CORRUPTION IN FESTUS IYAYIS VIOLENCE AND FEMI ADEMILUYIS THE NEW MAN
This study is set out to analysis the issues of poverty, class stratification and social injustice in Femi Ademiluyiand Festus Iyayi’s Violence. The purpose is to enlighten Africans on the need to fight against all forms of social injustice. The Marxist theory is adopted for the analysis of this study. The result is that the quest for a classless society is the only way for a better living. Literature is a product of the social and historical circumstances of a particular society. This underscores Aristotelian position that society itself is political, since it involves the organization and the government of men. Festus Iyayi’s Violence interrogates power relations in contemporary igeria, with the understanding that art must first seek to transform society’s dehumanising conditions if it is to establish a system in which humanity can give free rein to its selfexpression, selffulfillment and maximum selfrealization. This paper a rgues that when art runs counter to the interest of the dominant class in society, the attitude of that class to art changes. In conformity with the view of Irving Howe, Iyayi observes that protest and social relevance provide a particular severe test for the writer in confronting institutionalized social vices.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - - - - - - - - - i
Approval - - - - - - - - - - ii
Dedication - - - - - - - - - - iii
Acknowledgement - - - - - - - - - iv
Abstract - - - - - - - - - - v
Scope of the Study3
Background and Works of Festus Iyayi3
Background and Works of Femi Ademiluyi5
A brief Analysis and setting of Violence 5
A brief Analysis and Setting of The New Man.7
Literature Review of Iyayi’s Violence 9
Literature Review of Ademiluyi’s The New Man 10
Thesis Statement 12
2.0 Moral corruption13
2.1Moral Corruption in Iyayi’s Violence 13
2.2Moral Corruption in Ademiluyi’s the New man18
3.0 Economic Corruption28
3.1Economic Corruption in Iyayi’s Violence28
3.2Economic Corruption in Ademiluyi’s The New Man31
A writer is supposed to perform certain duties to the upliftment of his society. Perhaps this accounts for various roles that both writers and critics have ascribed to modern African writers. Ngugi says:
I believe that Africa intellectual must align themselves with the struggle national idea… perhaps in a small way, the African writer can help in articulating the feelings behind this struggle. (Ngugi, 1975:50)
Nigerian writers have pursued different themes amongst which are cross-cultural conflicts, the African past, corruption in politics, social injustice, which also include; poverty, exploitation, oppression, marginalization, class struggle and class stratification. Achebe argues that the novel is a:
Form of fiction has seized the imagination of many African writers and they will use it according to their differing abilities, sensibilities and vision without seeking anyone’s permission. I believe it will grow and prosper. I believe it has great future. (Achebe, 1981:54)
Apparently, the events of the Nigerian political system have caused Nigerian writing to shift in themes. Therefore, a writer who tries to avoid the big social and political issues of contemporary African society will end up completely irrelevant because his work would have no impact on the people and society.
Such work becomes irrelevant like the writer himself to the society and the people because he has failed to address any of the important issues at stake. Therefore art should not just be for the purpose of exploring its beauty just as the formalist school of thought posits. It should contemplate the society and expose the ills in the society and as well define a solution for these ills just as the Marxist would argue.
The Marxist concern emerges out of the need to find a lasting solution to class stratification and a society free of oppression. Fortunately, this quest is not in vain as a good number of writers in Africa are involved in various ways in the struggle for the negation of the neo-colonialism and the alienating effect of capitalist lordship in African countries. Among these African writers are Femi Ademiluyi and Festus Iyayi. Femi Ademiluyi uses his novel Wheels to mirror the society and as well fight for the cause of the poor, just as Festus Iyayi has done in his novel Violence. He uses his protagonist Idemudia to narrate the plight of the poor who suffer from social injustice and are placed in the lower cadre of the society.
Marxism, like every other modern theory of writing is universal and since it can be used in quest of freeing the society from corrupt practices, Africans should then, not be left out as the decisive development of African literature. Marxism consists of the rise of a tradition of radical thinking in general, and with strongest ideological alignment.
At the level of general theory of development in question, it is a vindication of the generalization that in a class society, literary movements are inevitable, if not automatic outgrowth of class society and political directions.
