Critical Analysis of Harvest of Corruption
Table of Content
The Plot of Harvest of Corruption
Summary Of Harvest of Corruption
Analysis Of Themes In Harvest Of Corruption
Roles and Analysis of Major and Minor Characters in Harvest of Corruption
The Plot of Harvest of Corruption
Harvest of Corruption tells the story of most African countries after independence, how the politicians on whom the affairs of the countries have been entrusted, mismanaged the economy through corrupt practices. These politicians connived with police and judges, as seen in the case of the corrupt Inspector and Judge in the play, to siphon public funds into their personal pockets. They ran the country as their own homes, prostituting and squandering public money at will, at the expense of the suffering masses. Thus, Harvest of Corruption is Ogbeche’s effort at drawing our attention to the evils perpetrated by our politicians and their resultant negative values in our society.
Harvest of Corruption exposes the corrupt practices of public servants in a fictitious country of Jacassa. The play is centred around Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka, who happens to be the Minister of External Relations. Chief, as he is fondly called, is the epitome of corruption in the play. He engages in all sorts of atrocities including cocaine pushing, money laundering, stealing and womanizing, to mention just a few. With the help of his criminal-in-crime, the Police Commissioner who heads the Police headquarters in Darkin, the pot-bellied Justice Odili and Madam Hoha, and of course Ochuole, Chief’s mistress, the Chief does his wicked acts with impunity.
One of Chief’s victims, Aloho, a young, promising, fresh graduate and a desperate jobseeker who has only just arrived in Jabu, the capital of Jacassa in search of the greener pasture, unluckily plays into the hands of Chief Ade-Amaka through the “help” of Ochuole, her former schoolmate who was known for mischievous activities back in the day. Warned ceaselessly by her friend and confidant, with whom she squats in Jacassa, Ogeyi Ogar, Aloho is adamant and takes up the job of Protocol Officer with the “benevolence” of Chief. Within a week after her appointment, Aloho is set to travel abroad. But unknown to her she is carrying cocaine. At the airport, she gets unlucky with the custom officer. Consequently, she is arrested but later freed, after Chief has bribed the Judge. Meanwhile, Aloho is pregnant for Chief Ade-Amaka and she is frustrated. Then after trying to no avail to abort the pregnancy, she eventually dies from childbirth.
Chief Ade-Amaka is eventually charged to court with corrupt practices including money laundering and drug trafficking, after Ayo, an underemployed and disgruntled clerk in his ministry has testified against him. This helps to unravel more about the Chief’s exploits as investigated by both ACP Yakubu and Inspector Inaku both of whom are determined to ensure that Chief is duly prosecuted. After being declared guilty to all charges against him, Chief is sentenced to twenty-five years imprisonment alongside his accomplice, Ochuole, Madam Hoha, Judge Odili. Even the greedy and treacherous Ayo is not left out. The law deals with him too.
The play opens with Aloho who wanders about in the ministry of External Relations of Jacassan for job. She gets glued to the notice board, reading an announcement, when Ochuole, one of her colleagues back in the university, blindfold her from behind. On recognizing each other, they greet and share pleasantries, remembering the old days at the university.
Subsequently, Aloho makes it known to her friend, after realizing that she works in the ministry as the chief admin. officer to the minister, that she seeks a job. Ochuole promises to meet the minister on her behalf. She assures her a job and asks her to come back the following day. However, when coming, Ochuole reminds her to dress a little sexy in order to please the minister.
When she gets home, she tells, with excitement, the story of how she meets Ochuole, the campus bad girl, to Ogeyi, the friend that accommodates her in Jabu. Ogeyi warns her to be very careful with Ochuole, knowing who she is right from time. She tries to convince Aloho that Ochuole is not the kind of friend that one walks with and not ends in trouble. She gives instances of the innocent ones that have lost their lives, trying to subscribe to Ochuole’s style of Living. But Aloho would not heed Ogeyi’s warning, due to the fact that she is now desperate for employment after many years of waiting.
She eventually gets involved with Ochuole who secures a job for her with the minister as the protocol officer. She is not properly oriented on the nature of her job. Originally, Ochuole and Chief have agreed to use the innocent Aloho to push cocaine within and outside Nigeria. They arrange her first trip to America so suddenly without informing her of what is to be delivered to one of Chief’s boys in America. Due to her naivety in the job she gets caught and arrested.
