From acting to politics: Akindele, Tonto Dikeh… Nollywood stars named deputy guber candidates ahead of 2023

Ahead of the 2023 elections, some Nollywood stars appeared to be switching from filmmaking to politics.

Quite a few of them have so far been named as running mates to governorship candidates of various political parties as the 2023 election gradually closes in.

CRISPNG examines some of them.

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Funke Akindele was recently selected as running mate to Olajide ‘Jandor’ Adediran, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos.

The move came as a surprise to many fans of the actress but she is determined to navigate the murky waters of Nigerian politics.

Speaking about the decision, Akindele had described her selection as a huge responsibility and an opportunity to improve the welfare of the youth.

“I’m a Lagosian born out of Ikorodu, so when the PDP gubernatorial candidate asked me to be his running mate as deputy governor in next year’s election, I saw it as an opportunity to help liberate and improve the welfare of our people – particularly the deprived youth, women and the girl child,” she had said.

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“My decision is not only to accept this huge responsibility but also to work tirelessly and complement Jandor’s burning desire.

“Over the years, a lot of young people have been ignored, victimised and maimed for daring to have a dream.

“So I use this opportunity to call out all well-meaning residents of Lagos – especially the youth – it’s indeed time to use our numeric strength to our full advantage.”


Like Akindele, many didn’t see Tonto Dikeh’s foray into politics coming, largely due to her controversial personality.

From drama of over her failed relationships to randomly trading words with others on the social media, Dikeh is always in the news — mostly for controversies.

But last month, the movie star was announced as the running mate to Tonte Ibraye, the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Rivers state.

In her remark, Dikeh, who is believed to have been nursing political ambition for a while, said she will be working alongside Ibraye towards increasing women’s inclusion in the state’s governance system, supporting small businesses, and strengthening our traditional institutions.

“I thank Mr. Tonte Ibraye(@tonteibraye), the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Rivers State for nominating me as his running mate,” the actress wrote.

“We are looking forward to investing massively in social protection, creating a social value system for young people.

“Increasing women inclusion in our governance system, supporting small businesses and strengthening our traditional institutions to be active players in the drive to bring sustainable development to the people of Rivers.

“I am glad to be a proud member of the #RiversRescueMission2023. Please get your PVC and join the movement. You are the Future and The future is now!”


The latest Nollywood star to be selected as deputy governorship candidate is Femi Branch.

On Friday, Branch was officially unveiled as running mate to Tofunmi Ogunronbi, governorship candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM) in Ogun state, ahead of 2023.

The NRM guber candidate had said he picked the Ogun-born actor because he believes he would add more value to his candidacy and has a “clear understanding of the task ahead and the need to work with a co-visionary with a shared passion for the emancipation of the good people of the state.”

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