by ISIGUZO DESTINY
It is indeed true that many Nigerian artistes participated in the just concluded presidential election in vying for different political posts by endorsing candidates, and preaching the message of peace in different adverts and songs in order to ensure stability before, during and after the election.
They also participated in raising the consciousness of Nigerians, especially that of their fans towards maintaining peace during and after the election.
With Friday Flavour’s investigation, it was gathered that during the electioneering period, the Nigerian artistes were seen daily on TV stations, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and other online media platforms.
Some of them were seen spending so much time every day campaigning on social network platforms, electronic and print media in order to raise the consciousness of Nigerians towards their civic responsibilities.
Others were directly involved in campaigning for their different endorsed candidates through songs and political commercials for example, “Gbabe”, is a song by some Nigerian artistes like Desmond Elliot, MI, Olamide, Banky W, Funke Akindele, Uti Nwachukwu, Yemi Alade, Flavour and many others used for their endorsement of an APC candidate in Lagos.
While many Nigerian artistes were out-rightly partisan, a few of them were patriotic to the extent that they refused to endorse any candidate but were very vocal in ensuring that there was peace and security during the elections.
Soyinka, the all-time vociferous Noble-Laureate stressed the need for peaceful electioneering process and commended a peace pact which was signed by the two leading erstwhile presidential candidates, the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect General Muhammed Buhari.
“It is a positive step in the direction of democracy, for which I must commend the efforts of those seasoned interventionists, Emeka Anyaoku and Kofi Annan. Adhered to with good will and sincerity, it should ensure a wholesome space for future elections, and pre-empt further violence.
It might even come close to what the democratic ideal should be, as canvassed by others, including Governor Fashola a few years ago a people’s fiests!” Friday Flavour discovered that while Soyinka expressed his disappointment over campaigns of calumny which often involved hate speeches and insults that were capable of causing chaos which were peddled by the different political parties, he also lamented that ‘we’re talking about a very positive response by the public in terms of determination to register and vote but, you know, this has been one of the most vicious, unprincipled, vulgar and violent election exercises I have ever witnessed…I just hope we won’t go down as being the incorrigible giant of Africa.’
He also condemned the inappropriate attitude of some of the politicians and their dodge of the real issues that concerns the development of Nigeria and how they intended to do that. He also lambasted them for their corruption in spending public funds during the electioneering process.
“How are we actually going to get rid of this thing called corruption, if the electoral process itself has been so corrupted? It’s a money election. How on earth is that bugbear going to be lifted from the neck of society? I just don’t know.”
OzzyBosco Wonderkid also lent his voice in ensuring peace as he dropped a master piece to garner up support for peace in Nigeria. The video of the song reiterated a need for peace during and after the elections.
This attitude is one that people may not reckon with but which must have changed the perspective of many Nigerians as regards election violence. OzzyBosco said unequivocally in the video that “a peaceful nation is our birth right”. Other artistes like Nollywood’s iconic actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde refused to be drawn into being partisan as she admitted on her Twitter account that she was being pressurized by a political party to support their candidate.
She wrote on her Twitter handle that “so much pressure on me to support them … Smh… You won’t have to hustle if you were trustworthy… I do that for free!” Nigerian artistes irrespective of their different roles must be commended for their significant roles in the success of the just concluded presidential election and there is hope that they would do more as the polls enter the next crucial level.
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