5 Nollywood movies that give you a sense of Nigeria’s political scene

Omoleye Omoruyi
movie night

It is election season in Nigeria, and movies are a great way to understand history, the polity, and the politicking that goes on to a certain extent, considering the stories highlight the nitty-gritty of the underground and surface-level activities in the political sphere.

Worthy of note is the fact that the political sphere is changing due to influence from spaces like social media, and the rise of a demography that did not want to concern itself with politics before now. 

Movies that reflect the nation’s political spirit are out there, and we recommend the following:

Your Excellency” (2019)

Directed by Funke Akindele, “Your Excellency” tells the story of Olalekan Ajade (Akin Lewis), who models himself after former US President Donald Trump. He has run for president severally (three times) and eventually becomes the flagbearer of a major political party, where he faces the in-house opposition. Still, he wins in an unexpected turn of events.

Your Excellency - Nigerian political movies
“Your Excellency”

In the presidential race, there is only one other serious contender, Michael Idehen (Deyemi Okanlawon), the PPN flagbearer. His family – father and grandfather influences Michael’s interests – closely monitored by his father, Prof Idehen (Bimbo Manuel).

“Your Excellency” is a Nigerian political satire drama comedy film.

It is not so much of a good story, but you may be entertained.

4th Republic” (2019)

4th Republic - Nigerian political movies
“4th Republic”

“4th Republic” is a Nigerian political drama film directed by Ishaya Bako and written by Ishaya Bako, Emil Garuba and Zainab Omaki, centred around a governorship aspirant, Mabel King (Kate Henshaw), in the aftermath of a violent and fraudulent election that results in the death of her campaign manager, Sikiru (Jide Attah).

“4th Republic” explores the themes of the Nigerian political system and highlights events in the political and electoral system in the last two decades.

In the film, Mabel King is competing against incumbent Governor Idris Sani in her bid to become the first elected female governor in the country.

Read also: “African Queens: Njinga” is about a great leader, the spread of slave trade and the complicity of the Catholic Church

“If I Am President” (2018)

This story is quite contemporary and tells of 37-year-old Zinachi Ohams, the presidential candidate of the Nigerian Rebirth Party, which morphed from a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) to a party made up of young idealists. – a group determined to penetrate the establishment and survive politically-engineered challenges enough to break their ranks.

Directed by Bright Wonder Obasi, “If I am President” was well-welcomed and boasts a powerful and thought-provoking story that resonates with audiences from all backgrounds.

Some critics call the story a prophecy, as a couple of events from the story are real-life experiences, including the #EndSARS protests.

If I Am President - Nigerian political movies
“If I Am President”

A scene from the movie mirrors the events of the #EndSARS period, and the emergence of a third force in the Nigerian political scene, led by Nigerian Youth.

“Code Wilo” (2019)

“Code Wilo” exposes the flies in the ointment in Nigerian politics.

Code Wilo - Nigerian political movies
“Code Wilo”

“Code Wilo” addresses the themes of election violence, political tension, party politics and the general unease that leads up to the Election Day in Nigeria.

Ifeoluwa Adediran, Premium Times

Directed by Mike-Steve Adeleye, “Code Wilo” has a simple but catchy storyline and takes viewers on a journey of dark and twisted plots filled with gasps, surprise and side-eye moments.

The plot focuses on a powerful politician in Nigeria, his son, his daughter and an enemy within. Ambition, power and karma are the themes in the movie.

“Code Wilo” reminds you what an election is like in a country like Nigeria (blood-filled, gory and nerve-wracking) and is extremely unapologetic about that.

King of Boys: Return of the King” (2021)

Eniola Salami (Sola Sobowale) shows what a determined politician can do to gain power in Nigeria. She had been exiled for about five years, but she returns and eventually gets what she wants – at the cost of lives and other political careers.

Eniola is fierce, connected, and an experienced politician and her new interests are fueled by revenge, regret and ruthlessness.

The limited series, “King of Boys: Return of the King”, is reminiscent of a popular actor in Nigeria.

King of Boys: Return of the King
“King of Boys: Return of the King”

“Return of the King” is a sequel, so you may want to watch the first instalment to understand the storyline fully.

This list is not exhaustive but can give you an insight into understanding that Nigeria’s political scene is unique and, indeed, complicated.

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