Nigeria has been good to Funke Akindele. In a country aptly described as the poverty capital of the world where majority of the people are wallowing in financial want and economic misery, we have a few people who have escaped the ugly clutches of penury.
Akindele is not just a talented entertainer, she is a role model. Many youngsters are praying to the deity that controls the affairs of the earth to be like the likes of Akindele.
This accomplished actress among other achievements, is currently an ambassador to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, a federal agency who is at the frontline in the fight against the raging coronavirus disease.
Needless to say, Akindele through action and speech, is supposed to show vivid support for the efforts to chase out the coronavirus from the country. Like many other celebrities are doing around the world and in Nigeria, she should be seen contributing in cash and kind to the fight against COVID-19. But whatever contributions she is already making as an ambassador to the NCDC and Dettol has been undermined by her.
In an apparent disregard for the lockdown and social distancing rules imposed by both the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government, Akindele and her husband, JJC Skillz organised a house party attended by guests who were more than 25.
Some of the guests at the shameful event included unscrupulous hip-hop singer, Naira Marley, actress, Eniola Badmas and the Lagos governorship candidate of the ADP in the last general elections, Babatunde Gbadamosi.
The party which was thrown to celebrate the birthday of Akindele’s husband expectedly drew the ire of Nigerians. Funke, JJC Skillz, Naira Marley, Badmas and Gbadamosi deserve the opprobrium they are currently getting from Nigerians.
I am not surprised about the presence of Naira Marley at the event. That geezer has already established himself as someone who is defiant of the authorities. This is someone who in my well considered opinion, is a bad role model for younger people.But can this boy realise that even silly iconoclasts like him are not impervious to the coronavirus disease?
Eniola Badmus who reportedly came from abroad recently, on her part has shown that she is irresponsible like her friend, Akindele. But I am most disappointed with Gbadamosi. Gbadamosi in the campaign before the 2019 elections proved, at least in the judgment of some people, not only to be an erudite person but someone who understood what the problems of Lagos were.
That Gbadmosi did not succeed in his bid to become the Governor Lagos State, does not mean he should now wear the shameful garb of irresponsibility. Should he decide to contest for a political position in the future, we would remind him of the recklessness he has displayed at this time.
I am aware that Akindele has defended herself with an excuse that is only appropriate to be told to the marines.
In a tweet, she said, “thanks for the love guys!!!! We all have been together for over two weeks. We are safe and take all precautions!!! #ameestate is home for all.”
No, Funke, the rule is that people should stay in their houses. Funke, the rule is that there should be no gathering of more than 25 people. Funke, the rule is that there must be social distancing. You broke all of these. Stop defending your shameful act of travesty.
I expect the authorities to take action against Akindele and her co-travellers in shame.
A certain social media user said, “Everybody at that party should be arrested. This is a criminal offence. Choose who your role model is wisely.”
Another one said, “Funke Akindele, a Dettol ambassador, is leading a campaign against coronavirus and you’re on the advert. You’re a Lagos State Government ambassador. You held a party in the midst of coronavirus lockdown. Shame on you, you are not a worthy ambassador.”
I share the same views with these people.
In case, Akindele is not aware, she should be informed that there is in existence The Lagos Infection Diseases Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) which prescribes a jail term of one month or N100,000 fine or both for persons found guilty of hosting gatherings or contravening the lockdown order.
Part of the law says, “Where there is a violation of a close down or stay at home order, security agencies shall have power to arrest without warrant and may detain any person who violates the close down or stay at home order for at least forty-eight (48) hours.
“Where the arrested person is found guilty, the person is liable to a fine of one Hundred Thousand Nara fine (N100,000.00) or one (1) month imprisonment or three (3) months Community service.”
Celebrities and role models should act like they are above the law. No, they shouldn’t.