“Being privileged to hear directly from well-experienced people from different fields and backgrounds share their stories and advice on the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Also, getting to meet and speak with people that I would perhaps never get to meet on my own or that would have taken me a very long time to meet them. Also, the exposure of me being a Panelist on Green Circle Discussions on Twitter, Instagram and me being on TBLF LAP Radio Talk Show, etc.” – Freedom Bassey, Fellow, EPLF 2022 Cohort.
One outstanding aspect of the fellowship is the opportunity it provides the fellows to fully express themselves during the virtual sessions and beyond. The month started off with a continuation of the module on election management, giving the fellows an opportunity to gain deeper insight into various sub-topics delivered by an experienced Faculty.
To usher the fellows into the nitty-gritty of election management, we welcomed a representative of the Independent National Electoral Commission who facilitated sessions on Election D-Day and Immediate Post Election, this session gave fellows a deep dive into electoral activities both from the perspective of Voters, Observers and also Candidates, at the end of both sessions, fellows had a clear understanding of the role of INEC and the Nigerian electoral process. Pastor Francis Adebayo, a 2019 Gubernatorial Aspirant had the opportunity to share his experience as a candidate during the electoral process. The fellows gleaned from both perspectives.
“This session exposed me to strategies for when I eventually emerge in a campaign situation and know how to manage relationships with the electoral committee”.- Fellow, EPLF 2022 Cohort
The module also gave fellows an opportunity to learn from the failures and Victories of Aspirants, and past politicians, a case in point is the session with Sen Mohammed Daggash, Former Minister of Works and Housing on the sub-module “Winning with Humility”. This session presented the fellows with a roadmap to help them articulate their winning and losing philosophy and the tenets that underpins it.
“I learned the importance of having the right value systems because a person’s value system determines how he or she responds to issues like winning or losing. And one must have a mindset of accepting whatever the outcome of an election is. I also learned that, as an emerging political leader, one must be very broad-minded and must see his contenders as political opponents and not as political enemies.” – Fellow, EPLF 2022 Cohort
To conclude the module, we had a fireside chat on the topic “Lessons From Those Who Dared” which was a Virtual Roundtable Discussion with Adv. Nelson Chamisa, President of Citizens Coalition for Change, Zimbabwe was Moderated by Mr. Demola Olarewaju. The session gave the fellows an opportunity to draw lessons from the political journey of a politician in another political environment. At the end of the chat, fellows had an understanding of a clear roadmap that will help them achieve their goals.
Another aspect of the fellowship is the Fellows Civic engagement Activity which is an opportunity for them to put into practice key lessons from the fellowship and most importantly engage in conversations that will encourage civic participation in the country. In October’s Green Circle Conversation, the fellows facilitated a Live Twitter Space Conversation on the topic “Institutions Above Individuals: The Lack of Ideology in Party Politics”. This conversation was engaged by our fellows Didam Laah, Baba Abdullahi Machina, Olalaye Oluwatobi, Oyo Effiom, and Mfreke Ayan Asigbe. At the end of the sessions, participants gained insight into the role of Institutions in party politics and made key recommendations.
The second Green Circle Conversation for the month was facilitated by fellows on Facebook on the topic “Towards Economic Diversification”. All fellows were invited as panelists for the open mic conversation with the members of the engagement committee serving as moderators. The objective of the session was to highlight sectors and areas of advantage for the Nigerian economy with great economic dividends that will bring about growth and proffered solutions to present economic challenges. This session was enlightening and insightful as participants were exposed to new knowledge shared by our fellows.
During the month fellows began plans for the implementation of their Civic Engagement Activity and Capstone Project which is an opportunity for them to share key learnings from the fellowship with their communities and also engage their audience in civic-related activities.
We started a new module which is the last module for the Virtual Learning Sessions on “Sustainable Politics” with the first session on “ SDGs and the Nigerian Context” and “The anatomy of Good Governance which were facilitated by Abiodun Bayeiwu and Oluseun Onigbinde.
“One of the highlights for me is how the facilitator was able to paint a very clear picture of how we can have a balanced society by integrating the SDGs into our daily individual lives. – Fellow, EPLF 2022 Cohort
As always, we are in awe of the value this fellowship has provided to the fellows in the last 4 months and we are optimistic that the context, skills, and knowledge they gathered will be pivotal on their political journey.
Follow the Fellowship on all our social media platforms to stay updated on all the fellowship activities on Facebook: @EPLFellowship, Twitter: @EPLFellowship, Instagram: @EPLFellowship LinkedIn: Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship (EPLF). For more information on the fellowship kindly visit https://eplf.thebridgeleadership.org/