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5 Nigerian celebrities who have pursued a career in politics – 2022

Nigerian celebrities who have pursued a career in politics

Nigerian celebrities are leaving the entertainment industry to become active participants in the country’s political decision-making. Discover the Nigerian celebrities who have nursed or embraced the political realm in Nigeria.

Certain Nigerian celebrities have picked up the mantle of leadership to pioneer change and progress in the country to fulfil the clamouring for youth participation and inclusion in politics.

Although there are reports that these actors, entertainers, and musicians may not have been qualified in terms of expertise, many people have praised their bravery and daring in volunteering to rule Nigeria.

Ahead of the approaching 2023 elections, several Nigerian celebrities have offered to run, while other celebrities have already fought their ambitions for a political position—newcomers have also expressed their desire.

1. Desmond Elliott

Desmond Elliot

The Nollywood actor and director began his career in soap operas such as “Everday People,” “Sinners,” and others. An award-winning actor who has appeared in films such as “Men Who Cheat” and “Atlanta,” he received three major nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009 for his co-produced and co-directed film “Reloaded.”

Desmond Elliot, a father of four, dropped out of acting in 2014 to pursue a new interest in politics. The 48-year-old actor ran for and was elected to the Lagos State House of Assembly, Surulere Constituency, on April 11, 2015, following the Nigerian General Elections.

Desmond faced harsh criticism for endorsing Nigeria’s Anti-Social Media Bill during the ENDSARS rally in October. Even though the Nollywood actor turned politician denied it, there are allegations that he was not telling the truth.

Desmond Elliot’s political career has not been without controversy, with Nigerians repeatedly accusing him of being insensitive and the claimed source of all of Nigeria’s issues. He was forced to apologize in 2020 after making remarks about youths being “children.”

2. Wellington Bankole (Banky W)

banky w eti-osa pdp re-run

Olubankole Wellington is a Nigerian actor, musician, and Adesua Etomi’s husband. On November 11, 2018, he entered the political arena to head his constituency Eti-Osa.

Banky W, the man behind the record company that catapulted Wizkid to fame, has expressed interest in running for a seat in Nigeria’s House of Representatives under the Modern Democratic Party, which was founded in 2017. Unfortunately, he was defeated in the election on February 23, 2019.

Undaunted, Banky W confirmed his intention to run again in a video posted to his Instagram page on April 1, 2022. Banky W ran and won the People’s Democratic Party’s Eti-Osa federal constituency primary ticket ahead of the 2023 elections.

3. Funke Akindele

Akindele Funke

Funke Akindele is a Nigerian actress best known for her performance in the comedic drama Jemifa.

The actress, director, and producer with over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry has also given up her job to run as the People’s Democratic Party’s governor candidate, a path she declared on her Instagram page on July 13, 2022.

Funke Akindele is standing in the 2023 Lagos governorship elections as Dr Abdul Azeez Olajide Adediran’s deputy. The Nollywood actress-turned-political contender verified the news further on Twitter.

4. Dikeh, Tonto

Tonto Dikeh

Tonto Dikeh, one of Nigeria’s most divisive celebrities, is also aiming for a political seat ahead of the 2023 elections. Tonto Dikeh, a Rivers State native, is Mr Tonte Ibraye’s running mate in the upcoming Rivers State governorship election.

The announcement elicited conflicting comments on the internet, owing largely to Tonto’s image as a divisive figure. Dikeh and Ibraye will face off against PDP and APC candidates Siminialayi Fubara and Tonye Cole.

Tonto Dikeh and Tonte Ibraye are African Democratic Congress candidates.

5. Yul Edochie

yul edochie withdraws presidential race

Yul Edochie, the son of famous actor Pete Edochie, expressed interest in running for office in Anambra State after the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill was approved earlier this year.

During the Anambra governorship elections in 2017, the movie actor received only 145 votes under the Democratic People’s Congress banner.

He expressed interest in running for president in 2018 but later dropped out.

Yul Edochie was later appointed as the Governor of Anambra State’s Senior Special Assistant for Creative and Entertainment Media, Willy Obiano.

Yul Edochie announced his decision to run for president again on his birthday, January 7, 2021, and was sponsored by his father, Pete Edochie.

On May 1, 2022, he reaffirmed his intention to run for president. The actor’s reputation, however, was called into doubt after he announced the birth of his son to his second wife, Judy Austin. His statement irritated his first wife, May Edochie, who pronounced God’s wrath on Yul and his mistress.

Because of his contentious declaration and extramarital affairs, fans and netizens have urged Yul to quit his political ambitions.

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