From showbiz to politics: Nigerian stars who shot for elected office

The political season is upon us once again as the 2023 general election is steadily approaching. Like all other Nigerians who are eligible to vote and be elected, some entertainers have thrown their hats into the ring and announced their ambitions to run for elective political office. In view of this, Daily Trust sheds light on some Nigerian stars who have contested elective positions.

Banky W

Ace Banky W singer Olubankole Wellington announced again on Friday that he was throwing his hat in the ring as he declared his intention to run for the House of Representatives, this time under the “umbrella” of the People’s Democratic Party . He aims to represent the Eti-Osa 2023 Federal Constituency.

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This is the second time the artist-turned-politician has run for elected office. On November 11, 2018, the 41-year-old declared his intention to run for the Lagos Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives, on the platform of the Modern Democratic Party, formed in 2017. However, On February 23, 2019, he lost the election to Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressive Congress.

J. Martins

Hip-life singer, J. Martins, like his Nigerian music industry counterpart, Banky W, has also announced his interest in running for Federal House of Representatives Arochukwu/Ohafia Constituency Abia State in 2023. This is the first time the singer Oyoyo would signify an interest in the Nigerian political scene.

Although the singer has not announced the political platform he hopes to join to fulfill his dream, J. Martins through his verified social media account urged people in Abia State to join him in this struggle for better representation.

Desmond Elliot

Thespian and popular filmmaker, Desmond Elliot declared his intention in September 2014 to run for the Lagos State House of Assembly as part of the All Progressives Congress. He contested and won the Surulere constituency in the April 11, 2015 Nigerian general election. Fast forward to the next election in 2023, the movie star has once again shown interest in running for the same elective position.

Kenny Saint Best

In 2014, sonic gospel singer, Kenny Saint Best, also joined her colleagues as she ventured into politics. His aim was to become a member of the Lagos State Legislative Assembly.

Unfortunately for the veteran singer, she lost the All Progressives Congress primary election for the state’s Ikeja constituency to Mr. Folajimi Mohammed, son of the APC National Publicity Secretary,
Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

Kate Henshaw

Born on July 19, 1971, Kate Henshaw also tested the waters on July 19, 2014, when she officially unveiled her campaign website as she aspired to represent the federal constituency of Calabar Municipal/Odukpani under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party.

Eventually, Kate Henshaw lost the primary election to Rt. Hon Essien Ayi but was appointed Special Adviser Lagos Liaison by Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade in December 2015


The name Alexander Abolore Adegbola Akande might not ring a bell to you, but once 9ice is mentioned to any music lover, the evergreen song “Gongo Aso” comes to mind. The singer is also a Nigerian artist who threw his hat in the ring, unfortunately his political career did not go far.

In August 2014, the singer officially made public his intention to contest the House of Representatives seat for Ogbomosho North/South/Orire Federal Constituency of Oyo State in the February 2015 general election.

But he lost his bid to represent his people in the House of Representatives to Prince Akeem Oyewunmi in the All Progressive Congress primaries.

Julius Agwu

Additionally, in August 2014, posters of Choba-born comedian Julius Agwu went viral on the Nigerian internet space as he declared his desire to run for Governor of Rivers State.

In his campaign poster, the comedian went with the slogan “Our moment of change!” Julius Agwu for Governor”. However, the humor merchant never disclosed which political party he hoped to use to achieve his ambition.

Months later, the comedian turned around and withdrew from the gubernatorial race. Citing the reasons for his withdrawal, in a statement released by his manager, Sunday Uwem, Agwu resigned after a meeting with his parents from Ikwere.

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