How ‘War: Wrath and Revenge’ echoes the chaos in Nigeria’s politics

PS: Venturing further into this article might reveal more plot than you’re ready to thicken. 

In recent years, the Nigerian political landscape has increasingly seemed on the brink of turmoil. In this six-part series, Kowa takes on this appearance to tell us the story of political debauchery.

From bribery and corruption and government-authorised banditry to conspiracy and murderous ambitions, ‘War: Wrath and Revenge’ might be the political wake-up call Nigerians need to “eat the rich.”

The Plot

The miniseries delves into the lives of Nuhu Bala, a political aspirant, and his wife, Binta Bala, whose ambition for her husband’s governorship seems unbounded. Throughout the series, we witness Binta’s unwavering resolve to secure victory in the election, resorting to tactics such as conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, and involvement in political machinations. Yet, intriguingly, the competition is no less morally ambiguous than the Balas.

Set in the fictional Kowa State, rural areas grapple with the menace of bandits acting under the orders of the incumbent governor, Governor Sanusi. In contrast, Nuhu Bala is determined to surpass the current governor’s performance. However, his wife’s actions begin to jeopardise his position as a gubernatorial candidate in Kowa. The series unfolds against the background of political intrigue, illustrating the intricate dynamics that define the struggle for power and the hurdles encountered by those wanting to bring beneficial change to the state.

The ways Kowa mirrored Nigeria

In this miniseries, various themes of love, loss, and revenge are explored, and the complexities and plot twists are indubitably one of the best I’ve seen in Nigerian cinema. Nonetheless, the theme explored in this article is the relationship between Nigeria and Kowa.

The culture and language

The culture and language of the Hausa people remained dominant throughout the film, only sparingly interchanged with Nigeria’s official language, English. The Hausa people of Nigeria are predominantly Muslims and similarly in Kowa State. If the name of the state depicted in the film wasn’t the fictitious “Kowa,” one can easily liken it to any of the northern states in Nigeria.

The banditry and massacre of its people

It comes as no surprise for the people of Nigeria when bandits attack rural communities. Though it is disheartening to see, the lackadaisical attitude of Governor Sanusi in the series is all too familiar for Nigerians, especially for the people of Plateau State. In “War: Wrath and Revenge,” Governor Sanusi ordered the attacks on the villages in Kowa. Nigerians, on the other hand, have no semblance of closure on who is behind the attacks on the state. This remains a mystery for the people.

Election conspiracies

At the root of all political endeavours, the election is the most significant time in the lives of political aspirants. In Kowa, many conspiracies about who actually elects government officials and who plays the “game of politics” arise. It bears a close relation to the 2023 general elections, with theories and sentiments on the possibility that democracy is a farce. We currently live in an autocracy with only the wealthy and well-connected in the seats of power.

Competencies of investigative and regulatory bodies

After the Emir’s private jet crash, the need to investigate the cause of the crash weighed on the shoulders of Alicia Kana. Instead of hiring a person from the country, Alicia sought out the best outside the country’s borders. Even when the results came out, the people behind the crash threatened the competent person hired to find the problem.

This makes us wonder about the purpose of regulatory bodies and professionals within the country and why they were not selected to investigate the crash. Though Alicia stated the need to want the “best hands on deck”, Boston Bobby Brown was a Nigerian who resided and worked in America.

In Nigeria today, we face regulatory issues manifesting as fake consumer products like food and drink. This raises doubts about the ability of investigative and regulatory agencies to perform their duties effectively without yielding to intimidation or corruption.

‘War: Wrath and Revenge’ felt like a recap of events that Nigerians have experienced from start to finish. Even on a personal level, the film depicted various elements of betrayal, love, and reconciliation, all while fighting for the livelihood and existence of the people.

For the people of the middle belt region in Nigeria, the film might even be triggering as it presents the growing reality for many. Like in many forms of entertainment, art inevitably imitates life. In ‘War: Wrath and Revenge’ a clear relationship exists between the realities of the people of Kowa and Nigerians. We are curious to know what you think about the film and if you share the same sentiments shared in this article. Let us know in the comments.


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