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“Mr. President, service not celebrities deliver votes” Etcetera

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In this write up, Etcetera bares his mind on Jonathan’s various meetings with Nigerian entertainers (must read)

Once again, Nollywood
and President Jonathan are disconnected from the priorities of Nigerians.
Millions are hungry and the country is headed off a cliff and what we get is
the President having weekly dinner with celebs at Eko Hotel. Mr. President
should know that all entertainers in the country won’t amount to a spoon of
water in the bucket of our population.

I agree that our
entertainers judging by recent behaviour are now seen as hungry men and women
with insatiable appetite, but Mr. President, the larger part of the society are
equally hungry and should be fed as well. Why feed just the entertainers? Isn’t
that discrimination? What will the entertainers say to Jonathan except the
usual lies and half truths? Can a man with a mouthful of undeserved food speak
or say the truth?
An assessment of the
lifestyle of these entertainers gives a false picture of the situation of
things as it affects the society at large. I got your invite for the first
dinner which held at Eko Hotel and I boycotted it because I felt that any event
by the government at this point in time should be about reassuring the people
that the government feels their pains deeply with promises of working
tirelessly to bring an end to the underlying causes of such situations in this
country, not getting together to eat small chops and samosa while most
Nigerians are languishing.
It was very
embarrassing waking up the next morning to see our shameless celebrities posing
with their invites on social media which invariably means they are telling their
fans and the masses who brought them to fame that they are enjoying the good
life and everyone else can go to hell.
One entertainer
jokingly asked why the President is having these dinners with (the same set of)
celebs all the time. I wanted to attribute it to youth empowerment but on a
second thought, If Mr. President has a genuine interest in youth empowerment,
hosting a few entertainers doesn’t cut across as empowering the youth.
 I think Mr. President has been wrongly advised
that entertainers can be used to influence the Nigerian youths and electorate.
These entertainers can’t influence votes within their families. Another thing
is, if Mr. President must have an interactive session with entertainers, he
should consider a larger representation of entertainers from all parts of the
country, not just those who ply their trade in the south. It will seem to most
people that Mr. President is only interested in entertainers from the south. It
is called the Nigerian entertainment industry not the South South and South
East entertainment industry.

Has Mr. President taken
over responsibilities of the Lagos State governor because he currently seems to
enjoy greater visibility in the state than the governor and these visits come
with a heavy cost to the state in terms of lost man hours caused by traffic
along the routes to the event venue. Streets are usually cordoned off by
security personnel and a strange difficulty to use mobile phones in such areas,
possibly because of the deployment of radio signal jamming devices by the
operatives on guard in those areas. Residents of Lagos shouldn’t go through
this because their President is in town. I’ll love to tell Mr. President that
service, not celebrities, delivers votes.
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