Simply put, entertainers are supposed to be people paid or hired to entertain the people. Their primary purpose should be to provide amusement, make us laugh and generally draw us out of depressions. But right now in Nigeria, entertainers are finding more meaning to their primary roles. They are moving away from ‘entertaining’ us to aspiring to ‘ruling’ us as they are joining politics.
It is unclear how the revolution of interest started; but no sooner one entertainer expressed his intention to run for an elective position than the others joined in – in droves. At present count, no fewer than 13 entertainers have expressed their interests to run in the 2015 general elections.
Is this their way of amusing us again? Far from it. Many of them think they have a good chance. Many more believe they have as much right as anyone to seek political offices and perhaps even more qualified than some of the so-called politicians.
“ Entertainment as an industry has contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy and as such, it is not absurd or strange that those who have contributed to the growth of the economy should want to partake in politics to serve” says actor Desmond Elliot, who’s gunning for a seat in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
From west to east, north to south, they have sprouted up, according to some of them, to partake in the governance of their people. There is even an issue of conflict, with two popular entertainers competing for the same seat. The Idemili North Constituency seat of Anambra State is being contested for by Tony Muonagor known as Tony One-Week and Bob Manuel-Udokwu.
In this edition, Potpourri looks at the promises, hopes and beliefs of these entertainers.
Entertainers have leadership mindset– Tony One-Week
Actor, singer and comedian Tony Muanogor aka Tony One-Week has had a bit of bitter experience when it comes to seeking elective posts. When he lost out in the 2005 Actors Guild of Nigeria elections, he relocated from Lagos to Abuja where he joined the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He was in PDP for about four years and when he realised he could not get a ticket he left in 2009.
He is now the Minority Leader in the Anambra State House of Assembly, representing Idemili North Constituency, flying the All Progressives Congress, APC, flag. But his position is being eyed by another entertainer who believes Tony has not delivered on his promises to the people he represents. Ironically, some years ago, Tony called on other entertainers to come into politics, saying they have the leadership mindset. “We, entertainers, are like children. An entertainer does not keep anything in his mind. We are not very rigid. We are jolly fellows and this is the kind of mindset we need in the leadership of the country. If you have an entertainer that has the basic educational qualification and is exposed, then you can get your perfect leader” he said.
The question now is, would he have been so complacent and at ease with himself if he had known an entertainer would one day gun for his own very seat? Only Tony can say.