Corruption is one of the syndrome of African leaders ranging from those that are leading in small sectors to the political leaders. Many so called leaders have enrich themselves with the public wealth and as a result holding the lives of the masses in ransom. Consequently, the masses are living abject poverty as many graduates could not get good employment opportunity after they have graduated in the higher institutions of learning. The most terrible thing is that the so called masses friends the judicial arms of the government and the law enforcement agent Incahoot with the corrupt politicians have betrayed the trust of the masses through their unjust judgments and eventualy leave the masses in dilemma. Consequently, this paper seeks to show the display of madness of corruption and anarchism by many African leaders.
Synopsis of Harvest of Corruption
Harvest of Corruption is a play that captures the life and time of Haloho who graduated from higher institution of learning and could not get good employment opportunity. As a result of the frustration of seeking and not finding a job, she eventually bargain her life of devotion to God for job opportunity. She comes across one of her class mates at the University who has been living a wayward life and was involving in one illicit act of examination malpractices and offer her body for marks. Coming in contact with Ochuole was another story for a godly Haloho, she introduces her to the minister of international Relation who promises her to make her as one of the protocols. After series of warning and advice from her friend Ogenyi, Haloho turns the deaf hear and accepted to work at the minister’s office and eventually meets her waterloo.
Harvest of Corruption is a play that goes beyond the life and time of Haloho however, through the life of Haloho the playwright brings to bare the viral syndrome of corruption in Nigeria and African countries at large although the issue of corruption is not an exclusive of the western country even it is an heritage from the western culture because many African countries were colonized by the western people and consequently set the pace for incoming African leaders. Literature is a reflection of the society likewise Harvest of Corruption vividly portrays Nigerians society. The playwright Frank Ogodoh employs the literary techniques of satire, through which he was able to penetrate the leadership of Nigerian society and expose their foolishness of amassing wealth through illicit means.
The playwright makes use of agricultural imagery. Looking at the title of the play, Harvest of Corruption, it is evident that the law of harvest cannot be denied in this life neither the rich nor the poor can reverse the law of harvest. The period of harvest is a period of reaping what so ever a person sown even a person that sown nothing will reap nothing. The playwright uses the imagery to sermonize to the corrupt leaders that retributive of justice is irrevocable. Through the life and time of Haloho the playwright foregrounds the typical contemporary Nigerians society where corruption has become norms as the news of missing money in every sectors in Nigeria pervades the country like ebola virus. The play also questions the workings of true democracy where by check and balances is the governing principle however, it is evident that the reverse is the case in Nigeria where by the Judicial arm of government that supposed to check the excesses of other arms of government even collaborates with them to inflict the pain of poverty on the masses through their unjust judgment.
Reading the play gives the macroscopic view of what corruption means.
Obasanjo (2004) as reported by Afolabi (2007) listed the various forms of corruption which include fee fraud (known as 419), money laundering, unconventional and fraudulent trade practices, misappropriation or diversion of funds, kickbacks, under and over invoicing, bribery, false declarations, abuse of office, and collection of illegal tolls. Other contextual meanings include the impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principles, and an unauthorized use of resources for private gain. Adigun Agbaje (2004) view corruption within the milieu of public service listed such factors as pervasion of public rules and misuse of official power for selfish motive, and the frustration of electoral process to make free and fair election impossible. Other forms of corruption to him are the deliberate refusal to declare one’s assets on the assumption and expiration of public office and of course using one’s official status to prevent the administration of justice which is common by the executives (past and present) of different capacities in Nigeria. From these, it is glaring that corruption is not a mutual exclusive of the poor people that is the issue of corruption is not peculiar to the rich and the politicians alone but also the poor people and the middle class. The overarching theme in the play is “retribution’’ that is punishing or taking vengeance for the wrong doing, this theme is instantiated in the play when chief Haladu Ade-Amaka the minister of external relation is sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment:
For all the atrocities you must have perpetrated in this Country under the cover of a minister, which have not Been detected, I say nothing. But for these ones known And in which you are guilty as charged and therefore Sentence you to twenty-five years imprisonment with Hard labour. In addition, you are to refund the sum of One point two billion naira to the government(page 119)
Also, the commissioner of police and the chief justice are sentenced to twenty years imprisonment as the judge says:
As for you, the commissioner of police and the chief Justice, all I can say is that you are a big disgrace to Our noble profession. Greed and avariciousness have Blinded you against the ethical demands of the profession And you have to pay for your sins. You are both sentenced To twenty years each with hard labour. You must reap The harvest of your corruption. (page119)
The clerk, Madam Hoha and miss Ochuole are sentenced:
The clerk who violates the oath of secrecy to keep Government’s secrets and was tempted by the mereOffer of two thousand naira; though your action has Assisted us to unearth a grievous crime, yet the underlying motive convict you. I therefore sentence you to five years imprisonment. For exposing a crime, I commend you but for receiving a bribe, I condemn you for others to learn. Madam Hoha and miss Ochuole,your love of money and the appetite to pursue it is indescribable. Madam Hoha, from this moment, that hotel of yours Should be sealed up as we cannot continue to be operating Havens for criminal activities under the guise of beer Parlors. Both of you are hereby sentenced to ten yearsEach with hard labour. (page119,120)
From the foregoing, it is unequivocally seen that the judgment of the judge is a call for true democracy in Nigeria which is the artistic milieu of the play and African countries at large where the rule of law is the guiding principle. The play is a preachment to every individual that makes up the Nigerian society both the leaders and the masses that the law of harvest cannot be changed whether the rich or the poor, it is the law that equates everybody in the society.
- Quote paper
- Olosunde Oluyinka (Author), 2016, Harvest of corruption. The display of madness of corruption in African countries, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/334501