Meanwhile, Chief, because of his reputation, bribes the chief justice in charge of the case and also the police commissioner in order to perverse the court’s injunction on the case. Aloho gets discharged and now realizing the nature of the job with Chief, decides not to continue with him and Ochuole. Unfortunately for her, she is already pregnant for Chief. She would not want to keep the shameful pregnancy, so she decides to abort it. however, her several attempt to abort the baby proves abortive, until Ogeyiadvises her to go back home to her parents for proper care. She, eventually, is delivered of a baby get but dies at the process.
Meanwhile, ACP Yakubu, a fair and just assistant commissioner of police who is not corrupt as his boss, decides to secretly investigate ChiefHaladu Ade-Amaka’s misappropriation of two point one billion naira and with the help of the state security service, and Ogeyi who willingly makes a helpful report of Chief’s misconduct, involve Ochuole,Madam Hoha, commissioner, and the chief justice. He is arrested, prosecuted and found guilty along with his cohorts. He is sentenced to twenty five years in prison with hard labour.
Analysis Of Themes In Harvest Of Corruption
The theme of Retribution analysis
This is the central theme of the play. The main idea is that a man reaps what he sows. All the corrupt characters are brought to book in the end. Chief is convicted and sentenced to twenty-five years in imprisonment with hard labour and ordered to refund the embezzled funds. This punishment is his harvest of corruption. The humiliation suffered by Aloho for drug trafficking, her pregnancy and death also portray her harvest of corruption. Ochuole and Madam Hoha are sentenced to ten years in imprisonment with hard labour while Madam Hoha’s hotel is also sealed. This is their harvest of corruption. Justice Odili and the Commissioner of Police are sentenced to twenty years in imprisonment for receiving bribe. Ayo, the clerk is also punished as he is sentenced to five years
imprisonment for receiving a bribe.
The theme of Corruption analysis
The theme of Corruption
The author illustrates the bribery, large-scale embezzlement in official quarters, drug trafficking, sexual immorality perpetuated by highly placed personalities who are supposed to be policy makers and law enforcement officers. Frank Ogodo Ogbeche shows how corruption permeates government institutions and every fabric of the society as well as the devastating effect corruption has on our everyday life.
The theme of Betrayal of Public Trust analysis
The theme of Betrayal of Public Trust
Chief Haladu-Amaka, the Minister of External Relations betrayed the trust reposed in him by virtue of the public office he holds through large-scale embezzlement of public funds, forgery, fraud and bribery. The author advocates a political, social and moral re-birth.
The theme of Unemployment analysis
The theme of Unemployment: Unfortunately, many jobseekers have lost their dignity and souls to the devil just because of their desperate attempt to be gainfully employed. But can we blame them? How can it be justified that after rigorous school life, one spends two to three years still jobhunting? Of course this can be psychologically traumatizing! No wonder, jobless graduates are quick to succumb to societal pressure; they engage in any form of activities in the name of job insofar something comes out of it. Aloho and Ochuole are victims of this terrible situation in Jacassa. Consequently, one dies and the other is sentenced to jail. In Nigeria today, about 40 million people are unemployed and as found in Harvest of Corruption where Aloho becomes a drug trafficker and fornicator all in the name of being employed, many Nigerian youths are now gullible of several crimes and all other self-destructive acts. Needless to say, an idle hand is the devil’s workshop, as the popular saying goes.
The theme of impatient analysis
The theme of impatience
: Had Aloho listened to the voice of reason from her good and well-meaning friend Ogeyi Ogar, she would probably have been saved from the shame and her eventual destruction. When her best friend warns her against her working with Ochuole and Chief, Aloho pays deaf ears and replies: “You can call me a rebel, but I need a job. That’s what matters to me.” (page 9) Patience is indeed a virtue that Aloho lacks. He who has patience has everything but he who does not, has nothing. This is true of Aloho and it is the reason for her tragic end. Because of her stubbornness, she is made to peddle hard drugs unknowingly and is arrested. However, Chief, her boss, bails her out through corrupt means by bribing the judge though, Aloho’s shame and disgrace and frustration are heightened when she becomes pregnant for Chief. At last, she dies at childbirth. This is indeed a great lesson that trying to achieve any goal by all means, damning the consequences, always leads to a disastrous end for the person.
The theme of Evil analysis:
Evil may last so long that people may wonder whether the perpetrator would ever bear the brunt of her action. In the play, the case of Chief Ade-Amaka is a clear indication of this assertion. He abuses public office by stealing with impunity while also engaging in cocaine pushing. Madam Hoha’s hotel is his haven for all the planning and scheming of the political bastardization. It is also, where he engages in sexual pervasion with Ochuole and then Aloho. He is doing this and having his way in such a manner that one might think he would never be caught. However, the law later catches up with him when Ogeyi Ogar, the Inspector Inaku and ACP Yakubu team up against him and the law of karma catches up on Chief.
