Celebrities and the Task of Supporting Nigerian Military
By Mahmud Abdulsalam
Something David Adeleke, one of Nigeria’s modern-day music icon, did recently, trended in the media, for days. The “Assurance” crooner, who goes by his stage name of Davido, brought his star power to play.
The 30BG singer had taken to his Instagram page some weeks ago asking his friends and colleagues to send N1m each to him.
At first, Davido mentioned he needed N100m to clear his Rolls-Royce at the port. However, he surpassed the amount as he received 200m within 48 hours.
The singer, while giving update on his Instagram page, announced that the N200m received will be donated to orphanages across the country. He also donated a personal sum of N50m to the total amount.
Part of the talented singer’s Instagram post reads: “I wish to express my sincere gratitude to friends, fans, colleagues and the general public for the generous expressions of love in recent days.
“In my usual playful manner, I requested few days ago that my friends and colleagues send money in celebration of my birthday. The response exceeded my expectations as I received N200m in less than two days. I truly appreciate everyone.
“In view of this, I’m delighted to announce that all funds received totaling N200m will be donated to orphanages across Nigeria as well as Paroche foundation. In addition, I will be making a donation of N50m, bringing total to N250m.”
The fact that Davido could ‘compel’ or better still, persuade his friends and other well-wishers to donate for him, means one thing. He is phenomenally influential.
But the award-winning artiste may not be the only one with the sheer ability to pull crowd to support his cause. Many Nigerian celebrities, if not entirely all of them, are ‘superstars’ with huge fan base. And these are fans that are unflinchingly loyal. Most tremble at the slightest sneeze of their favourite celebs.
Over the years, Nigerian celebrities have mobilized youths and citizens to join some of their humanitarian, and philanthropic causes. There are times youths partake in peaceful demonstration against anti-masses government policies and programmes only because a popular celebrity called for it.
It will be stating the obvious that Nigerian celebrities, especially now that the country is plagued by insecurity, has a critical role to play in restoring peace and order in Africa’s most populous black nation. It is expected that they summarily lend their support to security agencies, battling to contain insurgents, bandits and other criminals, threatening national peace, unity and security.
To particularly assist the Nigerian military, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, has urged celebrities and influencers in the Nigerian entertainment industry to play active role in galvanising public support towards promoting national security.
The CDS made the call on Tuesday in Abuja during a parley with some selected group of artists. BBNaija season 6 winner, Whitemoney, Daddy Showkey and Timi Dakolo, a one-time Nigerian Idol winner; among others, visited the Gen. Irabor at the Defence Headquarters, DHQ.
According to Gen Irabor, security remains the responsibility of every citizen, as such, media personalities are critical stakeholders and a vital component in bringing security issues to bear in order to positively influence public perceptions on contemporary security challenges.
This, Gen Irabor, said would further complement efforts of Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) and other security agencies tasked with the responsibilities of ensuring security of lives and property of every citizen.
“We want to win you over to be on the same page with us for better understanding of security generally,” the CDS noted.
The CDS urged the celebrities to use their overwhelming influence, entertainment platforms and social life to build a better and progressive nation.
Chief of Defence Civil Military Cooperation, Rear Adm. Frederick Ogu, said the nation’s troubling time required all citizens’ supports.
Ogu, said it was the opinion of the CDS that people from different walk of life, influencers and the populace should be engage on the way forward.
“Recognising the influence that you have on the Nigerian populace, especially the youths, we found it necessary that we should speak with you and encourage you to play your own part, so that this country can be a better place for us to live,” he said.
It is heartwarming that the Nigerian military hierarchy appreciates the salient role celebrities play in fostering national unity, and peace. But more importantly, galvanizing massive public support for noble causes, and development projects.
Both the military authorities and Nigerian celebrities, together with entertainers, should identify areas of partnership, towards tackling security challenges in the country, in the wake of the clarion call of Gen. Irabor. Issues of national security are matters that affect all sundry and sundry. Therefore, a collective effort by not only the military and Nigerian entertainers, but teeming citizens, is what is required to tackle them.
Mahmud Abdulsalam is an Assitant Editor with PRNigeria
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