They arrived the Executive Suite of LTV Multipurpose Hall, Ikeja, Lagos in droves, defying the rains, early Friday, to announce where they stand in the forthcoming presidential and gubernatorial elections.
It was only nine days to the elections, but the League of Lagos Artistes (LLA), as they are called were not deterred, saying the press conference was mainly to present a united front, as they had already engaged their fans, individually, via their social media handles.
With caps bearing pictures of President Muhammad Buhari and his vice, professor Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State All Progressives Congress candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Femi Hamzat, it was clear where they were pitching their tent, they only needed to tell the world why.
Led by veteran actors, directors and producers, including Mr. Adebayo Salami, aka Oga Bello; Prince Jide Kosoko; Madam Lanre Hassan, aka Iya Awero; Mr. Yemi Solade, Mr. Babatunde Hassan, aka Ogogo; and actress Foluke Daramola, the group said they will be voting these candidates because they had engaged them on issues bothering on the progress of the creative industry, and believed they were the best for the positions.
In a statement read by Kosoko at the event, the group noted that it was pertinent to sustain the progress of the on-going developments by re-electing Buhari and electing Sanwo-Olu.
They said, after meeting with Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, they had no doubt that problems of piracy, street urchins and insufficient cinema centers, among other will be given due attention in view of a proposed Entertainment Desk in the Lagos state Art and Culture ministry.
“As citizens, we have our civic responsibilities, not only to vote but also to collectively engaged in educating and informing our people through our trade – entertainment. We have come to the conclusion that only one man, at the moment fits into the bill to help steer the ship of state and continue in the gradual redemption of our national pride and that man is President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We cannot but take a more than passing interest in the politics of Lagos State, where most of us are domiciled. It is therefore of great importance to us who becomes the next governor of the Centre of Excellence. The League of Lagos Artistes, after due consideration of the available options for governor of the state, hereby individually and collectively endorse Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for Governor and Dr. Femi Hamzat for Deputy Governor, Lagos.”
The group decry a situation whereby people criticise their involvement in partisan politics, saying: “From all indications, those who have been most vehement in the condemnation of our involvement are those who are not fortunate to have our support. We however have a duty to educate them that we are equally citizens of this great country called Nigeria. And as citizens, we have our civic responsibilities, not only to vote, but also to collectively engage in educating and informing our people through our trade – entertainment.”
Other notable artistes at the event are Funsho Adeolu, Madam Shaje, Ayo Badmus, Iyabo Ojo, Shade Omoniyi, Ayo Adesanya, Ronke Ojo, aka Oshodi-Oke, Shola Kosoko and Kemi Afolabi.