Junior Pope’s death: I blame myself, says Producer Adanma Luke

Junior Pope’s death: I blame myself, says Producer Adanma Luke Published By: Paul Dada

The producer of the movie, “The Other Side of Life”,  in which Junior Pope was starring before his death, Adanma Luke says she regrets shooting the film in Asaba.

Luke who had been silent since the tragic deaths of  Pope and four other crew members in a boat accident when they were returning from a movie location on the River Niger, took to her Instagram page to express her regrets.

The actress and producer who said she was working with Pope for the first time,  said that she was supposed to be on the boat also.  She said she did not board the boat because  her  Production Manager told her to bring the memory card used for the filming.

She said, “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.

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“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”.

Adding, Luke said:  “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.

“This is my first time working with JP. He’s my friend. The wife is my friend too.

“I talked to the wife sometime, and that was when she said, ‘Why aren’t you giving my husband work?’ JP said, ‘Ada, you be my friend, why you no dey give me work?’

“I told JP that you know na action film you dey shoot, I hardly do action. He said no o. He dey do love story o, he dey do other things.”



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