There can be no doubt that the relationship betweenliterature and society is as close as to be virtuallysymbiotic. However, the notion of the significance ofsocial relevance in literature is a debatable one. Thisis because it lends itself to a wide variety ofdefinitions, ideological positions and sundry biases,many of which are diametrically opposed to oneanother. For religious bodies, for instance, socialrelevance in literature would be closely related toliterature’s positive moral outlook and its didacticelements; for those in positions of social and politicaldominance, social relevance in literature wouldbasically mean the extent to which it upholds thestability of the existing socio-political order; for thosewho are committed to the radical change of existingpolitical systems, social relevance in literature wouldrelate to the way in which it delineates the flaws andshortcomings of current social andpoliticalprocesses, and explicitly advocates their replacement.
Similarly, minorities and oppressed groups in anygiven society are very likely to base their notions ofsocial relevance in literature upon the manner inwhich it is able to portray them and highlight issueswhich are germane to them.At its most fundamental, therefore, social relevancein literature is said to refer to the complex ways inwhich the form, function and purpose of literature,however defined, are inextricably interwoven withthe growth, progress and stability of society. The veryphrase “social relevance” assumes that such arelationship is a default setting for any literaturewhich deems itself worthy of the name, and byimplication would condemn any literature in whichthis relationship is absent, or even indirectly stated. Social relevance, from this perspective, would seem to imply that literature has a duty to make the progress of society a cardinal objective, regardless of whatever else it may seek to achieve.It is practically impossible to discuss literature without making reference to society. René Wellek and Austin Warren stress the very close relationship between the two: Literature is a social institution, using as its medium language, a social creation. Such traditional literary devices as symbolism and metre are social in their very nature. They are conventions and norms which could have arisen only in society. But, furthermore, literature ‘represents’ ‘life’; and ‘life’ is, in large measure, a social reality, even though the natural world and the inner or subjective world of the individual have also been objects of literary ‘imitation’. The poet himself is a member of society, possessed of a specific social status: he receives some degree of social recognition and reward; he addresses an audience however hypothetical. Indeed, literature has usually arisen in close connexion with particular social institutions; and in primitive society we may even be unable to distinguish poetry from ritual, magic, work, or play. Literature also has a social function, or ‘use’, which cannot be purely individual. (1982:94) This notion of literature has been vigorously defended in different literary eras in widely dispersed regions of the world: the overt morality of the satire-ridden Augustan Age in England, and the aggressive nationalism of the Harlem Renaissance in the United States and the Negritude movement in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean islands are obvious examples. Due to its repeatedly-tragic history, with its narrative of slavery,colonialism and neo-colonialism, it is perhaps inevitable that modern African literature is highly attuned to the requirements of contemporary African society. S.E. Ogude argues that the history of contemporary African literature is the story of the black man’s attempt to reassert his political rights and defend the integrity of his culture and re-assess his past relationship with Europe and the many political and social institutions which the white man has imposed on the African. (1991:3) Gareth Griffiths makes similar claims for the explicit utility of writing in contemporary Africa: Writing is an activity through which the African can define his identity and re-discover his historical roots. This self-defining function of the novel is, for obvious reasons, especially important to writers in a post-colonial situation, especially where their exposure to European culture has led to an undervaluing of the traditional values and practices (2000:68).
Emmanuel Ngara reveals how the absence of social relevance can impact negatively on the art of a poet as distinguished as Christopher Okigbo: The spiritual world dominated his artistic vision to the extent of negating the material world around him. Instead of basing his conception of the function of poetry on social reality, the real relations between people in society, he turned away from reality into the world of the spirit and the imagination. This gave rise to a romanticism which associated artistic creativity with imaginary things like watermaids and goddesses. (1990:45) Ngara contrasts Okigbo in this idealistic phase with the Ugandan poet Okotp’Bitek, who was concerned about the material world. His search for African forms was motivated by a desire to comment on the real conditions of existence of the African people, on how the African petty bourgeoisie related to African culture and that of western bourgeois society. (1990:45) NgugiwaThiong’o identifies the main achievement of Chinua Achebe’s A Man of thePeople as its exemplary focus on society and itsproblems; the novel, in his words, has made it impossible for other African writers to do other than address themselves directly to their audiences in Africa – not in a comforting spirit – and tell them that such problems are their concern. The teacher no longer stands apart to contemplate. He has moved with a whip among the pupils, flagellating himself as well as them. He is now the true man of his people (1990:28). At face value, therefore, social relevance in literature essentially revolves around the following basic categories: The relationship between society and literature: This relates to the connections between literature and the society in whose context it is produced and whose members it is aimed at. The dynamics of this relationship are such that society compellingly impinges upon the thematic and stylistic choices open to the literary artist to the extent that it can actually determine the success or failure of a work.
