In an interview he had with Our Correspondent, the veteran actor, Saheed Balogun disclosed his reasons for supporting the presidential candidate of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Is there a candidate you are endorsing or giving your support ahead of next year’s general elections?
Are you not on social media? That, I will answer. I didn’t want to support anyone; I stood aloof and some people came to tell me that I’m a coward; so, I came out to support Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) and they asked me why. I told them that in Yoruba land, everybody you know who has been this and that, he (Asiwaju) was the one that brought them out – counting from (Babatunde) Fashola, (Yemi) Osinbajo to (Akinwunmi) Ambode. He (Tinubu) was the one who brought them out. When he picked these people, everybody was asking questions, but when they got there, what Asiwaju saw in these people, everybody started seeing too. So, why are they now crucifying the man?
In my films online, I have brought to limelight actors that people had not seen before; Asiwaju too has that style. I had to sit down and observe to see who has my kind of style; and it’s Asiwaju. If I follow any of the rest, then it means that I’m not thinking. What he is doing that is not good? I don’t know. All I know is that I have always seen the good things he did and I decided to support him. It’s my personal choice.
A lot of leaders are there, they can’t even point to 20 people that they have made. They can’t show us what they have turned around and the impossible that they have made possible. Here, we’re talking about someone who made the vice-president. I am sure that 95 per cent of Nigerians didn’t know that name (Osinbajo) before now. I make bold to say it. Osinbajo is a very good man but Asiwaju brought him out for you to see.
I came out to say that we are BPI – Black, Proud and Intelligent – and we are truly the giants of Africa. Not by words but by the action. I have talked about the good things I see in my own candidate; you’re free to talk about your own candidate. I may feel that mine is the best but by the time you start preaching about yours, I may see a different aspect to it. So, it’s my personal opinion.
Asiwaju seems to think the same way as I do; so, I decided to give him my support. His good deeds that I know of are what I am talking about; and that’s me. Whosoever you support, it’s your personal choice and I don’t have to fight you over it.
Beyond presidential candidates, who are your other preferred candidates?
I have said mine, Tinubu for the presidency. Someone also asked me who my candidate for the House of Reps is and I said Desmond Elliot, of course. Who else? He is in my community as an actor. If he fails, I fail; if he wins, I win. I have a lot of them like that that I will support.
Someone asked me why I am supporting (Governor Babajide) Sanwo-Olu. I said whatever he might have done, I don’t know, but before he came to power, we were campaigning and he said to me, “Saidi, what can I do for you?” I said, “Sir, give us free loan that won’t follow the structure of a normal loan.” He said, “The Federal Government will give you structure.” He came into power and he gave a loan of N1bn. People have accessed the loan and that was what Saidi Balogun requested for during a one-on-one discussion with the governor on stage in Ikeja. He gave me what I wanted. It is left for my people to now use the loan well.
Someone raised the issue of #EndSARS and they said 10 persons died or so, but no one has come out to say that he or she is a family member to any of the people that were said to have died. Some people in some ministries might be messing up, they will then put the blame on the leader but the best thing to do is to fish out those people. Those are the people I am supporting.
Is there an offer you will get that will make you change your mind about Tinubu and withdraw your support from him?
My stand is my stand and nothing can change that. I am an extremist. If I am your friend, I do it to the end. That is me. I don’t look back.