Nigerian celebrities have always been pivotal to political parties and candidates during elections because of the influence they command on the populace.
In 23 days, Nigerians will troop to the polls to elect a new president, and celebrities have been vocal throughout the campaign period. The PSquare brothers have voiced their support for Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi, while legendary Nollywood actor Joke Silva has been vocal about her support for the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Other celebrities have also publicly drummed up support for their preferred candidates.
While most celebrities prefer to remain silent or to express their support for their preferred candidates, some have chosen to seize the bull by the horns and make a difference in the lives of Nigerians.
Glam Squad takes you through the list of three popular Nigerian celebrities who decided to vie for political offices.
Nigerian film actor, producer, and director Desmond Elliott decided to venture into politics by declaring his intention to run for the Lagos State House of Assembly, Surulere Constituency, in September 2014. On April 11, 2015, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards winner emerged victorious under the platform of the All Progressive Congress. Elliott is one of the biggest names in the African movie industry, having featured in over 200 movies. Some of his popular movies include Atlanta, Men Who Cheat, and Millionaire.
Olubankole Wellington, popularly known as “Banky W,’’ decided to add the title of politician to his CV on November 11, 2018, by announcing his intention to run for the Lagos State Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives. The singer, rapper, entrepreneur, and actor lost his bid for the position after contesting under the platform of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP) in the 2019 general election. Wellington, who is credited for hit tracks such as Ebute Metta and Yes/No, decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and got the ticket to contest for the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency in the 2023 general election. Banky W, who is married to popular Nollywood actress Adesua Etomi, will be hoping that star features in movies like The Wedding Party, Sugar Rush, and Up North have gained him enough popularity to win a political seat in 2023.
The thespian has brought joy to the faces of Nigerians who have watched her feature in hit movies like Jenifa, Omo Ghetto: The Saga, Your Excellency, and more. After being nominated as the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State ahead of the 2023 gubernatorial election, the Nollywood legend decided to “necessarily put on hold,’’ her acting career for politics. The 45-year-old actor, who is the running mate of Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adeniran (Jandor), will be aiming to beat sitting governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the 2023 gubernatorial election.