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Omotola To Fans: Stop Voting For Recycled People

As the 2019 Nigeria general elections approach, leading Nigerian actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde tells her fans to shun recycled candidates at the polls.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde was honoured in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Kate Middleton in 2013 / Photo credit: Instagram
Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde was honoured in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and Kate Middleton in 2013 / Photo credit: Instagram

Popular Nigerian actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, was in Accra, Ghana last weekend for the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA). She shared her views on the 2019 Nigeria general elections with The Interview

How has the year been for you?

It's been an amazing year. I got inducted into the Academy Awards this year. That's a very big milestone for me and any other African artiste. It's been amazing.

The general elections are only few months away, what advice would you give Nigerians, particularly your fans?

It's going to be tough because right now we have many credible people coming out even if they are coming out quite late. So, people are confused on how far they would go. What I keep telling Nigerians is that they should not allow people to suppress and intimidate y them the second time.

Don't vote for someone because you think that they are the ones who are going win. That's you allowing your vote to be your cage or prison. Free yourself and vote for someone you trust even if you are the only one voting for him.
Waste your vote. It's your own. It belongs to you.

At least, vote with conscience. There are so many other people like you and you don't know how many people are thinking like you. So don't feel at the end of the day you are going to vote for someone whose votes don't count. For the first time, let us vote credibly. We cannot continue to choose recycled people. We have to break out of that.

Don't vote for someone because you think that they are the ones who are going win. That's you allowing your vote to be your cage or prison. Free yourself and vote for someone you trust even if you are the only one voting for him.

Are you impressed by the number of young people who are participating in the upcoming elections?

I am very impressed. Some of the people that have come out, maybe few years ago would have said that they are not interested in politics. It's a good thing to see them come out and I have to give kudos to Fela Durotoye.
I think he was the first young person that actually declared his intention to contest in the election. I give him that respect and honour for taking the bull by the horn, and encouraging other people to come out.

So, there are many young people coming out to thrive from the highest level to the lowest level; from presidency to local government.
I don't think we should vote for people because they are young. That will be misleading ourselves. I think we should look at who among them are credible, ask them good questions and seek their character and also look at people who have track records.

We can't pick people that we know are significantly bad just because we are trying to run away from something bad. It's a vicious cycle. You might think these people are the opposition but they are all playing the same game.
They are all investors in this game and are playing with us.

So, for the first time, I think it is important to encourage the ones that are credible if even if they don't win, we will encourage them to come back next time. But if they suffer a massive loss it would discourage them and they might not have the guts to come out next time.

Waste your vote. It's your own. It belongs to you. At least, vote with conscience. There are so many other people like you and you don't know how many people are thinking like you. So don't feel at the end of the day you are going to vote for someone whose votes don't count. For the first time, let us vote credibly. We cannot continue to choose recycled people. We have to break out of that.

Do you think Nigeria is ready for a female president?

How do we need to be ready? What makes Nigeria special to be ready for what? Women are doing great in the society as we all know. Actually, many women are doing well in Nigeria today, almost better than the men. You have to agree.
We know many women are holding family down today in Nigeria, and are doing it honourably and strongly.

Besides that, we all know that women are very good when it comes to organising and taking care of family or responsibilities. I think Nigeria is ready, overripe for a female president.

Do you think the #MeToo movement will ever come to Nollywood?

Not just Nollywood; I hope it comes to Nigeria. Unfortunately, I don't think it will catch on now just because most women think they don't have options. If you force them to come out now and name the perpetrators, what options do they have?

Most women think they have to live with their abusers or find other ways around it. The country is so bad. Poverty rate is very high so it's almost doing them harm getting them to do this. I pray that it will come to Nigeria.
And not just for the adults but the young children too. We are hearing today of fathers raping their daughters.

These things were never happening. I don't understand what is going on. Perhaps because of the poverty rate in the country, so you see people looking for money desperately even through rituals. So we need the #MeToo movement here more than any other place in the world. I hope by next year if things get stable politically we can start looking at this malaise.

Mary Onyali-Omagbemi won the bronze medal in the 4 × 100 m relay at the 1992 Olympic Games and in the 200 m at the 1996 Olympic Games / Photo credit: www.makingofchamps.com

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