Saidi Balogun, a veteran Nollywood actor, has offered advice to young Nigerians in response to claims that he had been given N20 million to support Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate, in the upcoming 2023 elections.
The seasoned actor counseled the young people against trying to impose their favorite candidate on other Nigerians. Instead, he said, let them support whoever they thought would best represent the country. In order to fulfill their civic duty during the elections, he continued, they should use their Permanent Voter’s Card, or PVC, rather than exercising dictatorial power.
Saidi Balogun also debunked rumors that he had turned down N20 million from Peter Obi’s campaign when asked to back the former Anambra governor for president, saying they were entirely untrue. “They shouldn’t be spreading fake news because of anybody,” he noted.
“The only thing I can tell the youth is that they should think deeply before supporting anybody. The youths should please allow other people to support their preferred candidates. They have their PVCs; so, they shouldn’t be spreading fake news because of anybody,” the 55 years old said told the Punch.
He continued, “My advice to them is that they should use the power of their PVC. As they have the right to support any candidate of their choice, so do I. You are becoming a dictator if you are trying to force me to agree with your choice.
“I can only preach and exhibit or promote what my candidate has done or will do. You can buy into it but if you don’t, it’s fine. You’re free to present or show me the beauty of your own candidate too; and I may possibly buy into it. It is not for us to resort to abusing, cursing or fighting one another. And I need to say that it is important that when we see a piece of news, we should try and verify the authenticity before we start rebroadcasting because fake news travels fast.
Balogun further elaborated on why he is supporting Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress for the 2023 presidential election. He said Tinubu has the same leadership style of bringing competent people to the limelight, just like himself.
He said, “So, I came out to support Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) and they asked me why. I told them that in Yoruba land, everybody you know who has been this and that, he (Asiwaju) was the one that brought them out – counting from (Babatunde) Fashola, (Yemi) Osinbajo to (Akinwunmi) Ambode. He (Tinubu) was the one who brought them out. When he picked these people, everybody was asking questions, but when they got there, what Asiwaju saw in these people, everybody started seeing too.
“In my films online, I have brought to limelight actors that people had not seen before; Asiwaju too has that style. I decided to give him my support. His good deeds that I know of are what I am talking about, and that’s me. Whosoever you support, it’s your personal choice and I don’t have to fight you over it”.