CORRUPTION AND VICTIMIZATION IN ISIDORE OKPEWHOTIDES AND ANTHONY ABAGHA’S CHILDREN OF OLOIBIRI
This project is on Corruption and Victimization in Isidore Okpewho’s Tides and Anthony Ndubuisi Abagha’s Children of Oloibiri. It is a study of the endemic corruption and Victimization that hold the Niger Delta captive and by extension the entire nation in spite of available monumental wealth and qualified manpower.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cover Page i
Approval Page iii
Title Page iv
Table of Contents viii
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
Background to the study 1
Statement of the Problem 4
Objectives of the Study 4
Scope of the Study/Limitation 5
Significance of the Study 5
Literature Review 7
Corruption And Victimization In Children Of Oloibiri 15
By Anthony Abagha
Corruption And Victimization In Tides By Isidore Okpewho 29
By Anthony Abagha
Comparative and Contrastive Analysis of Abagha’s Children of
Oloibir and Okpewho’s Tides 44
Works Cited 49
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines corruption as a dishonest or illegal behaviour, especially of people in authority.
In philosophical, theological or moral discussions, corruption is spiritual or moral impurity or deviation from an ideal. In economy, corruption is payment for services, or materials which the recipient is not entitled to under the law. In government, it is when an elected representative makes decisions that are influenced by vested interest rather than legitimate or established government or party regulations.
In life there are political, moral and systemic corruption or abuse of power. Moral or political corruption involves the abuse of public power, office or resources by elected government officials for personal gains, by extortion, embezzlement, soliciting or offering bribes or other forms of inducement. Official corruption is a specific form of a misconduct designed to obtain undue benefits, personal gains or career advancements. Police Officer, for example, sometimes flout the police code of conduct in order to secure conviction of suspects through the use of falsified evidence.
Systemic corruption is the complete subversion of a political or economic system – which is primarily due to a weakness of an organization or process. It can be contrasted with individuals, officials or agents who act corruptly within the system. Lack of transparency, low pay, injustice, greediness, exploitation and poverty are the factors that encourage corruption.
Corruption poses a serious development challenge; it undermines democracy and good government by flouting or even subverting formal processes. Corruption in election and in legislative processes reduces accountability and distorts representation in policy making. Corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law and corruption in the public administration results in the inefficient provision of services. It violates basic principles of the country regarding the centrality of civic virtue. Corruption facilitates environmental destruction. There is also industrial corruption; this occurs when bribe is pride by a supplier to an industry or a manufacturer in order to sell low quality goods at the price of good quality products.
Corruption is a harmful force that hinders government and represses individual in many countries throughout the world. It is generally a word
used to qualify the existence of common social ills that affect the entire aspects of our society.
Victimization is the process of being victimized, becoming a victim or being unfairly punished. Victimization means making someone a group of people to suffer unfairly because you do not like them, their opinions or something that they have done. The trauma of victimization is a direct reaction to the aftermath of unfair punishment. Victims suffer tremendous amount of physical and psychological trauma. The physical injury suffered by victim may be as apparent as cuts, bruises or broken arms and legs. It is common for victims to be fatigued, unable to sleep or have increased or decreased appetite.
Many victims believe that the stress caused by victimization endangers or exposes them to physical or psychological problems later in life.
In our society, people are victimized because of or for many reasons. In the ancient days and still in some places women are being victimized after their husbands' death and when they are unable to give birth to children. Women are often socially and psychologically victimized in the absence of their husbands and children. Men who are impotent or childless suffer
victimization by not allowing them to comfortably air their opinion in their fellow men’s social gathering.
When one is denied of his rights and possessions and is maltreated for no justifiable reasons, he is being victimized. Such a person often tries to avoid society and especially the company of his victimizers or those opposed to his way of life.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Nations, Organizations, Institutions and individuals especially those mentioned in the novels understudy participate in or experience corruption in different ways that are often overt or covert. Euphemisms are often used to make corruption and/or victimization less offensive or palatable in the society. Often, their perpetrators are ―honourable‖ or important people, in short ―sacred cows‖ in the society—Those people ―respect‖ or fear to confront. This study intends to explore the terminologies the culprits invent and often use to hoodwink the society.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This research work is conducted as it is an area where nobody has worked on. The study is being made to expose the problems caused by
corruption and victimization and their effects on the national and private sectors of our national life and economy and possibly proffer useful suggestions/solutions to the malaise.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY/LIMITATIONS
Basically, the study is focused particularly on corruption and victimization as explored in Tides by Isidore Okpewho and Children of Oloibire by Anthony Abagha. References to Okpewho’s and Abagha’s other works and works of other writers, journals, magazines and newspapers would also be made to enrich the study.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research has both practical and theoretical significance to the general public especially social organization, institutions, social activists, psychologist, leaders and literary artists who should understand the level of corruption and victimization operating in the society. It will also bring to limelight the impacts of corruption and victimization on individuals and society at large. This work is undertaken with the intention that the result will be of help to the leaders of the nation at all levels of government, serve as a good material to students and scholars as well as concerned persons who
may like to make further research on this subject matter in the interest of all and sundry.
Since this study is based on Okpewho’s Tides and Abagha’s Children of Oloibiri, the methodology will basically be literary in terms of what the library and the internet will offer by way of critiques, journals, magazines, newspapers and interviews on Niger Delta literature and environment.
