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Politicians, celebrities, others react as Nollywood veteran, Mr Ibu, dies aged 62



Nollywood actor, John Okafor, popularly known as “Mr Ibu”, is dead, aged 62.

Emeka Rollas, National President, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), disclosed this on his instagram page on Saturday.

Rollas said: ” Sad Day for Actors Guild of Nigeria. Kate Henshaw lost her mother earlier today and Mr Ibu suffered cardiac arrest according to his manager of 24 years, Mr Don Single Nwuzor.

“I announce with deep sense of grief that Mr Ibu didn’t make it. May his soul rest in peace.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in October 2023, John Okafor revealed that he was suffering from an ailment that threatened to amputate one of his legs.

Okafor said he was struck by the problem while on a movie set with other Nollywood actors and actresses.

He appealed to his fans and the public for prayers and financial assistance to cover his medical bills. He also shared a video of himself lying in a hospital bed, expressing his fear of losing his leg.

However, on Oct. 18, 2023, the Abubakar Bukola Saraki Foundation paid off Okafor’s entire medical expenses.

The foundation also stated that Okafor still required a lot of financial assistance to sustain him in the hospital and for his travels abroad for further treatment.

In November 2023, Okafor underwent a leg amputation after suffering from an illness that required seven surgeries.

His family said the amputation was done to keep him alive and increase his chances of recovery.

Okafor acted in more than 200 Nollywood movies. He also ventured into music, just for a short period.

On October 15, 2020, he released his songs titled “This girl” and “Do you know”.


President Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu said he received with deep sadness, the news of the passing of two of Nigeria’s ace comic actors, John Okafor, famously known as Mr Ibu, and Quadri Oyebamiji, popularly known as Sisi Quadri.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, on Sunday in Abuja.

Ngelale said that Tinubu consoled with the families of “these gifted thespians who brought joy and relief to millions of Nigerians by the exercise of their geniuses”.

He said that the President urged the bereaved to take solace in the truth that though these beloved Nigerians have passed on, they lived through their works which would remain an inspiration and a fount of good cheer for many.

”The President also commiserates with the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) and the entire creative community, assuring them of his support, thoughts, and prayers in this time of grief.

”President Tinubu prays for the peaceful repose of the souls of the departed and comfort for all those in mourning.”

Abubakar Atiku

Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar said the reported deaths of actor and comedian John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu and ex-goalkeeper of the Super Falcons, Bidemi Aluko Olaseni, is a big loss to our creative and sports industries.

“These two great Nigerians have lived to give us happy moments in entertainment and the beautiful game.

“They will be sorely missed. I pray that the Almighty shall grant their souls a peaceful repose and comfort to the grieving families and the country. Rest in peace, Mr. Ibu. Rest in peace, Bidemi Olaseni. “

Mr Peter Obi, 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, has mourned the death of veteran Nollywood actor, Mr John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu.

In a condolence message posted on his X (formerly Twitter) handle on Sunday, Obi stated that Mr Ibu’s death was a huge loss, not just to the entertainment industry but to the nation.

“His death is very saddening. He was one legendary comic actor who embodied laughter, exuded joy, and spread happiness.

“When sadly he took ill, we all prayed for his quick recovery and hoped he would bounce back in good health.

“Those artists who lighten the mood of the nation also perform a great task of helping us all to weather the dark storms of life.

“On behalf of my family, I commiserate with his bereaved family, the Actors Guild of Nigeria, who just lost two legendary actors within a few days, and the entire Nollywood family.

“We share the pains of his death, but are comforted by the cherished moments of joy and happiness he left behind,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, Nollywood veteran actor, Kenneth Okonkwo has also mourned the death of Mr Ibu.

Okonkwo, a renowned actor, lawyer and chieftain of the Labour Party, took his Instagram page @iamkennethokonkwo to bid Mr Ibu farewell, saying he has lost a friend, brother and colleague.

He said that Ibu started his acting career under his watch, adding that it was painful to bid him goodbye.

According to him, Mr Ibu captured the world with his splendid performance in comedy, by carving his own unique path in Nollywood and succeeded on his own peculiar terms at his own pace.

“Farewell to John Okafor (Ibu), just lost a friend, brother and colleague.

“His footprint will remain indelible on the sands of Nollywood.

“May his soul rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing,” he wrote.

Some Nollywood stars have continued to pay tribute to Mr John Okafor, popularly known as Mr Ibu following his passing.

NAN reports that they took to their social media platforms to pay tribute to their colleague Mr Ibu who died on Saturday,  March 2 at age 62.

Actor Ime Bishop Umoh  wrote, “My dear friend and brother John, your valor in the battle of life was unmatched. Your humor, so elite and effortless, lit up our world like a beacon.’ What a humor smith you were! .The memories we shared are etched in our hearts and minds, immortalising you even as you rest.Thank you brother, may you slumber peacefully Mr Ibu. Live on. forever big brother,  go make the angels laugh.”

Comedian actor Bovi Ugboma wrote,  “The passing of John Okafor aka Mr Ibu is asadd chapter in Nigerian entertainment history. Let’s take solace in the fact that his work will live and will inspire generations unborn. RIP  to one of the great”.

Veteran actor Babajide Kosoko wrote,  “Goodbye Mr Ibu, you have done your bit . God knows best”.

Actress Funke Akindele wrote, “Uncle  John!!! May his soul rest in peace”.

Mercy Johnson Okojie wrote, ” It is well…..Rest well sir.

Patience Ozokwo wrote, ” Where O death is your victory? Where I death is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15 vs 55, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more noise, everlasting peace.

Osuofia Nkem Owoh wrote, ” Gone from our sights but never from our hearts. We hold you close in our thoughts. RIP Mr Ibu.

Zubby Michael wrote,” Alumelu.

Destiny Etiko wrote, ” This shouldn’t be true. This guy me differently. God RIP our legend.

Chizzy Alichi wrote, “Words fail me. I prayed and hoped that it was all rumour. Rest well.

Mike Ezurounye wrote,” People should just learn humility because this life hmmmmRest in peace.

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