Funke Akindele, an award-winning actress and deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos, has boasted that her followers on social media, numbering over 20 million, will come out en masse to vote for the party in 2023.
Ms Akindele was convicted and sentenced in 2020 for violating Lagos COVID-19 protocols but was granted a pardon by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Her declaration to run as PDP deputy governorship candidate now pits her against Mr Sanwo-Olu, seeking reelection on the platform of the APC.
The social media followers’ tally is an aggregate of her fans worldwide, who are not all resident in Lagos and eligible voters.
“He (Mr Sanwo-Olu) has the numbers; I have the numbers. I have fans and followers. I’m true to myself. I have over 19 to 20 million fans on social media,” the actress said during a Channels TV programme on Thursday.
Nonetheless, the mother of two admitted that her social media followers alone could not determine PDP’s victory in Lagos.
“There are a lot of people in the grassroots. Outside of Ikorodu, I have fans at the grassroots level everywhere,” she stated.
On Tuesday, Ms Akindele announced she was the running mate to Olajide ‘Jandor’ Adediran, the convener of the Lagos4Lagos movement formed under the Lagos chapter of the APC.
Asked how the party would win the 2023 governorship election in Lagos, Ms Akindele boasted that her fans and followers outside Ikorodu would vote for the PDP instead of APC.
The mother of two boasted that her closeness to the grassroots after over two decades has revealed their pains, stating that it was time to proffer solutions to their problems.
“I have these fans and followers. I feel their pain. I hear people nag. I watch TV; I feel their pain. I’m going out there to proffer solutions,” she said.
Meanwhile, the actress, whose husband Abdul Bello, aka JJC Skillz, recently announced their separation, said she joined the party about three months ago after the governorship candidate approached her.
“The governorship candidate of our party, Olajide Adediran, approached me, and I saw it as an opportunity to join him to rescue the state from the state of infrastructure deficit,” Ms Akindele explained.
She added, “Although I have been managing people for over two decades, the interest to join politics in the state was ignited when Jandor, our governorship candidate, approached me to do it together with him. Immediately, I jumped at it.”