We are thrilled to announce the induction of 25 fellows into the 2023 Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship cohort on May 26th. This fully-funded, non-partisan Political Leadership development project aims to nurture and prepare young Nigerians for leadership roles at the local, regional, and national levels. The fellows embarked on their Virtual Training Phase with great enthusiasm, starting off with an insightful Pre-training Immersion Fireside Chat Panel Discussion on June 2nd. The discussion, titled “Getting Ready to Lead: Leading with Authenticity,” provided valuable perspectives from esteemed panellists, including Maryam Aliko Mohammed (CEO, Modalali), Dr. Omoayena Odunbaku (Human Settlement Officer, Anglophone West Africa UN-Habitat & Alumna of the 2022 EPLF Alumni Association), and Zakariyya Haruna (CEO/Founder of Rescue Future Generation Initiative and Vice President of the EPLF Alumni Association). Moderated by Rosemond Archibong (Program Manager, The Bridge Leadership Foundation), this session offered fellows an opportunity to gain insights and ask relevant questions essential to their journey as fellows.
The fellows had this to say about the Pre-training Immersion session;
“At the end of the sessions by the speakers, I was able to gather that Leading with authenticity involves being true to oneself and demonstrating genuine qualities, values, and behaviours as a leader. Also, a good leader has to be transparent, trustworthy, and consistent in his/her actions, decisions, and interactions with others.”
“The panellists were eloquent in their various responses, using references to analyze their answers paved ways for me to reflect.”
“I learnt that I need to reflect on my beliefs and what drives me as a leader, as it can enable me to lead from a place of authenticity and align my actions with my core values.”
The Virtual training phase of the fellowship began with an introduction of the first module, which comprised sessions such as Nigeria: The Backstory and Contextualizing the Present, Evolution of the Nigerian Constitution, and Designing the Nigerian Dream, which were facilitated by our esteemed facilitators, Dr. James Raphael, DG CRIMMD Museum, Mr. Taiwo Akinlami, Principal Partner, Gilgal Partners, and Mr. Olakunle Soriyan, Futurist and Author, These sessions took place between the 6th and 12th of June 2023, respectively. To conclude this module, we had the Fireside Chat Panel Discussion on “The State of the Union” which took place on the 16th of June, the panel-styled event encouraged knowledge sharing and open dialogue to help fellows gain deeper context about the module.
Feedback Highlights from Fellows
“The angle from which the facilitator taught Nigeria’s history is unmatched and unprecedented. Only a first-hand and genuine person can do that. I learned everything differently for the first time asides from the watered-down version learned from mainstream schools.”- Chiazor Faith, 2023 EPLF Fellow
“My take home from the Fireside Chat is the speech from Kingsley of Connected Development, where he shared his personal story of advocacy, and how he worked with people at the grassroots to resist civilly, the moves of the government against their community project which was genuinely aimed at supporting the people to thrive. I also gained deeper about using social media to drive a perspective and advocacy even if you have to do it ALONE. With time, people will come to share in your vision and that would mark its entrance into fruition. His personal story is inspiring. I love real-world examples.”
To introduce the next module on “The Emerging Political Leader, we started with a session with the Founder and Chairman of the Bridge Leadership Foundation on the topic “Identity, Vision and Agenda” and moved to other submodules on; Empathy in Political Leadership, and Building Political Strategic Alliances which was facilitated by Ms. Maryam Aliko Mohammed, Founder Modalali, and Mr. Bruce DelValle, Founding Partner, DelValle Law PLLC. To conclude the module, we had a fireside chat on the topic “The Personal Leadership Imperative” moderated by a 2022 EPLF Aumna, Mrs. Grace Ibor, on the panel, included panellists such as Mr. Olakunle Soriyan, Mr. Bruce DelValle and Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Mr. Taiwo Akinlami who answered the questions of the fellows which centred on the need for self-mastery and leadership, this session gave the fellows an opportunity to gain the new insight necessary for their political journey. These sessions took place between the 20th – 30th of June 2023.
Feedback Highlights from Fellows
“It strengthened my understanding of my identity and values and gave me a framework within which to craft my vision. It made me appreciate even more those who have modelled leadership before me. It further inspired me to take personal responsibility for my vision and agenda although I am part of a movement. The Idiots, Tribesmen and Citizens model further strengthened my convictions on my initiative, Imagine Nigeria 2050 which seeks to inspire Nigerians to imbibe nationhood. Finally, it strengthened my appreciation of the need to, at some point, transition and run for political office.”- Omoaholo Omoakhalen, 2023 EPLF Fellow
“It was a beautiful session. I love the fact that our speaker who is not a Nigerian believes in the New Nigeria Project and hope that we changemakers will Chart the course of creating the 5th republic.”- Ruth Sunday Ki, 2023 EPLF Fellow
“They touched on a lot of aspects that trickle down to the individual because “leadership begins with me” to succeed in a macro leadership I must have displayed the same at the micro level.”- Jude Oseh, 2023 EPLF Fellow
As Foundation, we are confident that this Fellowship will provide an opportunity for fellows to gain clarity, support and critical knowledge for their political journey.
It has been a month of learning, relearning, and unlearning and we are confident that the next few months will expose fellows to more learning and context.
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/