J Martins, an award-winning musician and the head of the Orion Music Empire label, is hoping to represent Arochukwu/Ohafia in Abia State. Banky W announced his bid for the Eti-Osa constituency in the House of Representatives, saying that he will be running on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) ticket. His latest bid follows a failed attempt to join the house on the youth-led Modern Democratic Party ticket in 2019.
Both artists, who are considered big names in Nigerian music, are no strangers to political activism, with political themes occasionally represented in their music. In 2020, they joined fellow entertainers for the #EndSARS campaign, calling for police reforms and social justice.
J Martins and Banky W say their decision to contest next year’s elections has been fuelled by a growing call for change across the country’s political landscape, and a need for well-meaning citizens to get involved in the process of transforming Nigeria into the country they want.
“The situation in our country has made it increasingly important for everyone with ideas, especially those with successful careers and professionals to embrace politics and bring aboard their wealth of experience to help fix our country … while only God has the complete solution to humanity’s problems, I pledge a paradigm shift that will result in the supply of basic amenities of life that our people deserve,” J Martins said.
Banky W said: “We can no longer settle for candidates who feel entitled to their place in government. We need candidates who will earn and treasure their right to serve. As a nation, we need innovation and reform. But reform will happen when enough of us with like minds, who have the best interest of the nation at heart, are in government.
“The problems in Nigeria are from the top down but the solutions are from the bottom up and so some of us must infiltrate the major platforms that exist in order to build an army of like minds who will enter government with the same agenda.”
Next year’s elections in Nigeria will comprise presidential, vice-presidential, gubernatorial, Senate and House of Representative polls on 25 February and 11 March.