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In Agent From Abuja, Adepegba interrogates leadership in Africa

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A scene from the film

The narrative seems familiar. Avid film watchers and cinephiles have seen many of such flicks with kidnapping as a theme. Remember Chukwudi Dumee Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans, and others of his ilk, who have turned Nigeria to a place where kidnapping business thrives.

But there ends the semblance.

The film, Agent From Abuja, goes far deeper in form and content with a message that is positive. It does not celebrate kidnapping; rather it is used as a weapon of change.

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Written and directed by versatile British-Nigerian filmmaker, Ade Adepegba, for Kuramo Bay Filmworks, the arrangement of scenes and performances communicates the import of patriotism to the primary target group – Nigerians.

The beauty of the movie is the sophisticated manner, which the story is lifted with quality cinematic language. With its brilliant dialogue, clean pictures, well-edited scenes, the film passes off as a great art film that will do well in any film festival — A storyline that is palpable and moves away from the Kabiyesi or Igwe cinematic enterprises. Riches and opulence are not celebrated but the best of cinema tradition. And the audience will enjoy this from beginning to the very end.

In the Afrocentric political thriller, a former state governor (Victor Power) flees Nigeria in the aftermath of a failed attempt on his life by an unnamed security agency. He arrives London and is kidnapped by a group of idealistic Nigerian students — Chris Machari (I.D.), Toheeb Ibrahim (O.J.), Yvonne Hays (T.I.) and Sokari Erekosima (Benson) — determined to recover stolen millions in order to help people back home.

Set in London, United Kingdom, without reservation, this political thriller is a thorough exposé on the ills affecting Africa’s progress. The dialogues in the film raise hope and optimism and encourage Nigerians to contribute to the good of the country from anywhere. Though there are people like the ex-governor, who believe in cash-and-carry democracy because it is very cheap. Agent From Abuja creates a point of duty by fighting the African political class, which the corrupt ex-governor represents.

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The film draws its audience into understanding the motives and inspiration and the multiple setbacks these students face as they encounter threat and danger in this crucial mission.

The politician, however, uses mind games to try and turn the students against one another. But the deadlier enemy is among the students: because one of them is an undercover agent with orders that include killing the politician and leaving no witnesses.

But how will the fifth columnist be discovered? Who is the agent from Abuja? The film leaves the truth to the last scene.

“Killing me will not solve the problem,” the governor says.

He adds, “leaders are citizens. People deserve the leaders that they get.”

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In other words, no need fighting system, so to say.

The governor says: “Nobody can fight corruption. The average person wants to fight hunger. The only weapon to fight hunger is cash.”

Regarding the character of the Governor in his monologue about the Inspector General of Police in Nigeria and the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in London, Adepegba says:

“The character of the Governor is suggesting that racial discrimination limits the business prospects of Nigerians living in Britain, while in Nigeria, bribery will solve most business problems. So, a Nigerian in Britain can never gain access to the Commissioner of Police for business purposes, while in Nigeria it’s simply a matter of paying the required bribe to obtain a meeting with the IGP. The Governor is attempting to use racism in Britain to justify corruption in Nigeria on the basis that Nigeria is a more conducive business environment.”

He continues, “as the writer and director of the film, I’m fascinated by the power of all politicians to use clever but false reasoning to manipulate issues.”

A lot goes into the interrogation and an uncommon passion at the base of struggles for a new order that benefits everyone, young and old, and from all walks of life, is revealed.

The heart-wrenching, ambitious movie that documents the eruption of craziness and betrayals highlights challenges – by narrating occasional conflicts resulting from opposing viewpoints among the young Nigerian students.

The 75-minute flick is available now on Amazon.

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