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Despite popularity, Nigerian entertainers fail to clinch political seats

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Despite popularity, Nigerian entertainers fail to clinch political seats

Despite popularity, Nigerian entertainers fail to clinch political seats. According to them, a politician’s and her/his party’s popularity is a key success element in winning elections. But, that hasn’t been the case for the majority of Nigerian celebrities, who have continued to lose humiliatingly in numerous elections around the nation despite their notoriety.

Some influential figures in the sector made announcements about their retirements and forays into party politics before to the general elections of 2023. Nollywood actresses Funke Akindele and Tonto Dikeh are among them. They ran as the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) and African Democratic Congress’s (ADC) deputy governor candidates in the states of Lagos and Rivers, respectively.

Others include “The Johnsons” star Olumide Oworu, who ran for the Labour Party nomination for the Surulere Constituency 1 seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly, and actor Femi Branch, who was the deputy governorship candidate of the National Rescue Movement in Ogun State. Singer Olubankole Wellington, also known as Banky W, ran for the PDP nomination for the Eti-Osa House of Representatives seat.

Sadly, DAILY POST noted that Nigerian celebrities’ forays into the complicated world of politics haven’t been without incident.

All else lost their bids, with the exception of legendary actor-turned-politician Desmond Elliott, who beat Oworu.

Akindele Funke

In the recently completed Lagos State governorship election, Akindele served as Abdul-Azeez Adediran, alias Jandor, the PDP’s running mate.

A lot of people had great expectations for her and her principal, especially in light of her celebrity profile and “street cred”.

All those dreams, however, were crushed when she and her boss came in third place (62,449 votes) behind the current governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC (762,134 votes), and the Liberation Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (312,329 votes).

Days later, the actress took down all of the promotional images from her social media accounts.

Billie W

Banky W, a seasoned singer/rapper and owner of a record company, made news when he was defeated in the Lagos State Eti-Osa Federal Constituency election by the lesser-known Attah Thaddeus of the Labour Party (LP).

Surprisingly, Banky W, the PDP candidate, received 18,666 votes to the LP candidate’s 24,075 votes, while Babjide, the incumbent and son of Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of State for Defense and APC candidate, received 16,901 votes.

The music executive had earlier lost the 2019 election for the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency.

His most recent electoral failure led several of his friends, including Nollywood star Deyemi Okanlawon, to publicly contest Thaddeus Attah’s victory as the LP candidate online, which rankled a lot of social media users.

Omide Oworu

Olumide Oworu, a budding actor, was not formally listed as the Labour Party candidate for the Surulere Constituency election on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) webpage. He did, however, run for the job under the platform.

He insisted that INEC mistyped his name for some reason. The name officially listed as the LP candidate for the election was Adebayo Bode.

Despite this, the incumbent Desmond Elliott of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated the LP.

APC received 17,837 votes compared to the LP’s 7,822 and Thompson Sulaimon Abolaji of the PDP’s 1,045 votes.

According to reports, Oworu and his followers were attacked during one of their campaigns.

Toto, Dikeh

Controversial Nollywood actress and brand influencer Tonto Dikeh’s opponents in the campaign for governor of Rivers State met the same end.

Despite Dikeh’s notoriety, Simi Fubara of the PDP defeated Tonte Ibraye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the race for governor of Rivers State.

Her party fared poorly in the poll, doing worse than the APC and Labour Party despite her popularity.

Shortly after the election, she wrote on her Instagram page to thank her fans for their encouragement despite the outcome and to stress how much she had enjoyed the process.

Branch, Femi

In the recently completed election, which the duo lost to the incumbent, Dapo Abiodun of the APC, veteran actor and director Femi Branch was the National Rescue Movement’s running partner for governor of Ogun State.

Because his party was one of the worst losers, his celebrity status was unable to sway the electorate.

APC received 276,298 votes to win, while Ladi Adebutu of the PDP received 262,383 votes to finish in second place.

ADC candidate Biyi Otegbeye received 94,754 votes to finish third.

Femi Branch disagreed with the findings and insisted that the election was invalid.

On Instagram, the actor remarked, “That is the audacity for me! The Independent National Election Commission was compromised by APC and PDP after they bought (divided) the voters, and the little parties are paying the price. In Ogun State, any winner announced is a fake.

After more than two hours of demonstrations, another set of ballot papers were provided, and we finally cast our ballots. But, they only counted the votes of the APC and PDP, he said.

Exceptional mentions

Until quitting a day before the election, actress Carolyna Hutchings was Iboro Otu’s running partner for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State on the African Action Congress ticket.

Umo Eno, a PDP candidate, finally prevailed in the race.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance party (APGA) fielded Tuoyo Ideh, a TV reality personality, for the House of Representatives in Delta State’s Warri Federal Constituency.

The incumbent, Thomas Ereyitomi of the PDP, won the race over the former Big Brother Naija housemate.

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