By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
Mr. Olubankole ‘Banky W’ Wellington, the Nigerian musician, actor, writer and director known for his advocacy and passion for voters education, has announced his intention to serve as a federal legislator, representing Eti-Osa local government area of Lagos State.
He made the declaration Saturday at the debut convention of the Modern Democratic Party (MDP), a political party founded in 2017 by a consortium of youth associations.
In a recent publication by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ‘Summary of Submission of Form CF002 for Presidential and National Assembly Elections’, the MDP is one of the political parties whose total number of candidates for the 2019 presidential and national assembly elections are in the single digit bracket . The Modern Democratic Party (MDP) and the Youth Party (YP) have two nominees each for the House of Representatives.
The Modern Democratic Party is led by Prince Bukunyi Olateru-Olagbegi, a 27 year-old youth activist and entrepreneur. The party along with 21 other parties received their certificate of registration from the INEC last January.
Applauded by friends and associates in Nigeria’s creative industry, Wellington, 37, will run for a seat in the Federal House of representatives in Eti-Osa where he said, “there’s need for renewed hope and results, just like the rest of Nigeria.” According to him, “We want to fix Nigeria, but we must begin by rebuilding our communities. Everybody seems so obsessed with the presidential race – it’s one of the most frequent suggestions I get, ‘Banky W, run for President.’ I do believe in dreaming big, but I believe in starting small, and working your way up. And so, we are dreaming and building towards 2023 and beyond, but we are starting now. Hope is what we needed in ’93. Twenty-five years later, hope is what we need in 2019.”
Expressing resolute optimism, Wellington said, ‘‘Our generation needs a realistic rallying point. We need to begin in community, earn our way into the system and up the ladder. We need someone to stick their neck out and pave the way. The problem is that we’ve always looked to our leaders for change. Instead, look in the mirror and look around you. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for all along.”
“I have shared this vision with quite a few people. Some have been incredibly supportive, but some have advised against it. I am under no illusions that this run will be easy. Considering who we are going up against, this is almost impossible. They said we don’t have the money to run… we say our strength lies in our numbers. They said we don’t have the structure, we say we will attempt to build it. They said “what if you lose”? I say, what if we win? ‘’
The declaration event was attended by many professionals, celebrities, fans and citizens; with speeches by Jumoke Adenowo, Founder of AD Consulting & Awesome Treasures Foundation, Pastor Poju Oyemade, Senior Pastor of Covenant Christian Centre, MI Abaga, CEO of Chocolate City, Maryam Laushi, National Publicity Secretary of Modern Democratic Party (MDP), and Bukunyi Olateru-Olagbegi, Founder and Chairman of the Modern Democratic Party.