The 2023 elections in Nigeria witnessed a surge of celebrities actively buying party forms and joining the country’s political fray to contest for elective positions to help change the country’s direction.
Many celebrities, like Tonto Dikeh, Funke Akindele, Caroline Danjuma, and Olumide Owuru, who participated in the 2023 elections after declaring their candidacy received tremendous applause and public support for showing interest in politics.
However, not many of them did very well at the polls based on results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This article highlights the eight celebrities that contested for political positions in 2023 gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections and how well they fared.
Caroline Danjuma African Action Congress (AAC):
According to the results declared by INEC, Umo Eno of the People’s Democratic Party won the governorship election in Akwa Ibom, where the actress and reality TV star Caroline Danjuma contested for the position of Deputy Governor.
The movie star was contested on the African Action Congress (AAC) platform, with her principal, Iboro Otu, coming a distant sixth.Umo Eno of the PDP got the most votes, the Young Progressive Party candidate Albert Bassey came second, and APC’s Akanimo Udofia came third.
Tonto Dikeh African Action Congress (ADC):
Another ace Nollywood actress whose participation in the 2023 elections brought a lot of enthusiasm was Tonto Dikeh Tonto Dikeh and her principal, Tonte Ibraye, stirred a lot of hope after their declaration for the Rivers state election.
However, the movie star dashed is fans’ hopes of going all out to vote for her when she and her principal announced that they were stepping down for the candidate of the APC, Tonye Cole.
Banky W People’s Democratic Party (PDP):
Ace entertainer, Bankole Wellington of the PDP is another celebrity that contested for an elective position during the 2023 elections.
However, like many of his other colleagues, he lost This is his second shot at running for the House of Representative position in the Eti-Osa constituency Banky W lost, coming second to the Labour Party candidate. Attah Achief.
Desmond Elliot All Progressive Congress (APC):
Of the lot, actor Desmond Elliot is the only Nollywood practitioner already in government contesting again for a political position. He, however, was given a run for his money at the just concluded election as he was challenged by a younger colleague from Nollywood, Olumide Oworu of the Labour Party.
The Lagos state legislator, however, is the only celebrity that contested at the last election that won amongst his colleagues that participated in the 2023 polls.
Olumide Oworu Labour Party (LP):
Young, fresh-faced Nollywood actor Olumide Oworu is one of the new kids on the block both in the movie industry and the Nigerian political space. Olumide Oworu declared his interest in contesting for a political position weeks before the presidential election.
Oworu competed against his senior colleague and former boss, Desmond Elliot, for the Lagos state House of Assembly position, Surulere Constituency.
However, it was later revealed that Olumide was not on the ballot. Instead, one Mr Bode Adebayo was on the LP ballot contesting for the Surulere constituency 1, not the young actor.
Tuoyo Ideh All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA):
Another young public personality that contested a political position in the 2023 elections is Tuoyo Ideh. The reality TV star contested for the House of Representatives, the Warri Federal constituency and lost.
Funke Akindele People’s Democratic Party (PDP):
Arguably the biggest Nollywood name that contested for a political position at the last election was Funke Akindele. She was the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP for the Lagos state gubernatorial elections.
When this article was published, Funke’s party had won none of the 19 of the 20 LGAs declared The APC cleared 18 LGAs, with the Labour Party winning just one.
Funke Akindele and her principal Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, aka Jandor, were defeated woefully.
Femi Branch National Rescue Movement (NRM):
Veteran Nollywood actor, Femi Branch, was the deputy governorship candidate for Ogun state alongside Tofunmi Ogunronbi under the National Rescue Movement (NRM) party. Femi Branch’s party came a distant 12th in the Ogun state gubernatorial elections. It was a blowout.