COMPARATIVE AND CONTRASTIVE ANALYSIS OF ABAGHA’S
CHILDREN OF OLOIBIRI AND OKPEWHO’S TIDES
Both novels are Niger Delta novels. They deal with issues concerning the Niger Delta areas and the country/nation at large. These are shown by the names of places in the novels where most of the events take place and affect. In Tides by Okpewho we have Beniolu, Benin, River, Siemna, Delta, etc. and in Abagha’s Children of Oloibiri, Oloibiri, Moroko, Diobu are all towns on the Niger Delta State like Bayelsa, Delta and River State.
Okpewho’s Tides explores environmental pollution, maltreatments. Victimizations of the Niger Delta people. It x-rays the corruption in the country involving the government (military) officials, the oil companies’ managers some members of the communities and task forces, the village chiefs and the council of elders.
There are issues of unfulfilled promises – like roads not built and compensations not paid. The people are given all sorts of names like
―trouble makers‖, ―Saboteurs‖ and ―Illiterate natives‖ just because they demand their due rights. Any head that rises or any mouth that speaks for the liberty of the Niger Delta people is crushed and trampled upon by the security forces. Bickerbug is followed and dealt with by the NSS – National
Security Services because he speaks to the government about the condition of the Niger Delta people. Piriye Dukumo is questioned by the NSS agents also for his writeups in the international newspaper
We read about how piriye and Brisibe are retired prematurely because they are both from Beniotu – minority group..
Anthony Abagha in Children of Oloibiri also explores the corruption in the Oloibiri nation:, the inevitable appetite of Oloibirians, their uncontrollable greed and urge to acquire more wealth not minding whose ox that is gored, the unholy baptism of items and change of their names (―acqua canopy‖ is umbrella; hand digging machine‖ is a hoe;‖ hand cutting machine‖ is cutlass, and ―urea – tank fastener‖, is screw nuts). Unit prices of items are sky – rocketed. An ordinary umbrella costs N5,000 - - a case of monumental fraud through which ONAFCO ( Oloibiri National Fertilizer Company) is robbed billions of naira with the collaboration of the sons of the soil who are both the contractors and the Approval Authorities. The result is that ONAFCO is liquidated and closed.
Children of Oloibiri is an account of a country where everyone makes corrupt use of any position he/she has to manipulate the people, the company, and the nation, which – by implication is Nigeria.
Both novels Tides by Isidore Okpewho and Anthony Abagha’s Children of Oloibiri have corruption and victimization as their major themes. There are foreigners involvements as both novels include events, actions and business relations with foreign companies.
There are oppositions to corruption and victimization in the two novels. In Tides, we have Ebika Harrison known as Bickerbug, Piriye Dukumo and Tonwe Brisibe and in Children of Olobiri, there are The Man, Sage his father, Gana, a lawyer and senator Rizenbe, though he is not an active participant.
Both novels uncover all the dark deals in the nation and bring them to light. There are abuses of power and positions. The foreign companies bribe the soldiers, the village councilors, elders, the members of the committees and Task forces in Tides. The Solders abuse their powers by maltreating the indigenes and NSS – National Security Services detain people without reason.
The Man who is the protagonist in Children of Oloibiri and an opposition to corruption and victimization in the novel, demands in ONAFCO that all the corrupt officials like store supervisor, the store messenger, the head of requisition department and member chemicals should be sanctioned. The controlling Authorities disagree with him. knowing that
he could not sanitize ONAFCO without the cooperation of the authorities, he goes on leave. Like all honest staff of high integrity The Man secures a higher and more responsible job at Abuja and consequently leaves ONAFCO for good, forever. In the end, ONAFCO liquidates and is closed down as it could not even pay staff or produce fertilizers for the public.
Children of Oloibiri deals more on corruption than victimization but
Tides deals greatly with both corruption and victimization.
Tides dwells on event, actions and experiences of the Niger Deltans and Nigerians as a whole during the military era while Children of Oloibiri explores the excesses of the nation and the government during the civilian period. Abagha’s Children of Oloibiri employs euphemistic languages like
―Chop I Chop‖ (65), anything for smoke, paper dey – oo (67), four-one – niners (146) etc. Tides discusses issues in everyday languages without any sugar coating or euphemisms.
The events and experiences shared in Children Of Oloibiri are told from the author’s perspective whereas in Tides Piriye and Tonwe discuss events and experiences through their letters - - or what we may refer to as the epistolary techniques.
Anthony Ndubuisi Abagha’s Children of Oloibiri explores corruption in a greater extent than victimization It discusses corruption and victimization in many sectors private sectors, public sectors and the society at large even to the notice of the government personnels like senator Rizenbe and the former Vice President. It shows that corruption has engulfed the entire nation, the entire Children of Oloibiri, who by extension and implication are Nigerians as a whole. In a situation like this how does the nation survive. ONAFCO symbolizes Nigeria; a close down of ONAFCO is a shutdown of the allegorical Nigerian Nation. But there is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel. The Abuja offices, one of which employs The Man (the erstwhile ONAFCO staff) is hope enough that Nigeria remains a float and would not sink for long into the quagmire of corruption, victimization or the euphemistic ―Chop I Chop‖ and the nation dies!.