Singer turned politician Banky W has spoken on his loss at the recently held National Assembly election. Banky W opened up about his political ambition, his wife’s reaction and more.
On why he chose politics:
The reason I ventured into politics was because of my desire to impact and improve my community; the desire to do more than just talk, tweet and complain about government and the issues facing young people, and the desire to be a part of the progress we all seek. Most of us say we want a better country, but that’s where we stop.
I actually went for the specific role in government that I felt I wanted to work in at this time if given the opportunity. The House of Representatives would give me an opportunity to serve the whole country as a federal lawmaker, and also to serve my local community because of the constituency development that each member of the National Assembly is responsible for. That dual role of impact at the federal and local levels is what informed my decision to attempt this race.
On losing at the polls:
I feel very grateful, even in defeat, because of the things we were able to accomplish. Just by running the kind of campaign we ran, and winning some of the major polling units in our area, especially in places like Lekki, Agungi, Idado, Northern Foreshore, Badore, etc. Even in the places where we didn’t win, we were consistently placed in the top three right alongside the two major powers that be. And we did all this with a new, unknown party with no godfather or major sponsor and in the space of three months. It shows that we can compete.
You have to remember that a lot of the voters were accustomed to just picking sides between the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party. We actually earned every single vote we got, and that’s something to be proud of. We also hopefully inspired our generation enough to know that it can be done and to participate in the future. We made it to the top three in just three months; imagine what we can do with four years of consistent effort? We may not have won the election in Eti-Osa, but we won something far greater. We won their hearts.
On why he did not pitch camp with the major parties, APC and PDP:
My goal was not to just win an elected office; my goal was also to inspire my generation to get involved. You see, there are millions of disenfranchised young people who are fed up and frustrated by our government and political parties. When we look at the numbers after every election, it shows us that the turnout, especially among young voters, is always very low. And it’s ironic to me because these young people actually have the numbers to sway any election in this country, from the presidential, all the way down. That power has always been with the people, but the people don’t bother to use it. There are actually always more people who do not participate than there are who are loyal to (or paid by) a particular party. And so my goal was to try and convince as many of those people who normally wouldn’t bother, to care again. Nigeria can only really change if and when the young people demand it, and get involved in mak ing it happen. And I feel like we’ve sparked that movement with the race we ran. Our work has just begun. We must now continue to build the movement, and sustain the momentum.
On Adesua’s reaction to his political ambition and the eventual loss:
Her initial reaction was one of worry; she said politics in Nigeria is dirty and dangerous, and she didn’t want anything to soil my name or harm me. But I explained to her that it will always be dirty and dangerous if good people avoid it. Some of us need to get into the system to try and fix it, or it would remain rotten forever. And thank God she understood why it was necessary, and went on to support me every step of the campaign. (When I lost), she told me that she had never been more proud of anyone in her entire life and that it was an honour for her to be on my side. And then she called me her hero which was quite emotional and still is.
On the possibility of quitting entertainment for music:
I’m not quitting entertainment anytime soon and people can still expect to see and hear from me as a musician and filmmaker. In addition, EME as a media agency is doing fantastically well. In fact, ironically, the company has never been more successful than it has been in the last two years when we refocused our operations towards the agency space. So in music, movies, and media, I will always be here, by God’s grace. But I will also be doing a lot more work in service to the public, whether I am ever given an elected office or not.
On the future of his political career:
I intend to spend the next four years building the MDP movement in preparation for the 2023 elections. When I look back at what we did in just three months, I’m hopeful about what we can potentially achieve within the next four years. I believe that by the grace of God if we are consistent, we will be a lot more successful next time around. I also have more music, movies, and media projects in store, and a lot more as a businessman and family man to achieve.