While it might be impossible to statistically gauge the impact of Davido’s support for Ademola Adeleke at the polls, his influence played no small role in drumming up support and gaining credibility for a candidate who given his political standing wasn’t the most popular.
Four months from now, specifically in February 2023, Nigerians will be heading to the poll in a round of national elections that can be considered to be the most critical since the country returned to democracy in 1999.
Perhaps, for the first time in Nigeria’s 62-year history, the youths are more invested in who occupies Aso Rock in an awakening that can be traced back to the #ENDSARS Protest of October 2020.
This renewed interest has birthed a polarizing political stance between the preferred candidate of most of the Youths – at least if we are to consider social media and what has played out on the streets- and other candidates. And as this political stance plays out, it will appear that anybody who opposes the Youth’s candidate automatically assumes the status of a persona non grata.
Since the onset of the election season, we have seen individuals who under the guise of supporting their preferred candidate berate some celebrities for pitching their tent with an opposing party.
Indeed, political decisions carry life-altering consequences and it’s understandable that such decisions are driven by what many will describe as an urgency to secure a palatable socioeconomic future for themselves, and anyone standing on the other side of the divide is an agent opposing the actualization of this goal.
What must however be noted is that these reasons are not limited to supporters of the popular candidate who for some reason believe that it’s solely under their political tent that reasonability resides.
The decision of a particular artist to support a certain candidate can be informed by different reasons.
It can be necessitated by a shared political philosophy. It might as a result of loyalty inspired by previous acts of benevolence. It might be a desire to secure personal or collective interest.
If Davido is free to support his uncle’s political ambitions because of family ties and such a decision can be looked favorably upon, then other celebrities should be afforded the privilege to pitch their tents with whatsoever candidate or party they wish, irrespective of the factors driving such decision.
The campaign season is about to kick off in full gear and it will be common to find artists performing at different campaign grounds. Music is one of the ways to sustain the attention of spectators and supporters and artists will be recruited to supply their services.
It will be up to each artist to decide if they want to be associated with such activities and if they want to offer their services to different politicians. While as individuals, it’s possible to hold a certain moral standing aggregated by what can be considered popular opinion, such opinion cannot form a basis upon which the decisions of each artist to perform at political rallies will be judged, Neither can it form the bedrock for moral legislation upon which artists will be held.
During the build-up to the Osun State Gubernatorial election, Street-pop sensation Portable was recruited by a political party to supply his services. The trouble-shooting artist went above and beyond in earning his paycheck and when the electorate ultimately decided at the polls, Portable returned home and reminded everyone that for him, it was all part of the hustle.
Essentially, performing for a particular political party is a job an artist can decide to accept or reject. And the morality of which is entirely subjective.