Roles and Analysis of Major and Minor Characters in Harvest of Corruption
Character Analysis and Role of ALOHO In Harvest of Corruption
Aloho is the main character in the play. She is a young and naïve university female graduate desperately searching for a job. In her desperation, she ignorantly becomes part of a criminal network involved in drugtrafficking in spite of her friend’s constant warning to keep away from notorious Ochuole. Aloho is arrested and detained for drug trafficking. Upon her release, she suddenly realizes that she is pregnant for Chief Haladu- Amaka and eventually dies during child-birth. The author uses Aloho’s character to portray the ordeals of many young and jobless Nigerian graduates, how they are easily taken advantage of and lured into crime intheir desperation to eke out a living.
Character Analysis and Role of OCHUOLE In Harvest of Corruption
Ochuole is Aloho’s classmate in the University. She is portrayed as notorious and wayward. Ochuole works as Chief Administrative Officer at the Ministry of External Relations. She aids Chief’s sexually immoral lifestyle by providing him with ladies. She lures Aloho into drugtrafficking in the guise of helping her to secure a jobwith the Ministry of External Relations.
Character Analysis and Role of CHIEF ADE HALADU-AMAKA In Harvest of Corruption
Ade Amaka (a ka. Chief)
Chief has a protruding stomach that his friends fondly call him “the pregnant chief. He has a round face which is said to be constantly covered with sweat “no matter the weather (p l4). He is said to breathe heavily whether he is awake or asleep. As for his gait, he “walks like a man who has an enlarged scrotum” (p. 14). This no doubt paints a picture of corruption, the image of social decay as represented in one person alone.
He is the Hon. Minister in charge of External Relations. We are never treated to the real nature of his work as a Minister. We see him run after girls, order food and drinks in Akpara Hotel which he also uses as the warehouse for his cocaine deals. He is painted as a spendthrift who asks Madam Hoha to “just serve yourself whatever you want and add the bills” (p. 14) immediately the hotel proprietress complains that he has not been “fair” to her.
He enjoys the warmth of women’s company. At Akpara Hotel he orders for “two bottles of big stout,” (p. 14) and two mortars ofishi ewu for him and for Ochuole. When Ochuole complains of money to settle her mother’s hospital bill, he “draws his portfolio nearer to himself presses the buttons open and pulls out a bundle of money which he throws on her laps” (p. 16.) he sees Aloho, he indicates readiness to give her a job in his Ministry and schedules a meeting at 4 pm in his favourite hotel-Akpara Hotel. We later learn that he puts Aloho in the family way shortly after coming in contact with her Chief is both the grower of corruption and the reaper of its outcome. He briefs the Police Commissioner and Justice odili on basis that they will protect him against the dictates of the law. This way he runs his hard drug business unmolested, and when one of his carriers Aloho is caught at the airport, Justice Odili organizes a Kangaroo hearing and releases the culprit in a matter of days. He divests the Ministry of huge sums of money and converts government workers into his direct servants and agents in his nefarious deals. In the end, he receives a very long term. About to face the law, he loses his nerves. He asks the SSS people who come for him to give him “time to pull” himself together. Earlier, he had tried to be bold by asking them: “Who
are you and who the hell is your Chief that you should come into my office and behave as if the world is in your pockets?” (p. 89) The same loss of nerves is observed when the case is underway. “My Lord,” Chief pleads, “I think I want to see a doctor. I am not feeling well'” (p109). When he is about to be sentenced, he pleads for leniency and informs the court that “my entire village and local government depend on me” (p. As if the jail for those who are not married, Chief further pleads, “Show mercy My Lord, I have a family p-l-e-a s e’ (p. 118).
Character Analysis and Role of OGEYI In Harvest of Corruption
Ogeyi is Aloho’s friend and confidant. Aloho lives with Ogeyi in her small apartment in Pannya. She tries to discourage Aloho from taking Ochuole’s job offer and warns her to keep away from Ochuole. She seeks justice for Aloho by reporting Chief to the police. She is the voice of reason in the play.
Character Analysis and Role of MADAM HOHA In Harvest of Corruption
5. MADAM HOHA
Madam Hoha is the proprietress of Akpara Hotel. The hotel is where Chief perpetuates his criminal activities.She is sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hardlabour along with Ochuole and her hotel was sealed.
