The Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun has been accused of almost burying the entertainment industry in the state.
This was stated by popular comedian Abegunde Olamilekan, a.k.a. Dr. Smile, at a press conference held on Tuesday in Abeokuta to announce his next comedy show “Why Not Smile” slated for November 12 at the new OOPL Marque.
Dr. Smile while citing his fears that, the lack of government support is impeding the industry’s growth, urged the governor to do more in the development of the entertainment industry.
Emphasizing the industry’s economic potential and ability to create jobs among youths, Dr. Smile appealed to Governor Abiodun to foster an atmosphere that will allow it to flourish.
“ It is sad that this present administration in the state has almost buried the entertainment industry. Ogun state used to be a hot spot for entertainment in Southwest aside from Lagos state but what we have seen in recent times is that the administration has not done enough to encourage entertainers in the industry to host events.
“ So I am appealing to the government, I know they have provided a safe environment for us to do and stage our shows but we need more than that. A lot of players in the industries have been taking their events to neighboring states like Lagos, Oyo, and even Osun, many have said the governor is not entertainment-friendly.
“ But honestly speaking have never seen any entertainment show sponsored by the state government for the past five years which is very bad and killing the industry, so the government needs to support us so, the industry can grow.
Furthermore, Dr. Smile advised the government to plan an annual funfair in Ogun State, as this would promote unity and provide seasoned professionals in the entertainment business with a platform to coach and encourage upcoming artists.
“ They need to come in and support this industry take the example of the Lagos fashion show where we had their state governor making the last appearance on stage. That is what we are looking at, that is what we are praying for so I think the government of the day should please think on how to improve entertainment.
“ OGUN state has been a major player in the entertainment industry right from the days of The Ogungbe’s family, Fela even to the new generational artists we have in Nigeria, most of them are from Ogun state. So I think the governor should help the industry so we won’t die.
“ What are they doing to bring the youth together at least once a year? Why is Ogun state not having Ogun state count down? Why don’t we have a film village? I just feel the government should come in.
Meanwhile, he outlined the goal of the “Why Not Smile” show as one to give individuals a place to laugh and feel happy, especially in the face of financial hardships, fluctuating exchange rates, and rising cost of living, and urged all to attend.