Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has shared some lessons he learned from the movie, ‘Black Panther’ adding that he came out of the movie theatre “a little upset.”
Atiku who went with his kids to the cinema to watch the movie over the weekend said he is pleased with how the thoughts of Africans solving African problems were portrayed in the movie.
However, he expressed his dissatisfaction on the negative imagery referenced on Nigeria by the filmmakers.
“Over the weekend, I joined my children to watch the much-talked about ‘Black Panther’. It was a good film, and I was happy they took me to see it. However, I came out of the cinema a little upset.
When the first scenes came up, and I saw “Sambisa Forest”, I was unhappy that the only reference the film-makers could have for Nigeria was a negative one, but I was later encouraged by the thought of Africans solving African problems.
Atiku laments that though Wakanda, as an African nation, was portrayed as a technological giant, there were “institutional weaknesses” that enabled a young man from America to come in and, within days, destroy the long-standing institutions, even when he seemed to be trying to help Black people all over the world.
Relating the themes to the Nigerian situation, Atiku bemoans the mentioning of Sambisa Forest, saying it was a sad reminder of the abductions of Chibok and Dapchi schoolgirls — a situation he describes as “negative reference for Nigeria.”
He notes that perceived dictatorial tendencies that Wakanda suffered were avoidable if only there were checks and balances such as applicable to modern governance.
“Checks and balances are important in leadership. This is why democracy is important.
“As a Nigerian who has lived through many dictatorships, I would have liked Wakandans to adopt a new model, which gives them a say in who leads them, as well as includes checks and balances. This would at least ensure the country against the rise of tyrants and demagogues,” Atiku writes.
In a veiled reference to recent messianic postures of some people who advocated the secession of certain parts of the country from Nigeria, Atiku berates Killmonger’s ambition, saying it was nothing but “reverse oppression” which, on the surface, looks like liberation struggle.
Describing Mbaku as one of his favorite characters, Atiku says, “He sounded and acted very Nigerian, which made me like him a lot.” He is of the view that Mbaku’s alliance with the king eventually saved Wakanda from ruin.
He also uses Diasporan Wakandans as an example of how Diasporan Nigerians can help in shaping a better future for their country by acting as the “ears” and “mouthpieces” of their country, even while resident overseas.
Atiku zeroes in on the role of women in Wakanda, noting, “One important thing I noticed in Wakanda was the strong role of women in all aspects — defense, technology, leadership, spiritual leadership, among others.
“I finished the Black Panther movie wondering how much better our country would be if we let more women into leadership.
“We are losing up to 40 percent of our productivity because we still haven’t fully integrated our women into economic and socio-political leadership.”
And, in an unequivocal condemnation of the bias against the girl child, Atiku queries, “But I was also left thinking, what if the king’s first child was a girl; would Wakandans support her to be Black Panther?”