The relationship between literature and society: This relates to a reversal of the polarities of the above-named category. It represents a shift in perspective, in which literature is seen to act upon society, rather than vice versa. It investigates the status of literature as being at the vanguard of social change, and a testing-ground for the dissemination of innovative and radical ideas that are likely to receive initial rejection in society, even though they are actually for its own good. The literary artist as a member of society: This relationship revolves around the status of the literary artist as a member of society, given the direct correlation between the esteem in which the writer is held and the socio-political influence of his work. It focuses upon the perceived importance of writers as members of society, and touches upon prevailing perceptions of their usefulness to the continued functioning and progress of society. Literature as a cultural artefact: This refers to the status of literature as one of the prized objects of the cultural production of a given society. It touches upon the regard in which books and other literary products are held, and their corresponding capacity to influence society, either for good or for bad. Such public esteem also helps to determine the extent and depth of the ancillary enterprises that coalesce around literature, especially publishing, the theatre industry, readers’ clubs, and criticism (1990:281).
Changing notions of social relevance: Like similar phenomena, the idea of what constitutes social relevance has undergone radical reformulation as a result of profound shifts in social taste, political ideology and economic development. In the past, social relevance in literature was often a consequence of what constituted the canon of a society’s most esteemed literary works, and thereby the main repository of its values. Notions of social relevance from this perspective were unsurprisingly conservative.
Contrasting the objectives of the propagandist and the literary artist, Njabulo S. Ndebele argues that, while the latter is as desirous of meaningful social change as the former, he is constrained by the fundamental characteristics of his art: the literary artist, he claims can never be entirely free from the rules of irony. Irony is the literary manifestation of the principle of contradiction. Its fundamental law, for the literary arts in particular, is that everything involving human society is in a constant state of flux; that the dialectic between appearance and reality in the conduct of human affairs is always operative and constantly problematic, and that consequently, in the representation of human reality, nothing can be taken for granted (2004:128).
In other words, the demands of social relevance sometimes clash with the requirements of literatureand other arts. The dynamics of such a clash are important for a proper understanding of the manifestation of social relevance in literature, and they revolve around the relative significance of society, which is the overarching context of all social relevance, and art, which prescribes the modusoperandi of literature. In this light, it is necessary toconsider the question of whether social relevance is essentially a matter of art being subordinated to the requirements of society, or of society being subordinated to the requirements of art, or whether social relevance is actually the attainment of a golden mean between these two alternatives. Most notions of the first category point to social progress as the ultimate objective of all civilised human activity, including art, and argue that literature must reflect and advocate germane social causes and issues if it is to truly fulfil its calling. On the other hand, ideas of life’s subordination to art often point to the way in which society is essentially the raw material of literature, to be shaped by the latter, rather than vice versa, and also stress the artistic integrity of literary practitioners as being crucially dependent on their freedom to choose between beauty and usefulness in their depiction of society. The notion of a golden mean balancing the ostensibly competing requirements of society and art is essentially a perspective which argues for a symbiosis between the two categories, in which they are mutually constitutive, shaping and being shaped by each other. It is also possible to see specific works of literature as being positioned at different points of the spectrum of involvement that lies between the poles of society and art. At one end of the spectrum would be found works that belong to the much-maligned art for art’s sake school of thought. As Edward Quinn explains, “The argument was that art should be autonomous and not compelled to serve a specific social or moral purpose. The phrase was used in 19th century France and England as a slogan of aestheticism” (1999:25). The movement’s authors included individuals like Algernon Swinburne and Oscar Wilde, and they defiantly refused to explicitly incorporate social concerns into their work, choosing instead to focus on intensely personal perspectives which had little meaning or relevance for anybody other than themselves.
