Olufunke Akindele-Bello popularly known by her stage name, Jenifa recently broke up with her husband. In fact, it was her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, a filmmaker and rapper popularly known as JJC Skillz who announced the breakup on his Instagram page.
According to him, he and Funke had resolved to part ways owing to irreconcilable differences and he had since packed out of his wife’s house.
He wrote; “Dear Friends and family, I need to let you know that Funke and I have separated. While it lasted, we shared a lot of things together and have created 2 beautiful children. The last two years have been extremely difficult for us.
”I know I have tried my best to fix things, but I believe it is beyond repair now. 3 months ago and at Funke’s insistence, I moved out of the house and apart from AMVCA have not been able to get Funke to sit down in an amicable manner to discuss the future of our relationship.
”I’m making this announcement so that the public is clear that we both are pursuing separate lives. We still have issues that need to be addressed such as the custody and wellbeing of our children which is paramount as well as business interests which need to be disentangled but I have no doubt that these will be resolved one way or the other.”
Clearly, he was living under Funke’s roof, something that doesn’t obtain in this clime. Here, it’s the man that marries the woman and takes her to his home upon consummation of the marriage.
The irreconcilable differences are not yet in the public domain but no sooner the marriage hit the rock than Funke showed up on the soap box as the running mate to the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State, Olajide Adediran popularly known as Jandor.
Reacting to her nomination as running mate, Funke said; “I saw it as an opportunity to help liberate and improve the wellbeing of our people, particularly the deprived youth, women, and the girl child.
“In addition to accepting this enormous responsibility, I have made the decision to work tirelessly and support Jandor in his unquenchable desire to see our beloved Lagos reach its full potential.”
Instructively, Funke had since yanked off Bello from her name even without a formal divorce, an indication that their estrangement might be permanent.
Earlier in 2017, controversial Rivers State-born actress, Tonto Dike also broke up with her husband, Olakunle Churchill. Their marriage contracted in 2015 lasted only two years. Her reason for terminating their marriage which produced a son, King Andrea Omodayo Igo was the sexual disorder of Churchill, who she alleges lasts only 40 seconds on bed.
She did not even consider that the less than one-minute man on bed was able to sire a son with her.
Today, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) has nominated Dike as its governorship running mate in Rivers State. She is to deputize Tonte Ibraye, who is the 2023 governorship candidate of the party.
The actress said the ADC would invest “massively in social protection” in Rivers State if they are elected.
Hear her; “We are looking forward to investing massively in social protection, creating a social value system for young people, increasing women inclusion in our governance system, supporting small businesses and strengthening our traditional institutions to be active players in the drive to bring sustainable development to the good people of Rivers State.
If elected, Akindele and Tonto Dike will join the ranks of Ipalibo Banigo, Deputy Governor of Rivers State; Kofoworola Bucknor, former deputy governor of Lagos State; Valerie Ebe, Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Pauline Tallen, ex-deputy governor of Plateau State.
Why estranged wives and actresses have become beautiful brides for the office of deputy governor of states is befuddling.
Some believe their popularity will help their parties in winning votes during polls. Yet some don’t see them as having any electoral value. To some, the parties are joking or best acting a movie by nominating the actresses who are seen as political neophytes.
“Yes, Funke and Tonto are popular but their popularity does not translate to love. I think the parties are joking and don’t want to win the governorship elections, says Nneoma Ben-Egbe, a final year Mass Communication student of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).
Obviously, the parties which nominated the estranged wife-actresses as gubernatorial running mates are not strong in the two states. The PDP is the leading opposition party in the country and second strong party in Lagos State.
A political scientist, John Asiegbu submits that the PDP has lost some strength across the country particularly in the South since after its presidential primary poll which was clinched by former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Asiegbu further maintained that the PDP might not also be strong again in Lagos State following the emergence of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Will the APC controlling the levers of power in Lagos State owing to the influence of Tinubu and with ethnic fervour being stoked by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the PDP according to Asiegbu stands no chance in 2023 in that South West state.
Asiegbu queried; “Why nominate two politically-unknown quantities like Jandor and Funke as governorship and deputy governorship candidates respectively?”
Journalist and relationship expert, Ugochukwu Chimezie submitted that the nomination of the estranged wives shows the descent to the precipice of moral values of the society.
According to him, separated ladies hitherto carried on quietly but are nowadays so bold to flaunt their singleness.
Chimeziri popularly known by his pen name Fuston said; “That tells you the level we have degenerated to in Nigeria. Before now divorcees carry on quietly but now, they boldly teach us morals. Ask Tonto of ADC and Funke of PDP.”
A former deputy governorship candidate in Imo State, Angela Nkwo-Akpolu came to the defence of Funke.
According to her, “Funke is an accomplished actress, producer, and so much more, yet you see her strictly from a troubled marriage.
“I wonder why you have failed to ask why the guy has children from different women but couldn’t keep any as a wife
“Let’s not throw stones in the market place lest you forget that the Pastor you draw instructions from is divorced but still functions perfectly as a spiritual head.
“If marriage no dey work and the people are not committed to give it time, abeg free them. Funke has excelled and she has our support. No make me vex for you o!”
An analyst who wished his name be kept under wraps regretted what he called the missing link in our polity.
According to him, “There is something missing in the politics of the country. That is that people with troubled and shadowy backgrounds are not barred from occupying sensitive political offices like in other climes. It is more like the more dirty you are, the better you are to play politics here.”
He added; “It will be interesting to see how a person with a broken home will run an unbroken public office, but the good thing in the case of the duo is that they will not be the ones in charge of their states should their tickets sail through.”