It is no longer news that more and more Nigerian entertainers are delving into the world of politics. Some Nigerians must have been held by surprise when the likes of Keneth Okonkwo, Kate Henshaw, 9ice, Desmond Elliot, Julius Agwu and many others declared their intention to run for various positions under various parties in Nigeria.
Could this be as a result of genuine passion to serve Nigeria, the love for money or perhaps, the need to follow the footsteps of the likes of Richard Mofe-Damijo and Nkiru Sylvanus? Or could it be some form of Celebrity endorsement embarked upon by the various celebrities?
Kate Henshaw , the Cross River state-born award winning actress, made her intention Known in July, 2014. She will be contesting for the Federal House of Representatives for Calabar Munical/Odukpani Federal Constituency under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
When Julius Agwu, one of Nigeria’s finest comedians and musician, announced his intention to contest for governor of Rivers State in 2015, many of us thought it was a joke but the comedian came out to say it was no joke. He however said the party he will contest under will be unveiled in due course.
Renowned Nollywood actor Desmond Elliot also recently declared his intention to run for the Lagos State House of Assembly under the umbrella of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Many did not know his name was Olusola until his campaign flyers came out which triggered several reactions among some Nigerians. He said he was going into politics to “give back to society.”
9ice, a famous Nigerian Musician well known for his Yoruba lyrics and popularly called Alapomeji by his fans had declared his intention to contest in the forthcoming 2015 Elections, on September 10, 2014. He hails from Ogbomoso, in Oyo state and he will be contesting for the Federal House of Representatives in Ogbomosho North/Ogbomosho South/Orire Federal Constituency under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In a recent interview, 9ice was quoted as saying “I believe I have achieved all there is to achieve in music”.
Bob-Manuel Udokwu also declared his political ambition On September 12, 2014. The foremost Nollywood Actor and anchor of Gulder Ultimate Search reality show, is a native of Idemili North Local Government in Anambra State. He would be contesting in the 2015 general elections into Anambra State House of Assembly to represent Idemili North constituency.
Dan D’Humorous is a popular Port-Harcourt based comedian. His real name is Daniel Chibuzor Nnwoka and he is a talented stand-up comedian on Rhythm 93.7 fm. Daniel announced his intention to go into politics via social media.
Kenneth Okonkwo , a nollywood star, best known for his role as “Andy ” in Living in Bondage, also recently joined the growing list of entertainers who are delving into politics. Keneth is a graduate of Business Administration and also has a degree in law. He aspires to become a representative of Nsukka/ Igboeze South Federal Constituency at the National Assembly on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
In a recent interview with Tony Muonagor, Popularly known as Tony one week, a one-time entertainer who is currently a minority leader in the Anambra State House of Assembly, he said more entertainers are needed in Nigerian politics and should therefore be encouraged to participate in politics.
According to him, “We are like children. An entertainer does not keep anything in his mind. We are not very rigid. We are jolly fellows and this is the kind of mindset we need in the leadership of the country. If you have an entertainer that has the basic educational qualification and is exposed, then you can get your perfect leader.”
“I schooled in the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, for my H.N.D then to University of Nigeria for P.G.D and M.B.A. I’m not just a musician. You may say who be dis musician wey just come enter house? But when I start talking, when I start blowing grammar you go say dis person nah correct person.”
However, in another interview with Punch newspaper, Clarion Chukwu described the rush by nollywood practitioners to participate in politics as sheer hypocrisy. According to her, some of these entertainers are going into politics because they are not getting enough money from their profession.
She was quoted thus, “The motive of those who are embracing partisan politics is purely monetary. Let us call a spade a spade. If you tell me that you want to go into politics to serve the people, I would want to look at your record first. I want to see what you have done to better the lives of the people in your immediate community. How many boreholes have you sunk in the community? How many hours of community service have you given for free over the last four or five years? How well are you known as somebody who yearns for improvement in social development?”
Well, whatever their intentions are, let’s hope and pray that when they finally get there, they will not disappoint Nigerians.
By Janice Johnson