There is a growing list of entertainers with political portfolios. Since the entertainment industry has received attention from the federal government, the state governors are beginning to appoint personalities from the industry who have done well. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM and SAMUEL ABULUDE looks at some entertainers with political portfolios and how they are faring.
Successful entertainers are now being courted by their state governors to participate in developing the arts and tourism sector while others are in the mainstream. Though more are being expected to be appounted as lubbying is going on, those that are presently serving are from the motion picture industry. This is because the industry has given gainful employment to thousands of Nigerians.
Some have been accused of not doing anything while others have recieved kudos for a job well done.
Recently, a popular Nollywood acress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie was appointed as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Entertainment, Arts and Culture and a lot is expected from her.
The following are a list of some entertainers in no particular order.
The sweet talking broadcaster and co-anchor of Prime Time Africa, Dayo Adeneye is the commissioner of Information and strategy in Ogun State. He seemed to be the most fortunate of those that came out to vie for an elective post in the 2015 general elections. Dayo Adeneye who is an astute professional in the music industry threw his hat to vie for a post in the Federal House of Representative under the Odogbolu constituency. But he was not even allowed to compete in the primaries. According to reports, the Ogun APC leadership asked him to step down for a preferred candidate promising to compensate him. Fast forward to 2017, Hon Adeneye is enjoying the perks of being a commissioner under the Senator Ibikunle Amosun leadership. Hon Dayo Adeneye who has business interests in estate properties and in the hospitality industry, is doing well for himself. His success is tied to the success of the Ogun state government. Time will tell how he’ll fair as he was inaugurated into this post last year. In an interview with a popular newspaper, Hon Dayo Adfeneye popularly called Done said the work is a tall order and he’s enjoying it. “It is very challenging yet fulfilling. Now, I have longer hours of work unlike when I was an entrepreneur.”
Nollywood actress Iniobong Edo Ekim is a popular face in the Nigerian motion picture industry. The award winning actress and co-producer of the movie, ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ got appointed in 2016 as Special Assistant to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Tourism. She is expected to make meaningful input in developing the tourism potential of the state. Much is expected from the thirty-four year old actress as her appointment is just more than a year old. Findings have it that people are not happy with her because she is not doing much to draw attention to her state. Some even claimed she is seen more in Lagos than in her home state, Akwa Ibom.
Fans of vivacious wnd well endowed actress, Mercy Johnson-Okojie were overjoyed at the news recently that she was appointed as Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor Yahaya Bello on Entertainment, Arts and Culture. The mother of three has since resumed her post which she got last month. Since she has modest experience of her task, many are expecting her to learn on the job and help create a policy for the state’s arts and culture industry.
She became the Director-General of The Imo State Film Academy (IFACA) more than two years ago towards the end of the first tenure of Imo Governor; Chief Rochas Okorocha who has set up a Film Academy in Owerri. The academy aims is help out the local populace and Nigerians at large into the entertainment industry. Already this is making success as the Africa Film Academy (AFA) in partnership with the state is set to train youth from the state who desire a career in the motion picture industry.
AFA is founded by Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, which has African Movie Academy Awards AMAA under it. The three weeks intensive programme commencing from April 25 to May 10 will have master featuring some of the leading professionals in the Nigerian film industry such as Segun Arinze, Paul Obazele, Tony Anih among others as resource persons. The training will cover script-writing, photography, editing, acting, cinematography, sound, and lighting. The students will be expected to produce short films that will give practical expression to what they learnt during the programme. 100 students will be sponsored by the Governor Rochas Okorocha which is part of youth empowerment and job creation. Diamond Bank as part of its CSR initiative is also sponsoring 10 students to the training while Africa Magic is also a strategic partner to make this a very successful one. This is a laudable project. It is not known if Nkiru Silvanus who was SSA to Governor on Public Affairs is part of this as her name was not readily mentioned. But it is sure that Silvanus has focus for the youth.
He was the only one that got an elective post as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly under the Surulere constituency. Desmond Olusola Elliot, an actor and movie director has done well for himself as the state governor sees him as part of role models as he plans to channel the entertainment, arts and culture sector into a more lucrative enterprise.
Nollywood actor, Bob Manuel Udokwu is the Senior Special Assistant(SSA) on the Movie/Entertainment Industry to the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, The actor who was to contest with Tony-One-Week for a post in Federal Constituency (Idenmili) in 2015 abandoned the venture. Bob was Senior Special Assistant to Governor Peter Obi on Creative Media the erstwhile governor of Anambra State,
Sam Dede is the current Director-General of the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency:
Rasida Adamu is SA to Governor of Kano State on Women Aafairs:
Yahanasu Sani is SA to Kano Governor on Budget and Planning:
It seems the governments of the day are looking at turning the talents and resources of the states to a gold mine which is a point in the right direction. This week, Kunle Afolayan and Joke Silva were inaugurated into the Lagos State Council Arts and Culture.
The tourism potential of the states has been left untapped for decades. It behoves the government to tackle employment through the arts, each state identifying the unique resources and natural endowments and turning them into an enterprise. Beyond the mineral resources which is equally important, the entertainment, unique sporting activity and tourist potential of each state ought to be explored.