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Should Entertainers Be Worried About Buhari?


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Words by James Silas

Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari has officially been declared winner of the Presidential election. He is now the president elect of the federal republic of Nigeria. The final mandate will be conferred on him come May 29, 2015.

Now, the fact is that, a lot of people did not support or vote for Buhari, the same way a lot did not vote or support President Jonathan,  but the end result is that Nigerians were given an opportunity to exercise their civic right and choose between two candidates, after which, the one with the most votes won the election. This does not in any way connote that somebody lost the election; maybe a few political parties did, but above all, Nigerians made a choice and democracy was enacted.

On the other hand, some or probably most entertainers took sides to support their favourite candidates, and we can’t pretend like we don’t know that Jonathan had a lot of entertainers on his side. It is understandable that most Nollywood actors supported him because he also supported a handful of Nollywood related projects during his tenure. Actress, Omoni Oboli premiered her movie in Aso Rock. I mean, that’s a big deal; how many ministers of the federation launched personal projects in Aso Rock in the last 5 years? So if some entertainers can get that much access to the presidency, then it is only logical to want GEJ in power for another four years.

Before I go further, please note, that this short article is just an expression of a harmless curios mind.

We will all agree that so many people have their opinions about Major General Buhari. Actually, it is difficult to write or call his name without using the titles ‘Major General’ or ‘General’ and that’s one of the problems many have with him. On a personal note, this point is baseless because the man retired from the army about 30 years ago and since the saying goes, ‘once a soldier always a soldier’, we can as well leave the titles right where they are.

I was just wondering what could be going on in the minds of those entertainers that supported President Jonathan during the campaign and election period.
Do they feel bad for him?

Have they called him to ‘sympathize’ with him? That’s none of my business, I guess.

I was also wondering what Buhari has in mind. Does he listen to Nigerian music? Does he watch Nollywood movies and does he even know who Sammie Okposo and Amaka Igwe are?

One of the reasons why some Nigerian entertainers support politicians is to either get generous handshakes in return or to plant their political ambition outside entertainment… or what else? Most of these guys will deny this fact, but how many movie makers had access to the said $200 Million grant that the government put down for the entertainment industry in 2012.

What has the government done about the lack of screening centers for movie makers?

What has been done about piracy?

The questions will take too much of our time…don’t even let me paste more.

Nigeria will transit to a new dispensation in a few weeks from now, and the problems of the entertainment industry are still where they are. I am wondering if entertainers would come together regardless of which party or who is in power, to demand for what the industry needs.

I know some entertainers, especially musicians, supported Buhari by affiliation with Fashola, Tinubu and Ambode. It is however, unknown if they will be able to use that opportunity to influence the president to properly enforce the piracy/intellectual property law. The problems of the entertainment industry can be dealt with, but it requires a level of attention from the people in power. If a scape goat is single handedly picked for an offence like piracy, others will sit up. There can’t be punishment without a crime; therefore, prosecute a suspect and sentence him to jail, so that other perpetrators will get the ‘memo’ that says “this piracy party is over”.

I want to believe that Nigerians, especially the entertainment industry understand that the change of government cannot be a hindrance to what is obtainable. This is a democratic government and if entertainers could access Jonathan during his tenure, then Buhari would not be an exception. However people got access to the presidential villa in the first place, they will and should proceed to the same address to demand the required change Nigeria’s entertainment industry needs.

Who says Buhari cannot have a ‘Beats by Dre’ headphone? D’banj can hook him up; I’m sure he’ll like it.
Let’s not make assumptions; let’s not be afraid of the voted one. Nigeria is a growing democratic nation and this recent election is a proof that our democracy has grown notches older from what it used to be. So embrace it and make the best of what you can.

This is a personal opinion; feel free to air yours on the comment strip.

James Silas

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