The notion of art for art’s sake has often been dismissed out of hand as unworthy of serious discussion. In the words of Mao Tse-tung: In all the world today all culture, all literature and art belong to definite classes and are geared to definite political lines. There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake, art that stands above classes or art that is detached from or independent of politics (1999:25). In similar fashion, Jean-Paul Sartre argues if literature is not everything, it is worth nothing. That is what I mean by ‘commitment’. It wilts if it is reduced to innocence, or to songs. If a written
sentence does not reverberate at every level of man and society, then it makes no sense. What is the literature of an epoch but the epoch appropriated by the literature? Despite such strident rejections, the notion of art for art’s sake is a perspective which raises noteworthy issues that are still relevant to a contemporary understanding of social relevance in literature. Its emphasis on the autonomy of art, for example, raises the vital question of exactly what the relationship between literature and society should be. If it is accepted as a given that literature must possess a certain degree of autonomy if it is to attain the artistic integrity that is vital to its status as literature, then the idea that literary artists should be free to choose whether or not they wish to write about issues that are ostensibly deemed socially relevant becomes a significant issue.
At the other end of the spectrum lie the products of socialist realism in ideologically-committed countries like the ex-communist nations of Eastern Europe, and particularly the former Soviet Union. Under this dispensation, writers were not just compelled to incorporate issues of public concern into their works; they were required to do it in specified ways. Socialist realism probably represents the extreme end of the social relevance spectrum. Its undeniable artificiality and the often-crude manner in which it forced literature to serve the ends of the state disguised as the needs of society are clearly seen in the following definition of it as “a form of realism designed to represent the superiority of socialism as a form of government” (Quinn 1999:305). As Clive Wake puts it, there exists “the very delicate problem of maintaining the right balance between commitment and creation. Commitment can be creative, in the literary sense, but it can also destroy creation” (1974:94). Such divergent levels of social relevance are indicative of the way in which the existing social, political and economic atmosphere play crucial roles in determining the extent of social relevance in literature. The paradox is that the more unsuitable the currently obtaining socio-economic and political context in a particular society is, the more amenable such a society is to the emergence of socially relevant literature. Perhaps the most famous examples of this contradictory phenomenon are to be found in 19th century England and Russia. Both countries underwent massive social, political and economic change at this period: England was the world’s first modern industrial nation, and the scourge of uncontrolled urbanisation, mass unemployment and poverty were at their peak in this era; Russia suffered the strains of transition from a feudal to a modern state. With such difficulties, it is not surprising that during this time, the two countries produced writers whose work has since become a byword for notions of social relevance. They include Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The link between inclementenvironments and social relevance in literature is particularly visible in Africa. As a continent whose misfortune it has been to suffer from the negative consequences of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, dictatorship and the associated problems of wars, insurrections and similar social crises, the continent has, unsurprisingly, produced a crop of writers from whom markedly socially relevant works have been the norm. Claude Wauthier points out that African poetry and novels do appear on the whole to be conditioned by the colonial situation: African poets and novelists have usually regarded their works, as Sartre did, as ‘miraculous weapons’ to defeat their ‘omniscient and naive conquerors.’ (1979:194).
In the early post-independence era, several poets, dramatists and novelists sought to solidify national unity and consciousness by producing works which celebrated the past as the harbinger of a glorious future. The most prominent example of this trend was the Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe, who demonstrated this in Things Fall Apart and Arrow ofGod. The celebration of the past was followed bycritical analyses of the present, as other African writers produced unsentimental portrayals of the social and other problems which became manifest quite early after the attainment of independence. In Ghana, AyiKweiArmah wrote The Beautyful OnesAre ot Yet Born ; in Season of Migration to the orth, the Sudanese novelist TayebSalihanalysedthe psychological and other ambiguities of the African encounter with Europe; Cyprian Ekwensi established himself as Africa’s premier urban novelist with books like Lokotown, People of the City and Jaguaana.
