… Funke Akindele, Tonto Dike, Caroline Danjuma, Others On The Ballot
By Yinka Akanbi
The forthcoming 2023 general elections in Nigeria will have the highhest number of Nigerian actors and entertainment stars participating as more names are unveiled by various political parties.
Nollywood divas in particular are taking the centrestage not just as political party members or supporters but as joint tickets holders running for offices.
To political observers, the fate of some political parties now appear to hang on the shoulders of Nollywood actors, an unusual move that has been met with mixed feelings by pundits.
While these actors boast of a huge followership on social media, many are sceptical that their popularity online may not necessarily translate to actual votes on election day.
Following the announcement of award-winning actress Funke Akindele as the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, the actress in an interview had boasted of bringing her 20 million followers to bear in ensuring the party’s victory at the polls next year.
The Ikorodu-born 45-year-old actress is the running mate to Jide Adediran (Jandor) of the PDP.
Before her, it had come as a pleasant surprise to many of Tonto Dikeh’s fans when Tonte Ibraye, the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Rivers State last month announced the controversial actress as his running mate.
“I Amb. Tonto Dikeh a proud daughter of Ikwere land, hereby accept to be the running mate to Hon. Tonte Ibraye, as his deputy governorship candidate on ADC platform, ahead of the general election, to work assiduously with him in becoming the next governor of Rivers come 2023.
“This decision is geared toward assisting him take over Rivers for the sole interest of the old and young, rich and poor, irrespective of their class or religion if they live in Rivers,” she said in her acceptance speech.
The nomination of Caroline Danjuma as the deputy governorship candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in Akwa Ibom State is the most recent announcement of this latest romance between the make-believe industry and the political space.
The star of ‘The Real Housewives of Lagos’ was said to have been chosen because of her love for humanity, leadership ability and commitment towards the betterment of communities in her native Eket and others in Akwa Ibom.
But it’s not only the nollywood divas that have shown interest in politics in this dispensation.
In Ogun State, the governorship candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Dr. Tofunmi Ogunrombi, has picked Chief Femi Branch, a prominent nollywood actor as his running mate with a mission to rescue the state.
What this means is that four out of the 18 registered political parties in Nigeria have picked nollywood stars as deputy governorship candidates in four out of the 36 states in Nigeria for the 2023 General election.
Also in Lagos, actor and singer Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, is the House of Representative candidate for Eti Osa constituency under the People’s Democratic Party platform.
They are all towing the same line that others before them like Onyeka Onwenu, Kate Henshaw, Funke Adesiyan, Clem Ohameze and a host of others others, had passed.