What tour? What NYSC? The only thing that Davido cares about right now is his uncle’s campaign in Osun State. If the ‘Dancing Senator’ Ademola Adeleke does win, it won’t because he’s that popular; he will owe it to his nephew.
The Adeleke family is somewhat of a political dynasty in Ede: In 1983, Raji Ayoola Adeleke was elected as Senator in the old Oyo State. Ten years later, one of his sons, Adedeji had become a billionaire businessman while another had become, like him, an elected politician; this time as the first civilian of the newly created Osun State.
Senator Ademola, however, was thrown into the fray when his elder brother, Isiaka, died under controversial circumstances. As proof of their solid standing in their hometown Ede, his American based younger brother – whose two sons Shina Rambo and B-Red had joined their superstar cousin David in the Nigerian music scene- won the bye-election and became the replacement senator.
Davido might have been up to something in his single debut Dami Duro when he sang “Ijo Baba Shina Rambo”. Apparently, he was referring to his uncle’s love for dancing. It wasn’t until when he became a Senator that the wider populace realized that the man had a thing for dancing. He had very little qualms turning up, twisting and turning like a real spinning top.
Just about a year later, he declared his intention to run for the governorship of Osun State. What started as a joke soon became reality: in the same way, his elder brother Isiaka was governor in 1992, he very well could be the next chief executive of that state. The keenly contested election would feature him (of the PDP) against a candidate of the APC. And in time, they began the journey to what would be a fantastic fairy tale.
Enter Davido. In August, the singer broke the internet when he showed up to register for the National Youth Service Corps, a scheme all Nigerian graduates are mandated by law to undergo. For a few days, he showed up at the Lagos camp, dressed in the white and khaki uniform- with his managers, handlers and bodyguards in tow. Of course, that was him tieing up the loose ends so he doesn’t suffer the fate former Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun did when she was accused of forging an NYSC exemption certificate. That same week, he flew out to the US to perform at a number of concerts and commence his ‘Locked Up’ tour. While other corpers were waiting to complete the three-week orientation camp, Davido was in America. He announced that he was returning home ‘due to NYSC and other commitments.’ Soon it became clear what the commitments were: his uncle’s campaign.
The election is billed to hold on September 22 2018. In the last one week alone, Davido has been more visible among prospective voters, almost more than the man who is running for office. At every stop, he attracts hundreds of thousands of people who gather to see him perform. Osun State is 200 kilometres away from the entertainment capital Lagos, therefore it would have been unlikely that residents would have the opportunity to attend a Davido concert. The campaign, however, provides them with a free show which they attend en masse.
Davido hasn’t made his name as being socially conscious or politically aware. But he’s giving all of his time and artistry to his uncle’s political career. The man himself stayed away from the debate organized by Channels Television. On the flip side, he’s been at every campaign event dancing along with his superstar nephew.
Because data is hard to come by in Nigeria, but it is safe to guesstimate that more people have attended campaigns this cycle than at any time in Osun State’s history. You can call it the Davido effect.
If all the people who have attended the several campaign rallies across the state do make it to the polls- and follow the direction of the entertainer they trooped out to see; on September 23 2018, Osun State will have a new governor-elect in the person of Ademola Adeleke.
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