With the start of the political season, veteran actress, Barbara Odoh has advised Nollywod actors not to endorse incompetent or corrupt candidates.
Odoh, who was part of the Nollwyood classic ‘Glamour Girls”, described 2023 as defining year in the country’s history, making it important that famous actors as well as ordinary citizens support only candidates who can solve the country’s many problems.
According to her, Nigerians who admire and love Nollwyood stars have been through a lot of hardship recently with soaring food prices, a high cost of living and worsening of levels of insecurity, so celebrities they look up to for inspiration shouldn’t disappoint them by promoting candidates who cannot better the lives of the people.
Odoh made her feelings known in reaction a viral video of an unidentified pastor cursing Nollywood actors for allegedly endorsing former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the presidency.
The actress in a phone interview acknowledged that though the pastor may have reacted in anger to talks of certain Nollywood actors canvassing for the National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), he should have chosen his words carefully and restricted his reaction to those he involved in the alleged endorsement and not resort to cursing Nollywood as an industry.
She said: “If an actor must identify him/herself with a candidate, he should feel the pulse of the candidate or aspirant. The actor should be able to understand the ideology of the candidate. Politics goes beyond elections. Politics and elections are the routes to governance and governance tells on lives and destinies.
“Our film industry was built through the determination and investment of private sector players. It was built and sustained by creatives who toiled to make Nollywood the third largest film industry in the world. Our industry creates jobs almost on a daily basis, we contribute to the country’s GDP, so we must guard our reputation jealously and been seen to only support what is just and good”.
On Tinubu’s aspiration, the veteran actress who contested as the Deputy Governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in 2019 urged that the former governor support a younger candidate with the right qualification and attributes.
“Asiwaju has contributed immensely to entrenching democracy in Nigeria. But it is time for him to handover to the next generation. Nigeria now needs a vibrant, younger, intellectually sound President who can unite, inspire and lead the people.
“As Jagaban of Nigerian politics, Tinubu can pick from the array of persons he has raised as sons to run for President. He can advise such a person as a statesman”, she opined.