Chinua Achebe’s A Man of The People: A Satirical Narration By Dr. Olarongbe Afolabi

Dr. Olanrongbe Afolabi Akanbi is a Deputy Rector Administration of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, a literary guru, adept creative writer, author and a conk fan of Chinua Achebe of blessed memory.

Being a fan of emeritus Professor of literature, Chinua Achebe, a worthwhile session with Dr. Olanrongbe has taken the people in academia in the Federal Polytechnic Offa to a festival of literature during the Chief Lecturers’ lecture series organised by Directorate of Research and Innovation of the Polytechnic.

A worthwhile session with this learned scholar, Dr. Olarongbe was a mixture of dance, music to celebrate, immortalise the noble Achebe’s man of the people and dissect the concatenation between its narration with Nigeria’s post colonial exploration.

Dr. Larongbe’s presentation, titled ” Chinua Achebe’s A Man of The People And The Mirage of People’s Power In Post-Colonial Nigeria” is satirical and reflection of Nigeria system of governance. It depicts the use of absolute power, the abuse of power by those in the helm of affairs, misuse of power by the people who have the right to install leaders and the level of subjugation the followers are subjected to in order to worship and elevate people in power. It also portrays how the electorates ( poor masses ) interpellate the government officials to a particular status.

Achebe’s Man of the people as analysed by Dr. Olaronbge used Bori as a setting that represent Nigeria and characters like Chief Nanga, Odili and Max to symbolize Nigerian leaders and followers’ relationship. How followers, electorates praised Nanga who is a minister and reject Odili and Max who vowed to fight for them, shows the way people celebrate mediocrity during electioneering. Achebe’s man of people as analysed by Dr. Afolabi has envisaged how people worship mediocrity for long in Nigeria.

It is conspicuous from the narration that Nigeria like other African countries only gained independent from colonial rule but post colonial administration of the leaders put the gown of our nightmare in the same way. Nigeria like other African countries is still a crawling toddler.

The instance of misuse of power by the people is when they use their power to seek material benefits from the leaders. Their interest in immediate material gain rather than what will be of benefit to them forever puts them as being gullible.

Dr. Afolabi asserts that Power does not only belong to the leaders. People ( electorates) also have power but people’s power is not used judiciously to favour the people but to further worship the leaders. People’s power is used to strengthen and fortify the leaders cascading down our rivers of hope. Hence people’s power to elect good leaders remain a mirage. At the end, Dr. Larongbe prayed to God to give us leaders who will fear God and cater for the yearnings and aspirations of the masses.

The Paper was presented in the presence of the Rector, Dr. Lateef Ademola Olatunji together with other principal officers, Deans, Directors and Head of Departments of the Polytechnic.

Oluwashina Odebode

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