the 26-year-old Precious Chimaobi Ofurum was distinguished among them.

The governor described the passing of Ofurum in that ill-fated film shooting trip as unfortunate because he was already an exemplary Nigerian who has demonstrated the success any determined person can clinch while remaining in the country.

“The entire Rivers State extends our condolences to the family. No one can heal the wound better than God. We heard of the sad news, but honestly, I never knew a Rivers person was involved. So, as I came and heard of the subject of this visit, I am devastated and the entire people of Rivers State are very sad.

“I want to tell his family, as sad as it is, you should still draw consolation from this: that your son died a hero. He was one of the heroes that Nigeria has ever produced.

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“People of his age are leaving the shores of Nigeria but he was very proud of Nigeria, remained here to salvage the image of and calve a name for Nigeria. I am happy to say Precious Chimaobi Ofurum was our own ambassador in the comity of actors.”

Governor Fubara said his administration is youth-friendly, and will never overlook what it will do for the bereaved family of a Rivers youth who utilised his talent productively.

“The governor is a development-friendly leader. He is a youth like you. Our governor is one that loves to make the state proud. He is happy when people from the state excel. He will always identify with them. So, even in death, I can assure you the governor will do honour to our departed son, Precious Chimaobi Ofurum.”

In his presentation, Convener of the solidarity visit, Eric Stevenson, said on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, some actors returning from a movie set, were involved in a boat mishap in Delta State.

He lamented that Precious Chimaobi Ofurum, an indigene of Rivers State, was among those who died in the incident.

Stevenson said other states had reached out to claim their own and offered support to the families but regretted that none had come for Precious Chimaobi Ofurum.

He added that it was on the basis of this development that they decided to notify the state government with the visit in order to bring comfort to the bereaved family.

He expressed satisfaction with the governor’s response, and hoped the state government will do the needful very soon.