Character Analysis and Role of ACP YAKUBU Yakubu In Harvest of Corruption
6. ACP YAKUBU Yakubu is an Assistant Commissioner of Police. He stands out as an incorruptible and honest police officer. He withstood pressures from his boss, the Commissioner to stop investigating Chief’s activities at the Ministry of External Relations. His investigations led to the arrest and prosecution of Chief, Ochuole, Madam Hoha, the Commissioner of Police and the corrupt Justice Odili.
Character Analysis and Role of Ayo In Harvest of Corruption
Ayo (p. 26)
We are introduced to Ayo as a clerk in the Ministry of External Relations. He is a bare-faced liar who claims not to know about the embezzlement in the Ministry until he is bribed hank you. You should
expect me tomorrow evening unfailingly,” (p. 28) he assures Inspector lmaka. We are informed that he is “slim and hungry-looking, but well-dressed with a white shirt over apair black trousers and a black tie to match.” His front ket is lined with an array of biros of three colours. His shoes are slightly needful of repair at the sides, having been “chopping alignment (p 26. No wonder he quickly accepts a two thousand naira bribe to augment his monthly pay of two thousands five hundred naira take home. An ignorant fellow, in revealing the sleaze in the Ministry after receiving a bribe, Ayo is not aware that he is culpable for exposing official secrets and also for receiving monetary inducement, Dragged to court along with his Minister boss and the latter’s accomplices, Ayo receives a five-year jail term for corruption as well. Free with his mouth; he informs Mrs Obi and Alice on what transpires between Aloho and Chief for which Alice calls him a gossip. His significance it the play is the role ho plays in unveiling the goings- on in the Ministry. The Jndge commetids hina for “exposing a crime” but goes ahead to condemn him “for receiving bribe” (p l 19)
Character Analysis and Role of Alice (Tea Gir) In Harvest of Corruption
Alice (Tea Gir)
She is the tea girl in the office of the secretary to the Minister of External Relations. She speaks Pidgin English. The first time she speaks she accuses Ayo, the Clerical officer of being gossipy for which the latter warns and taunts her. Although she is keen to hear Ayo’s gossip she is not keen to meet a “man
we de gossip like woman” (p. 77) such as Ayo That way, Ayo accuses her of meddling in his affairs and asks Mrs. Obi to warn her desist from doing so. The gossip is that Alohi, the Protocol Officer,
had been pregnant for “oga (Chief) and had died from abortion Alice is used to typify what happens in government offices in developing country in which must of her time is spent on gossip and tittle-tattles
Character Analysis and Role of Commissioner of Police In Harvest of Corruption
Commissioner of Police (p. 18)
He is said to be “a tall athletic young man of about forty years “dark in complexion, has thin and sender fingers” and possesses “red lips with black sports his teeth is said to be “broken” and “coloured” probably because he is a chain smoker and an alcohol addict As we meet him first tme, Chief haladu is visiting him just as he did Justice odili with alot of goodies. The law officer is quick to point out to Chief your Ministry is getting some negative and disturbing publicity lately” and reminds his visitor that “nobody loves negative publicity you know This is an interesting comment because he was later to scream at ACP Yakubu with “public opinion my foot!” (p.62) when he sought to underplay Chief’s atrocities against his country the comment is also interesting because the Police Commissioner seems to have made in order raise the value of the booty he is to receive from Chief We are informed that as Chief opens his portfolio and brings out bundles of naira notes and places them on the table, the Commissioner grabs them with the agility of lighting and puts them into his drawer (p. 19). Not only does be expect filthy money from Chief, the Commissioner of Police argues for “increased pay” for the “boys” (p. 20) so as to ensure their “absolute loyalty and excellent performance” (p. 21). Like Justice odili, he also asks Chief to be careful by being vague about what he means: “You have to be careful. I have sensed the signal and I know the danger sign when it appears on the dashboard” (p. 21)
The manner he is described which has been briefly referred to shows that the Commissioner has ugly habits, including his tendency to accept bribes. Once he has been mobilized like Justice Odili, he charges along like a lion sensing an attack on his territory. Just as Justice Odili intimidates the Registrar at the kangaroo hearing, Police Commissioner seeks to intimidate ACPYakubu without achieving much success. He warns the ACP to “steer clear of that Ministry or any other Ministry for that matter or you will be biting more than you can chew” (p. 62). But the ACP, sure-footed, fires back: “Sir, you cannot threaten me and do not bother at what hits me but I shall ask you this, since only those who have skeletons in their cupboard need fear” (p. 63).
