It was an insightful moment at the April edition of Thursday Talks, the monthly conversation with thought leaders, change agents and active citizens aimed at driving conversations around the demand for good governance driven by active citizenship.
In what can be termed a special edition, the participants converged at Filmhouse Cinema, Surulere to watch 4th Republic, the “thrilling political procedural movie that chronicles Nigeria’s political and electoral system in the last two decades,” and was thereafter followed by a conversation with Kate Henshaw, the Lead Actress in the movie, as well as Ferdinand ‘Ladi Adimefe, a House of Representatives candidate for Eti-Osa Federal Constituency in the just concluded National Assembly election.
The ensuing panel anchored by the Team Lead of The Future Project, Bukonla Adebakin, saw participants listen to the exciting political journeys of both panelists while answering questions on their experience in the game and solutions to the myriad of challenges affecting the country, especially in relation to leadership and accountability.
Sharing his experience, Ferdy Adimefe who ran for office on the platform of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) said his decision to present himself as a representative in his locality was borne out of the fact that having joined civic engagements in the past, he saw it as a moral obligation to do more in engaging the system in the area of policy making for the good of all. Explaining that he also suffered moral tension at some point in the race as catalogued in the movie, the Digital Media Entrepreneur charged young people to get off the high horse of criticism and do more to make the country better.
Ferdy who said he hopes to run again in 2023 added that with the lessons learnt from the 2019 general elections, he has already begun a chapter of consistent involvement in the process, but says he doesn’t mind supporting a like mind for the office as he is not necessarily interested in being the poster boy.
On the part of Ms. Henshaw, who herself ran in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) December 2014 primaries to represent Calabar South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, she enjoined the youth to join political parties (including the dominant political parties at current) so as to influence the choice of candidates for elections which she said was a critical part of getting it right in the march to right the wrongs of leadership in the country.
Explaining that she among many considerations chose to star in the movie because it gave her a chance the relieve the moment of her short-lived political career, given that the script was very realistic. The Nollywood legend equally advocated for men to support competent female aspirants in order to ensure that the country moves forward while charging everyone present to move beyond criticising those in power to engaging people everywhere including in their private spaces when they do wrong.
Thursday Talks Lagos which holds on the last Thursday of every month is an initiative of Enough is Enough (EiE Nigeria); a network of individuals and organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability through active citizenship, The Future Project (TFP); a not-for-profit organisation committed to building empowered citizens across Africa, through (inclusive) enterprise and (active) citizenship and BudgIT; a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement to facilitate societal change.
The initiative is proudly supported by YNaija, the internet newspaper for young Nigerians, focused on the issues and ideas that matter for an evolving generation.