“This is in no way a campaign for the widely recognized celebrities as they get their pictures on the poll sheets that go on the streets for votes; it is also in no way against their followers nor their progress on the ladder. It is a provocation of thoughts of balance and objectivity for all and sundry who would queue to vote in the various constituencies these entertainers hope to represent.”
I was lost for a while as I surfed on this hot sunny Wednesday afternoon. With the very awkward and bizarre titles that our booming Nollywood movie industry has gracefully released over the years it shouldn’t be surprising that I was naturally drawn to give a loud hiss at the sight of Desmond Olushola Elliot’s campaign for a Lagos State electoral post in 2015 under the banner of the All Progressives Congress. I immediately went through thoughts of shots from the “imagined home-video”: love, intrigues, suspense and of course betrayals and maybe death. These have been my experience with a lot of Nollywood movies in recent times and you really can’t blame me if I think that our entertainers turned politicians would probably give us a four-year tenure of their usual two-hour heartbreak they shoot on our screens with sometimes the poorest of cameras. But this would be unusual of me in my Gemini-tattooed mind that apprehends national issues with a twin fold approach at all times.
I thus began to debunk my mind of the negative gush of disgust and think otherwise. That’s what this is about. In the build up to the elections, it is important that we draw a measure for candidates and see if they pass on standards before we castigate or celebrate them. The likes of Kenny Saint Brown, Kate Henshaw, Desmond Elliot, Abolore Akande (popularly known as 9ICE), Julius Agwu and a host of other entertainers going into politics; what chance do they stand to pass through the thorough rigorous electioneering process?
The first measure is that of qualification. The question: “Are they qualified to run for the posts?” would be apt to ask at this juncture. Checking through the sacred pages of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the various seats they contend, most of them being legislative offices, they duly qualify by age, conduct and legal status. The weird thing about politics in our nation is the attribute of dirtiness in conduct. This is drawn from the profile of our several leaders over the years in our country that have one taint or the other of corrupt practices either as private individuals or public servants. On this, none of these entertainers above-mentioned could claim equitably clean hands as they have been published to have relationship failures, career issues as well as personal lifestyle glitches. If these would be any “dirtiness” to go by, then they would verily qualify.
Since they qualify on all levels, let’s apply the standard of care and effective communication. These are imported standards however from western politicians. We find somewhat that politics in those parts of the world are planned and well strategized. Hence you would find members of the Houses of legislature there who have a proper political career, going through school active in unions, coming out to join actively and moving on into the house year after year. Maybe because they actually define, explain and debate and deliberate on real societal issues in those countries. Those leaders there have impeccable diction, excellent gaits and poise, unwritten but coherent and intelligible speeches they render on call. Could we say these about our entertainers?
Let’s assume first that they should have the communication skills after all they can hack up scripts and raps as long as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Sonnets in their heads and render them with skill and talent. But on the other hand can we say they have always cared about the people they want to represent in the Houses of legislature? Or maybe they actually care for their fans and want to give them some more reason to cheer them up as they pass creative bills into law. I would want to believe however, that the care has brewed in them for so long a time and in a system were extant politicians are not playing the game well a change is necessary.
This is in no way a campaign for the widely recognized celebrities as they get their pictures on the poll sheets that go on the streets for votes; it is also in no way against their followers nor their progress on the ladder. It is a provocation of thoughts of balance and objectivity for all and sundry who would queue to vote in the various constituencies these entertainers hope to represent. Let’s take a cue from the likes of Tony Muonagor (Tony One week) who has had such progress in his state worthy of commendation, Richard Mofe Damijo who has worked hard for the Delta state government and lets go foreign: Arnold Schwarzenegger the commando as he handled the state of California to great positive actions.
Let us think well, weigh our options and vote wisely come 2015.
Okezi Uwede-Meshack writes exclusively for BREAKING TIMES every week in the column, Game of Thrones. He can be followed on Twitter at @okezimesh
The opinions expressed by columnists in the published feature – Game of Thrones do not reflect the “OPINION and or “POLICY” of BREAKING TIMES as an online news media publishing establishment. Words on this page remain at all times, the literary expression of the writers’ creative imagination.