Veteran Nigerian actor, Tony Umez has dismissed reports that he was approached by some persons to endorse a particular presidential candidate in the run-up to the 2023 election.
Speaking in an interview with The Punch, he said it is not his style to publicly endorse any politician evn though he has his preffered candidate.
According to Umez, claims by some persons that he was offered N10 million to support someone vying for the seat of president is false.
In his words; ” That report is false, and I don’t know where it emanated from. Nobody has approached me for anything. Nobody approached me to endorse anybody for N10m. I have my preferred candidate.
I have not endorsed any candidate publicly that is because it is not my style. However, people who know me know who I am supporting. Publicly endorsing a candidate is the choice of anyone who decides to do that. Whether the person is doing it for money, or so as to be noticed in exchange for pecuniary gains, I don’t know.
For the entertainers that have endorsed candidates, I don’t know whether they were paid or not. One cannot force anybody to support one’s candidate. Politics is a game. We all have reasons for supporting particular candidates. If my reason for supporting any candidate does not appeal to anyone, that does not give them the right to castigate me.
It is just that there is a general feeling of rage and anger across the land because of all the things we’re going through as a nation. Some people believe that when one endorses a particular person, one is doing a disservice to the nation, going by what we have on ground. The bottom line is that politics is a game. Anyone can play it, but they should not insult others in the process.”
The actor was also asked to comment on his colleagues in the entertainment industry who are aspiring for public offices.
He said; “Are they not human beings? They have the right to vote and be voted for. They are Nigerians, educationally qualified, and mature enough to know right from wrong. It then depends on the electorate. Do they think these people are the right people to actualise their expectations? If yes, they can vote for them.
Don’t forget that if they harness their social capital very well, they (entertainers) can bring a lot to the table. Politics is a game of numbers, and some of these entertainers have huge followership.”