As the euphoria of independence continued to wear off and the peculiar problems of many countries in the continent became increasingly intractable, many African writers felt they had no option other than to incorporate socially relevant issues into their texts by focusing on the shortcomings and challenges of their societies. Achebe himself looked at moral and political corruption, and the tension between traditional and modern modes of living in o Longerat Ease and A Man of the People; Okotp’Bitek dealtwith the growing scourge of prostitution in ‘Malaya,’ and the conflict between tradition and modernity in Song of Lawinoand Song of Ocol; the negativeeffects of western religious incursion into Kenyan society were depicted by NgugiwaThiong’o in TheRiver Between, the trauma of the anti-colonialstruggle and its immediate aftermath in Weep ot,Child and A Grain of Wheat, as well as the failure,incompetence and corruption of post-independence Kenya in Devil on the Cross and Petals of Blood. In his novels, poetry and drama, Wole Soyinka consistently castigated the incompetence and insensitivity of many influential groups in society,including politicians (Kongi’s Harvest), professionals (The Interpreters, Season of Anomy, The Lion and theJewel), the religious hierarchy (The Trials of Brother Jero,Jero’s Metamorphosis).
In addition to these writers, there was a group of politically committed literary artists whose radical ideological positions were explicit in their work. They were led by well-known figures like SembeneOusmane, Alex La Guma, NgugiwaThiong’o and Nadine Gordimer. For authors like these, social relevance was not optional: it was the very basis of their work, and they brought a Marxist-oriented class analysis of society to bear upon their writing. In doing this, they conformed to Louis Althusser’s notion of art as being “‘to make us see’, and what it allows us to see, what it forces us to see, is ‘the ideology from which it is born’” (Bennet and Royle 2000:132). Thus, social issues were not looked at as being the result of chance and circumstance. Rather, they were seen as emerging from clearly discernible socio-political and economic factors whose workings could be subjected to detailed scrutiny and rigorous analysis. Issues were viewed from their long-term historical perspectives and were related to similar developments going on elsewhere in the world. Because of their adoption of a socialist outlook, many of these writers further entrenched their commitment to social relevance by actively proposing solutions to perceived problems within their works. Most of the answers they offered were predicated on the overthrow of the existing capitalist system and its replacement with socialism in which ownership of the means of production would be communal.Apart from political commitment, the manifestation of social relevance in literature can take other forms. These include a drive towards increased cultural authenticity, as seen in the Negritude movement in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean, Ngugi’s famous advocacy of indigenous-language literature, the promotion of indigenous dramatic forms by playwrights like J.P. Clark-Bekeredemo, Femi Osofisan and Wole Soyinka, as well as the use of indigenous literary sources and styles, such as can be seen in the work of Leopold Sedar Senghor, p’Bitek and Armah.
Social relevance in literature has also resulted in the condemnation of social foibles, regardless of the particular ideology of the writer, especially those who do not espouse Marxist or socialist ideology. In some cases, it has involved the movement away from literary advocacy to outright activism, as was seen in Ngugi’s work with community theatre, Okigbo’s participation in the Nigerian Civil War, and Nawaal el Sadaawi’s feminist advocacy. Another manifestation of such activism was the entry of literary figures like Senghor, Kofi Awoonor and AugostinoNeto into the national politics of their respective countries.
1.1 Statement of Research Problem
Every research work poses as a problem that needs to be resolved, which bring about the questions as to how these problems that arises will be solved. The sole aim of the researcher is to find answers that will best solve these problems. Therefore this research will by the end have answered questions like:
1. What is Marxism?
2. How has the gap between the rich and the poor evolved?
3. What is poverty and class stratification and why is it regarded as social injustice?
In an attempt to provide appropriate answers to these questions the researcher will carry out thorough investigations on the Marxist theory thereby making references to the work of other researchers and scholars who have worked on Marxism. Also the works of Festus Iyayi and Femi Ademiluyi, as earlier stated, will be used as well.
1.2 Purpose of Study
The purpose of this study is to shed more light on the issues of class stratification, social injustice, and poverty and how African writers like Femi Ademiluyi, Festus Iyayi, AyiKweiArmah, IsidoreOkpewho, NgugiwaThiong’o have used literature as a tool for the eradication of poverty and to breach the gap between the rich and the poor.
Also, in the light of these issues been faced in Africa, the aim of this study is to also bring to the reader’s notice the importance of fighting to get out of poverty in a dignifying manner and not allowing the oppression and exploitation of the bourgeois just as Festus Iyayi uses the character, Idemudia, in Violence to explain this, as well as how Femi Ademiluyi explores these issues in Wheels.
1.3 Scope and Limitation of Study
The major preoccupation of this study is to bring to limelight the issues of class stratification, social injustice and the eradication of poverty in the African society and how African literary writers have been able to expose these ills with the intention of eradicating it from the society. In order to achieve this, the research work shall be limited to using Festus Iyayi’s Violence and Femi Ademiluyias the data for the analysis of these issues.
