Politicians are beginning to rely on the persuasive power of celebrities like musicians and actors to get votes during elections.
Our correspondent observed that some of these celebrities have been able to influence the outcome of elections in favour of their preferred candidates.
A good instance is a situation that played out during the just-concluded governorship election in Osun State.
During the election, popular Nigerian singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, heavily campaigned and ensured that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won the governorship election and ensured voters prevented any form of rigging.
Davido, who is a cousin to the Osun State governor-elect, was a visible factor throughout the campaign period. He used his music and influence to campaign heavily for his uncle and brought many people on his side, especially the youths, who could relate to his type of music.
Although Davido did not just start the campaign for his uncle, he stole the show when he took to the streets.
He made such an impact on his uncle’s campaign, including challenging other family members who tried to stand in the way of his favourite uncle.
Other entertainers who are campaigning for politicians include Psquare, Phyno, Flavour, Ruggedman, Chidi Mokeme, Kate Henshaw, Okey Bakassi, Noble Igwe, Tacha, Charlyboy, Eldee, Ikechukwu, Samklef, Daddy Freeze, among others, are rooting for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, on social media.
Speaking on the issue, Deji Adeyanju, a socio-political activist, affirmed that celebrities influence the outcome of elections.
Adeyanju noted that politicians are now using celebrities to canvas for votes.
Speaking with our correspondent, Adeyanju, however, said celebrities should be mindful of politicians they support during elections.
He said: “These people have voices that can be used either positively or negatively, but it depends on how they use it. In Osun, we saw a good application of Davido.
“The current governor and APC know that they stole the mandate in 2018, so artists like Davido positively used their influence to canvas for votes because he comes from there; you know it’s completely different when you are not from the place and are trying to influence people, but he is a son of the place, from the place, and has stake from there. He positively applied the influence vis-a-vis the outcome of the election.
“We are also seeing a shift where politicians are now using artists and celebrities to influence people, sometimes it can be positive, and others it can be negative. Celebrities and influential voices should be mindful of how they influence voters because voting has consequences and we have seen it in 2015 and 2019.
People are daily becoming victims of insecurity in the country; we have seen how our country’s economy has collapsed, and people must be mindful before jumping on any train or drinking any intoxicating wine of politicians.
“They should be mindful that whatever decision they make to either endorse or not to endorse a candidate, will have implications.”