Lagos Governorship: Funke Akindele’s Imaginary Social Media Votes

Lagos Governorship: Funke Akindele's Imaginary Social Media Votes
Lagos Governorship: Funke Akindele's Imaginary Social Media Votes

The 2023 Lagos State governorship election has come and gone but Nigerians and Lagosians will continue to talk about the lessons for a long time to come. The 2023 general elections have been adjudged by the international communities as an exercise below expectations, especially on the part of the umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Starting from the primaries that produced the various candidates of the major three parties Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC, Azeez Adeniran (Jandor) of the PDP and Gbadebo (Chinedu) Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, Lagosians were entertained during the campaign period.

It was during the campaign phase that the incumbent, Sanwo-Olu decided to be a church usher, standing at the entrance and shaking worshippers’ hands. The same Sanwo-Olu suddenly remembered his love for ice cream and visited a mall.

The entertainment also resurfaced when netizens brought out a post by Rhodes-Vivour, calling a Yoruba man “Afonja”, a derogative word often used by other tribes online against the Yoruba man. But what trumps the season for me was the infamous Funke Akindele’s statement on how the number of her followers on social media will translate into votes for her and her “oga”, Jandor.

Speaking of Akindele, her emergence as the deputy governorship candidate of the PDP is something I am yet to come to terms with. Do not get me wrong, she is qualified for the post. However, what electoral value did she possess? For me, that was the first mistake Jandor made.

However, moving beyond that, Funke Akindele must be commended for giving it her all, despite her all not being enough to come second to Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Truth be told, the PDP was in the race till February 25 when the Labour Party surprised all and defeated president-elect, Bola Tinubu in Lagos. That was the final straw for Akindele and her imaginary 20 million voters, as the momentum switched to Rhodes-Vivour and his Labour Party.

As much as I try, that statement has refused to leave my head. To put this in context, Funke Akindele, in an interview with Channels Tv had said she had over 20m followers on social media who are ready to vote for her.

Funke said: “I have the numbers, I have fans and followers and I’m true to myself. I have more than 20m fans on social media and also at the grassroots level. I have fans at the grassroots level outside Ikorodu ready to support me and I’m true to myself. What I’m coming in is to change the lives of Lagosians. I’m here to provide solutions in Lagos. I’m in the system, I’m in the pain, we all know where the shoe pinches us.”

The elections are over and where are the votes? Throughout the campaign period, Jandor, probably not wanting to admit he made a political miscalculation by bringing her on board, had constantly tweeted about how he had no regret choosing her as his running mate.

Now, the morning is here and in Jandor and Akindele’s words, “lessons had been learnt.” Her hastiness in deleting all political posts on her handle is also a pointer that it had been a mismatch from the beginning.

We can forgive her for her unguided foray into politics but nobody can take away the fact that she is a good actress and hopes she continues making waves in the industry – despite her initial claim that she had done with Nollywood for good.