SPOTLIGHT: Can Funke Akindele keep her political ambition alive amid marital crisis?

On Tuesday, Funke Akindele, the Nollywood star, finally confirmed her nomination as the running mate of Olajide ‘Jandor’ Adediran, governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos  — after weeks of speculation.

Speaking on Arise Television on Tuesday, Akindele said she sees her selection as a huge responsibility and an opportunity to improve the welfare of the youth.

The actress said over the years, youths have been ignored while their dreams are cut short. She added that it is now time to use “our numerical strength” as an advantage in the forthcoming election.

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“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 said.

“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.”

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Unarguably, Akindele is currently one of Nigeria’s finest movie stars who has established herself as an inspiration to several young ones.

But her political ambition is coming at a time when she is battling a heated marital crisis.

On June 30, Abdulrasheed Bello, the singer and producer better known as JJC Skillz, has announced his separation from the actress — after he initially played down rumoured crisis in their marriage.

The lovebirds got married in 2016 and welcomed a set of twins in 2018.

In the post announcing their separation, JJC Skillz had said the last two years of their marriage have been difficult, and as such, they have resolved to part ways.

“The last two years have been extremely difficult for us. I know I have tried my best to fix things but I believe it is beyond repair now. 3 months ago and at Funkes insistence I moved out of the house and apart from AMVCA have not been able to get Funke to sit down in an amicable manner to discuss the future of our relationship,” he had said.

“I’m making this announcement so that the public is clear that we both are pursuing separate lives. We still have issues that need to be addressed such as the custody and wellbeing of our children which is paramount as well as business interests which need to be disentangled but I have no doubt that these will be resolved one way or the other.”

Her crumbling marriage has already started dominating discussions since she officially declared her political ambition. This, many argue, could jeopardise her party’s chances at the polls in 2023.

In several of her campaign posters, the actress excluded JJC Skillz’s name — a development which further confirmed all is not well with their marriage.

Can Akindele navigate the storms generated by her marital crisis and keep her political ambition alive in the coming months? Time will tell.

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