It’s rather obvious how many Nollywood stars are seeking elected office.
But the question that comes to mind is why? Are they really going into politics and seeking elected office to have a genuine and real impact on peoples’ lives? Or do they already know how messy politics can be and just focused on making money and elevating their clout through the process?
In a new interview he granted to Vanguard newspaper, Desmond Elliot reaffirmed his genuine interest in politics and how it has always been part of his life:
How has life been since you went into politics?
It’s been okay, it’s been good, it’s exposed me to seeing more and the fact that I even want to give back. Out there, the people are not asking for a perfect turnaround, all they are asking for is something that can symbolize a change in their lifestyles.
Why did you suddenly go into politics?
I didn’t suddenly go into politics; politics has always been a part of me. I’ve been involved in campaigns for some Governors and even the President. I’ve been on the campaign trail for very long time now. Even though I have never sought any elective office before I have always had it at back of my mind as something I would do one day. It is not a surprise at all, it’s a well-thought out action and I came very prepared. I didn’t just sleep one day and say okay, it’s time to go into politics
Are you going to leave Nollywood if you get elected?
I can never leave Nollywood, I am only going to help in propagating and promoting laws that would help to structure the industry and make it better and improve it from the present situation – that’s it.
How do you see some of your Nollywood colleagues going into politics; do you think anybody can just wake up one morning and say they want to go into politics without having the potential in them?
First, everyone is entitled by law to vote and be voted for. Secondly, I am maybe not too surprised that many of Nollywood actors in this dispensation are going into politics. It’s not too far from the fact that there have been a lot of socio-economic changes that have happened to us in recent times.
That being as it may, we still must realize the fact that Nollywood or entertainment as an industry has contributed immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy and as such, it is not absurd or strange that those who have contributed to the growth of the economy should want to partake in politics to serve. We have a good relationship with our fans which are the public and the grassroots.
Sometimes people don’t just accept it because they don’t understand why somebody who is playing make-believe on TV should want to rule or serve.
At the end of the day, I can’t speak for everybody but what I do know is everyone is entitled as far as you’re a Nigerian to vote and be voted for.
Many people believe that entertainers are getting into politics because of money?
Granted, yes, there’s money in politics but have you asked yourself one question, is it sand that you use to play politics? The answer is No. What you’re playing politics with is money. I’m not so much into what government is going to be giving as allowance, my idea as a fresh mind is how to harness the resources around me and provide for the people.
Because if I just stick with what government is giving, then I am just going to be like everybody else. But when I harness resources from both home and abroad, harness NGOs, harness non-profit organizations, corporate bodies, private bodies, and bring all into creating social responsibility and social development in the people, then I know I’m achieving something that has not been done before.
That is the major difference I’m bringing in; using me and the platform I have to create a lot and to make so many changes. It’s already started.
Many people perceive politics as a dirty game; are they right in your own opinion?
I’ve always felt and I still feel that the Ministry of National Orientation has failed as regards this. I mean in giving people the right orientation as regards politics and violence. They have failed in their duty of sensitizing and giving information to people on how they should conduct themselves in a political dispensation. The orientation should be a continuous thing, not just during elections.
If people have been rightly sensitized that violence is not part of politics, violence would have disappeared in our politics.