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THE POLITICAL PROBLEM OF CORRUPTION IN CHINUA ACHEBE’S A MAN OF THE PEOPLE AND AYI KWEI ARMAH’S THE BEAUTIFUL ONES ARE NOT YET BORN

| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|

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                                                         ABSTRACT

This study examines The Political problem of corruption in Chinua Achebe’s A man of the People and Ayi Kwei’s Armah’ The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born. The aim of this study is to identify the major causes of corruption as well as the consequences of corrupt practices on the individual and society as portrayed in the two novels. The study shows the greed and insatiableness of African politicians soon after independence. It has portrayed the way characters like Chief M. A. Nanga, Chief Koko, Joseph Koomson and Estella use their positions to embezzle public funds and enrich themselves at the detriment of the masses. The study has also depicted the fact that bribery and corruption is a major factor that was responsible for the coups and counter-coups across Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries. Consequently, it was recommended that individuals of proven integrity should occupy public offices and they should view such offices as an opportunity to serve people and not to amass wealth. Also, public office holders found guilty of graft and other corrupt practices should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent for others. In addition, workshops and seminars should be organized for all party candidates and stakeholders on the importance of free, fair and credible elections.

                                         CHAPTER ONE

  • Background to the study

It is widely acknowledged that the past decades of African’s existence have essentially been that of wasted developmental chances. Indeed, Africa is suffering from some deep-seated social, economic and political problems which have been responsible for the long-term retrogression, stagnation and under-development of the continent. One of these problems is corruption. Udo (2009) conceptualizes corruption as the practice of using public or private office, position or institution to advance personal aims, goals and interest in ways that are out of consonance with societal ethnics and inconsistent with the principles of equality, justice and fairness. It en-compasses all forms of nepotism, favouratism, victimization and vindictiveness. As an alleged act, corruption subverts the reputation for integrity of public official and private citizens. Schumpeter (1983) sees corruption as every unscrupulous dealing that expose person in position of trust to inducement and underserved gain or make them capable of betraying their honour for a price. It is mainly attributed to greed and inordinate ambition of different individuals and groups. The social malaise of corruption is influenced by the quest for more material wealth. According to the World Bank (1997); Corruption thrives when economic policies are poorly designed, education standards are low, civil society participation is weak, public sector management is poor and accountability of public institutions are non-existent. Owusi (2002) in his book, “The Root causes of corruption in West Africa” observed that corruption involves opportunities manipulation of existing laws to obtain undue advantage over others in both private and public sectors of the economy. He emphasized that man’s outrageous and unbridled desire for wealth, power, prestige and influence is no doubt one of the in-roads of corruption in the society. In a universal sense, forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, forgery, favoritism, nepotism, tribalism, graft, money laundering, financial impropriety, election rigging and other fraudulence practices (Nwabuzor, 2005). Interestingly, corruption is a canker worm which eats deep into the fabric of individuals and society at large. In this light, the governments and people of Nigeria and Ghana during the post-independence era witness this ugly trend. It was an era characterized by public looting, bribery, financial recklessness, indiscipline and erosion of ethnic and moral values. Thus, it is against this backdrop that the present study seeks to expose the evils and effects of political corruption on African societies with close reference to the novels A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe and The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born by Armah Ayi Kwe or Ayi Kwe Armah.

 

  • Statement of the study

The attainment of independence gave hope to the desires of the African people. This was because the masses were made to believe that their sons holding prominent positions hither to occupy by the colonialists would bring about improvement in their standards of living. But, ironically, they were betrayed as such privileged individuals’ abuse and misuse the opportunity by indulging in profligacy and acts of corruption.

Today, corruption has remained a major challenge basseting the socio-economic and political development of most countries. In fact, it has become a bane to the realization of democracy and good governance in the African. The malady, like cancer, is no doubt pervasive as it permeates all strata of the society (Nwabuzor, 2005).

Regrettably, corruption as nowadays been entrenched as a way of life of the citizenry. Every day, the media is a washed with reports of large scale fraud, embezzlement, financial scam and other inglorious practices involving personalities in position of authority. The scenario has however, resulted in the incriminating of poverty, unemployment and inflation across the land.

1.3     Purpose of the study

The aims of this research are as follows:

  1. To identify the major causes of corruption in the two novels;
  2. To highlight the consequences of corruption practices on the  individual and society in the texts;
  3. To proffer feasible solutions to the menace of corruption prevalent in the African continent.

1.4     Significance of the study              

The study is significant for the following reasons;

  1. It will help the government to ensure accountability, probity and transparency in the conduct of public office holders.
  2. It will serve as an eye-opener for the people on the large-scale looting of public funds and the need to wage war against it.
  3. It will enable policy-makers to initiate programmes that would alleviate the suffering of the masses.
  4. It will help to stimulate the interest of students, teachers and the general public in literary discourse.
  5. It will offer a reference point for future researchers who might investigate the issue of political corruption in African literature.

 

1.5     Research Methodology

The study will be mainly a library based research. Hence, the two texts selected as a case study will be used as primary sources while other information from the internet, journals, newspapers, magazines, old projects and other relevant materials will form the secondary source.

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