…Says, “Entertainment has been experiencing export demands”
BY ROTIMI AGBANA
Ace comedian, Francis Agoda, known worldwide as I Go Dye has been quite outspoken on national issues in recent times. The Delta State-born humour merchant has written open letters to political leaders like Atiku Abubakar, Rochas Okorocha, and even President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation, giving them a piece of his mind.
His most recent letter which was addressed to former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, went viral and caused quite a stir, earning him a few enemies as well as admirers. In this interview with Showtime Celebrity, the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador talks about what drives him to get involved in political matters of the country.
You have been quite outspoken on political issues, particularly, those concerning good leadership; what really drives you in this regard?
I was a victim of the 1997 Warri crisis, I was shot and lost four of my close friends to that ugly event. I was saved, but they died in the crisis they never created. Since then I have been driven by the fears of uncertainty caused by bad governance, the endless hopelessness created by the insensitivity of our leaders, whom have deliberately failed to improve on our social and economic standard. was nurtured by my grand mother who taught me to think more of others, even when I am comfortable. Honestly speaking, there are enormous challenges facing us in this country.
Regardless of what most of us have acquired, we cannot continue to deceive ourselves that all is well, when majority of us often sleep without a meal. If we all continue to remain silent, those elected to govern us will continue to exploit our collective wealth.
There is no smoke without fire, does this mean we may see you soon in politics or seeking an elective office?
Man is a political animal . By nature we all play politics indirectly. The administrative way we live is guided by legislative decisions made by those we have elected. So, it affects how we think in the society. However, leadership positions makes it more direct to be held accountable, unfortunately that is not the case here in Nigeria.
Majority of public office holders are not held accountable. I am of the view that more people should get political consciousness. We should not assume, when someone picks up a form to contest for any political position we should start observing his or her character. Leadership comes from the civil responsiveness of citizens, that is what is missing in our daily lives.
Your letter to former Gov Uduaghan not to run for senatorial seat went quite viral and caused a big stir, aren’t you afraid you may be biting more than you can chew?
It’s quite unfortunate that we watch and do nothing, expecting a better standard. I’m from the region that is affected here, let’s not forget that fact. Where I have uncles,aunts, relatives, friends and parents whose pensions have not been paid due to excess debt profile, I cannot keep quiet because they are suffering. I only raised personal observations that have been bothering me each time I reflect on the hardship facing us in Delta State.
So, the onus of proof shouldn’t be on me, all I want is for people to assess if there are facts in the issues. Is it to the good of society? Does my analogy supports the growth of humanity? If all is in the affirmative,then I am only expressing the pains and questions in the mind of many Nigerians. When you take up responsibility to hold our collective wealth, you should show us your score card. If person does an exam, wouldn’t there be a report card? That is just my point of view.
There should be accountability and a standard that should be maintained by making it impossible for anyone that has held an elective position and performed below standard to contest again. It’s our father land. Nobody has a right to use our collective wealth and experience peace without confrontations on what has happened while he was in position of leadership. I only spoke in his own interest, that he should retire and allow someone else try, instead of stressing himself to reach a standard that is not visible based on his past performance as governor of Delta State.
You once said you would support any government that fights corruption, does that mean you are in support of Buhari’s government and his anti corruption crusade?
No, because Buhari’s fight against corruption is not clear to me. We have seen people who have EFCC corruption charges decamping and the president giving them presidential hand shakes. It will only take a man without conscience to say corruption is not a problem. The earlier more Nigerians accept the fact that corruption will make them die sooner than we imagined, the better for us. We will not understand what corruption has done to us,if we realize that the public schools that we attended as young pupils we can no longer send our children there. We should be ready to support the fight against corruption. Today. I am a Ukaid goodwill ambassador on making a difference against corruption and I will support any government that is ready to fight corruption genuinely without party biases.
APC or PDP, which do you think has answers to Nigeria’s many problems?
The political parties are not the problem but the respective individuals that make up the party. They keep decamping from PDP to APC, APC to PDP and within a short while, and start casting aspersions on the party that gave them platform to operate and become what they are today, billionaires in dollars with huge resources.
You have been agitating for youthful leadership, do you think they can do better than those currently running the affairs of the country?
Going by modern challenges and direction of global politics there is a new dimension. It will be of greater impact if every generation is given the opportunity to define its youthful leadership standard.
You are probably the most decorated comedian, how did it all happen?
Wow, coming from you that’s great. I am not in the position to judge . However, everyone has different perceptions to any honour bestowed on any individual. But I am just doing my part and not overwhelmed by the outcome. There are still more paths to walk, as it stands now, the journey has just commenced by the grace and glory of God.
Why is it that many comedians, including you, are now taking their comedy shows abroad? Is it because of hard currency or what?
Entertainment is not controlled by the perception of the senses. It’s growth can’t be quantified by environmental impact. It’s a global dimension that is all-embracing; all fields of entertainment has been experiencing export demand,which shows the level of growth in the field. Categorically, it’s not controlled by any of us,it’s as a result of the present dynamics of socialization,driven by social media trend and the upliftment in the comedy industry.
When a comedian features another comedian on his show, does he pay them, because I understand comedians support each other selflessly?
This depends on personal relationships among those concerned. However,there is so much consideration given as support to each other in this regards.
Ali Baba, Ay, Gordons, Bovi and others have made their debuts in Nollywood. Aren’t you going to Nollywood?
Life is filled with new opportunities and challenges to conquer, new visions and aspirations. But I just allow each day to grant me the best of all moments.