Many scholars and writers have examined class stratification as a component of social stratification, perhaps, why it exists. Also ‘poverty’ has been examined as one of the major issues in Africa and how it has become difficult to eradicate.
Though scholars and writers have examined these motifs, sometimes as a single entity and at other times collectively, readers don’t yet seem to understand that poverty is what leads to class stratification and social injustice. That is what Obafemi and Iyayi pointed out in their novels, Wheels and Violence.
These novels were the primary sources of reference as they capture the political experiences of the people. Both novelists unfold the nature of the instruments of power which were meant for effective governance is misused on the governed especially the poor.
1.5 Research Methodology
The methodology approach to be used for the effective analysis of this study is the Marxist theory. This is because the Marxist theorist view the society (especially capitalist society) as politically locked down and hold the freedom of the people. They portray the suffering of the masses in their literary texts and form their analysis and view point, that the masses suffer as a result of corruption and stratification which our leaders seem to always follow.
As most literary texts written now discuss more on the political state of a society and how political climate affects the economic structure of the society, which is depreciating as a result of class stratification, poverty and social injustice, the best approach pays more attention to the exploitation, the oppressed and stratified and explains the labour complexities been faced, which is the Marxist theory.
The use of Marxist approach is justified as the two novelists whose work shall be used as the data for analysis share the same ideological approach which is Marxism.
1.6 FESTUS IYAYI ‘S BACKGROUND
Festus Iyayi, born 1947, in Benin City is a Nigerian writer known for his radical and sometimes tough stance on social and political issues. Iyayi employs a radical style of writing, depicting the socio-political and environmental system in which both the rich and poor live.
He was born in Edo state, Nigeria. His family was from a humble background, but instilled in him strong moral lessons about life. Iyayi started his education at Annunciation Catholic College in the old Bendel state popularly known as ACC. On graduation in 1966; and in 1967 he went to Government College Ughelli, graduating in 1968. In that same year he became a zonal winner in a Kennedy Essay competition organise by the United States Embassy in Nigeria. He left the shores of Nigeria to pursue his higher education, obtaining M.Sc in Industrial Economics from the Kiev institute of Economics, in the former USSR and then his PhD from the University of Bradford, England. In 1980, he came back to Benin and became a lecturer in the Department of Business Administration at the university, he became interested in radical social issues, and a few years after his employment, He became the president of the local branch of the Academic staff union of universities (ASUU), a radical unionist known for his upfront style on academic and national issues. He rose to the position of president of the national organisation of ASUU in 1986, but in 1988, the union was briefly banned and Iyayi was detained. In that same year he won the commonwealth prize for Literature for his book Heroes. He was later removed from his faculty position. Today, Iyayi is a member of different Nigeria literary organisations and works in the private sector as a consultant.
His creative include Violence (1979), The Contract (1982), Heroes (1986), Awaiting Court Material, (1996).
1.7 FEMI ADEMILUYI ‘S BACKGROUND
Femi Ademiluyi was born on April 4, 1950 in Akutupa-Bunu, Kogi State, Nigeria. He read English at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He is a Professor of English and dramatic literature in the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria. He teaches literary criticism, theory and creative writing in the university. He is a dramatist, poet, novelist a foremost Nigerian scholar. Many of his published plays have been performed to audiences in Nigerian and to African and international audiences in Kenya, Cameroon, England and the United States.
Obafemi has won many academic fellowships and awards. He was awarded the DAAD study visit to the University of Bayreuth, Germany in 1993, 1994 and 1995. He was resident, and Professor of English in Tennessee University of Technology, USA from February to March, 2005. Professor Obafemi is a fellow of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) as well as a fellow of the Nigeria Academy of Letters.
Obafemi has produced over thirty plays through his university based theatre outfit, Ajon Players and the university theatre workshop in Leeds. Some of his plays are Nights of a Mystical, Beast, Suicide Syndrome, Naira Has No Gender and Dark Times are over. He is also the author of Songs of Hope, a collection of poems, and a novel titled Wheels. His scholarly works include Nigerian Writers and the Nigerian Civil War and Contemporary Nigerian Theatre..