The ideology of youth in politics has seen the birth and appointment of celebrities as political candidates for the upcoming 2023 general election in Nigeria.
This shift is mainly in the country’s entertainment industry, thus changing Nigeria’s trajectory and narrative of politics.
This, in turn, closed the gate to the era when only full-fledged politicians, ex-military, and prominent businesses served as political candidates.
As the election is fast approaching, here are some renowned Nigerian celebrities contesting as political candidates for the forthcoming 2023 election.
Funke Akindele – (known as Omo-Ghetto)
Early this month, the Nollywood actress Funke Akindele was announced as the deputy governor flagbearer for the Lagos State 2023 governorship election by the country’s opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This makes her the running mate of Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor. She validated this on her Instagram page.
She said, “ This will serve as a means to help, assist, and contribute to the growth of youth, women, and children. I saw it as an opportunity to help liberate and improve the welfare of our people. Particularly, the deprived youth, women, and girl child”.
While this signifies the involvement of youths in politics, it was met with different reactions. This mainly stems from her just-ended marriage.
The famous R&B artist, Olubankole Wellington, also known as Banky W, delved into the political waters in 2019 when he contested under the Modern Democratic Party for Eti-Osa’s lower chamber of the national assembly.
Despite losing to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Babajide Obanikoro, he does not relent. In June 2022, he became the People Democratic Party’s (PDP) 2023 candidate for the Eti-Osa House of Representatives election.
After the rerun of the primary election between him and Sam Aiboni, Banky W’s campaign team implored people to vote right on the election day.
He said, “While we are grateful for our success at the primaries, we are completely heartbroken at the state of our nation. We must play our part in fixing the Nation, and we must get into the system to help fix it. Our work begins now. Please join us.”
Tonto Charity Dikeh
Tonto Charity Dikeh is one of Nollywood’s most controversial actresses. The singer and humanitarian, who hails from the local government of Obio-Akpor in Rivers State, is serving as the running mate for Tonte Ibraye under the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
Like her fellow female actors vying for the same position but in different states, she posted her interview with ‘Your View’ on her Instagram to answer some pressing questions on people’s minds.
One such question was whether marriage is a prerequisite to being a deputy governor candidate in today’s world.
In her words, “Being married or not, should not be criteria to want to effect change. While having a man who loves you is good, it is not a yardstick for the completion of a woman”.
Desmond Elliott has had his fair share of Nigerian politics since his declaration in 2014. In 2015, he contested and won the Surulere Constituency 1 Lagos State House of Assembly under the All Progressive Congress. In 2019, he was re-elected to the same position.
The Nigerian celebrity is going for a third term to represent the Surulere 1 constituency in the upcoming 2023 general elections.
Odi Okojie is the husband of the Nigerian actress Mercy Johnson. The real estate entrepreneur is contesting for the House of Representatives seat for Edo State under the All Progressives Congress.
From the primary election conducted in the party, he became the candidate for the Esan North East/ South East federal constituency.