• Celebs backing presidential candidates test influence on voters

    Celebs backing presidential candidates test influence on voters - nigeria newspapers online
    • 6Minutes – Read
    • 1063Words (Approximately)

    The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has over the last few months enjoyed the support of some entertainers, including a former Big Brother Naija (Shine Ya Eye) contestant, Cross Okonkwo. In an earlier interview with Saturday Beats, Cross maintained that Atiku was the best presidential candidate, adding that he meant well for the youth. In a video he posted on social media, he could also be seen giving a speech at a political gathering hosted by the Youth in Politics NG, where he stated that Atiku was the answer to the prayers of youths, who would work in his administration.

    Another entertainer who has repeatedly voiced her support for Atiku is Funke Akindele, an actress, filmmaker and the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State. During the party’s campaign rally in Lagos on December 5, 2022, she was visibly present at the Tafawa Balewa Square venue.

    A singer Paul Play, who is the Director of Entertainment for the Atiku Care Foundation, a non-governmental organisation established to take care of the underprivileged, does not hide his support for Atiku all the way from the United Kingdom where he is based. When Atiku and his team visited the UK on January 14, 2023, Paul posted some pictures he took with the politician. He wrote, “As the Entertainment Director of Atiku Care Foundation, I wish His Excellency Atiku Abubakar a safe return to Nigeria and success in the upcoming election. PDP— power!”

    Singer-cum-politician, Bankole Wellington, aka Banky W, who is contesting the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representative on the platform of PDP, is another strong supporter of his party’s presidential candidate.

    The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress and a former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, has quite a number of entertainers in his corner.

    A controversial singer, Brymo, has been vocal about his support for Tinubu, and that has pit him against his fans and other Nigerians, particularly because he stated that Igbo people were not yet ‘ripe’ to lead the country. Clarifying his statement in a subsequent interview, the singer said, “I am not supporting Tinubu just because I am a Yoruba man from Lagos. My choice cannot be bought. It (my support) is voluntary, and I want my vote to count; like that of every other Nigerian.”

    He also apologised in a tweet, saying, “I did not insult the (Igbo) tribe. I am sorry to anyone who it sounded that way to. I was trying to weigh in on a very important matter.”

    However, he expressed disappointment that some critics that were encouraging fans to boycott his music.

    “I am an international brand, and it is disappointing if we lose ourselves to other people’s opinions. My fans know that I am independent. My loyalty to my brand remains despite my choice of leader for the country,” he wrote/

    One of the responses to his tweet came from @tripex111, who wrote, “I actually use to be a fan, because I saw you in the mould of Fela (the late afrobeat creator and social critic), who spoke against bad government. But, you only have the gift of music with no empathy for the things you preach.”

    A veteran actor Ebun Oloyede, aka Olaiya Igwe, was publicly ridiculed when he campaigned for Tinubu in an unusual manner, which some also described as ‘undignified’. A video showing him naked at a beach and praying for Tinubu’s victory went viral on the Internet. Speaking in Yoruba, he said, “The God of yesterday, today and forever more, I have come to beg you because of Tinubu. Please, let him emerge victorious in the election. Let him get there. I could not sleep overnight because of this issue. I intentionally came to the beach to beg you. As vast as the ocean is, make votes of Tinubu also be that many. Don’t put us to shame.”

    Shortly after the video went viral, the Theatre Arts and Motion Pictures Practitioners of Nigeria stated that the actor would face a disciplinary committee.

    Popular comedian, Seyi Law, has also been campaigning actively for Tinubu on social media. Evidently prepared for the criticism that greeted his stance, the comedian stated that anyone who was not happy with his choice could ‘unfollow’, as he was unapologetic about his choice. He wrote, “Every little thing, you just lost a fan. Those that never commented on my post before are now convulsing under my post. Once you ‘unfollow’, kindly inform me to do the needful. I have never been about social media or money. Just ask about me.”

    Actress, Toyin Abraham, is also a vocal supporter of Tinubu. In recent times, she has been describing herself as ‘Asiwaju baby’. Other actors that support Tinubu include Eniola Badmus, Joke Silva, Foluke Daramola, Fausat Balogun (Madam Saje), Faithia Balogun, Saidi Balogun, Yinka Quadri, Taiwo Hassan (Ogogo), Adebayo Salami (Oga Bello) and Yetunde Wunmi. They not only supported him on social media, they also participated actively in rallies and other campaign activities for the APC flag-bearer.

    There is no gainsaying the fact that Labour Party’s Peter Obi is the most popular candidate on social media. Tagged ‘Obidients’, his followers, mostly youths, have been very enthusiastic about their support for him.

    An actress, Iyabo Ojo, recently declared her support for him on social media by posting a flyer of the LP with a picture of Obi on it. She wrote, “Verified.

    My choice is Peter Obi. We need a breath of fresh air and I strongly believe in his vision and mission, especially his management skills. I pray that he wins, and that he won’t disappoint us if he gets there; so help us God!”

    Twin brothers and pop duo, Peter and Paul Okoye, of P-Square fame, have been quite aggressive with their support for Obi. They have both campaigned for the LP flag-bearer on and off social media. Their stance has also pitted them against some colleagues and fans. Some weeks ago, Peter and afrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, took each other to the cleaners, after Kuti described Obi as an opportunist. P-Square also performed at the LP’s campaign rally in Lagos on February 11, 2023.

    Other entertainers that have publicly supported Obi include Nkechi Blessing, Kate Henshaw, Okey Bakassi, Hilda Dokubo, Ime Umoh (Okon Lagos), Hanks Anuku, Uche Jombo, Zubby Michael, Ruggedman and Frank Edoho.

    See More Stories Like This