Junior Pope refused to wear life jacket – Adanma Luke

This whole thing still feels like a dream to me. It is so sad that this happened on my set.”

By Deborah Hassan

365Daily – The producer of The Other Side of Life, the ill-fated movie which actor, Pope Odonwodo, A.K.A Junior Pope, was working on when he met his death at River Niger, Adanma Luke, has explained that the deceased died because he rejected the life jacket he was asked to wear before boarding the boat that capsized, saying it was dirty.

The actress spoke on the sad development in a series of videos on her Instagram page.

The producer said she felt it was all a dream and was hoping to be awakened from it, adding that she was supposed to be on the same boat.

She explained, “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.

“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.”

Luke added that the people whose lives were lost on that fateful crash were family to her, adding that she had been reaching out to their relatives to commiserate with and send their bodies to them for burial.

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.”

“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.

“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 Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, has commiserated with the families of the actor, and four others who lost their lives, as well as the Actors Guild of Nigeria, and the entire film industry over the tragic accident.

In a statement signed by his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, Soludo said, “The tragic accident brings to the fore again the importance of engaging basic safety measures in water transportation in Nigeria, most especially the procurement of life jackets, hiring of lifeguards, and administration of first aid like CPR on victims.”


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