The Commissioner and Justice Odili, each an agent of the law, are shown to be drawbacks to the law. It is people like them who weaken the law and prepare the way for corrupt people to evade the law. Both of them receive most the venom of the Judge at the court as he calls them “a big disgrace to our noble profession” (p. 119). The Judge accuses both of them of greed before sentencing each of them to twenty years with hard labour. They both represent agents of the law who work at cross-purposes with what society expects of them, and cause impunity to continue to reign.
Constable Ojo (p. 54)
A lanky-looking young man possessing an athletic figure, Constable Ojo has very small eyes “which are hidden inside the sockets.” We are told that when the Constable looks at a person “there is an uneasy feeling that penetrates through the person’s very soul.” He is often smartly dressed and “has the knack for breaking seemingly mysterious cases
(p. 54). He works with ACP Yakubu whom he observes as the latter talks to himself in a soliloquy as to the level of in society where “any or highly placed individuals will and can toy with the judiciary and get away with any crime committed Constable ojo in return is equally surprised that at the trial of Aloho for cocaine pushing, “the state prosecutor and the defence counsels both absent at the different times the case came up (p. 55). He is deployed in the play to show that the impunity exercised by Chief and his clique rattles the top (ACP Yakubu) intermediate (inspector inaku) and the low level (Constable ojo) policemen in Jacassa for which something has to be done, and pretty soon too.
Like Constable ojo, the customs oficer appears briefly too. He works at the airport and is the fellow who accosts Aloho with the suitcase of cocaine. Described by Chief as “that good-for-nothing Customs officer’ (p. 48) because the latter does his job as he is supposed to and her contraband and promises to hand her over to JDLEA (acassa Drug Law Enforcement Agency). He announces to Aloho that she is carrying cocaine. He advises patience as she will enough time to call whoever you want later” By pulling out of chief’s corrupt ring and exposing Chief’s agent, the customs officer shows that it is better to side with society than with debased individuals.
Character Analysis and Role of Defence Counsel In Harvest of Corruption
Defence Counsel (p. 96)
He is said to be a tall, slim young man in white wig He pleads “Not guilty” for Chief, being his Defence Counsel. He is an astute lawyer who asks the proper questions in order to dismiss his client s charges. He questions the manner the Detective used to extract information for prosecuting the case. When the Prosecution objects, the Judge cries “objection sustained” (p. 101). All his subsequent objections” are unsustained by the Judge. Through his questions Ogeyi is able to give the details she knew about Chief and his collaborators. The Defence Counsel accuses Ogeyi of being “jealous of the fact that your friend (Aloho) was always coming home with plenty of money and gifts from Chief, the Honourable Minister” (p. 104). This comment draws tears from Ogeyi’s eyes for which the Prosecution Counsel prays the Judge to restrain the Defence Counsel “from further vulgarism and insinuations (p. 105). As if he was meeting his client (Chief Haladu) for the first time, the Defence Counsel begins to ask him personal questions which soon irritate the Judge: “Don’t continue to waste the time of the Court by (p. basis for those personal questions is to show that Chief, his client, is a man who has served the government o his country in one of the most enviable of a Minister…” (p. 110). He claims that “everybody has been satisfied and his staff in the Ministry speak eloquently of his magnanimity, generosity and 110). When he realizes that clients have been declared “guilty”, he pleads both “elemency” and option of fine” (p116) The type of punishment meted out to Chief and his accomplices shows that the Judge does not reckon with the Defence Counsel’s line of argument.
Doctor (p. 65)
He is a young man of thirty-five, light-complexioned and slightly bald-headed. He works in Wazobia Hospital in Mabu. It is to him that Aloho goes for abortion when she discovers that she is Rather than contact Chief, she goes straight to this doctor with his fee in her handbag. He is reluctant to carry out the abortion of Aloho’s pregnancy but does not reveal this until he had collected the large sum often thousand naira from his patient. It is after this ritual of money exchanging hands that he now asks Aloho if she wants to kill herself by insisting on the pregnancy ofthree months being suddenly aborted.
He postpones the abortion exercise a few times and on one occasion he was almost about to carry out the exercise when Nurse Halimatu rushes in to declare an emergency. From the Doctor’s initial reluctance, it is safe to infer that he had arranged this “emergency” with Halimatu. Thus, the Doctor’s dilly-dallying strategy stops the abortion and compels Aloho to have her baby, a girl. ordinarily Doctor is pro-life; however, his morality is questionable since he pocketsAloho’s ten thousand naira fee without completing the contract between them. His dishonesty is evidenced by his asking Nurse Halimatu to leave us now and please if anybody asks of me, say I am not in, okay!” (p. 75)
Inspector Inaku is a detective dressed in mufti. His full name is John Odey Inaku who is a Detective Inspector in the Criminal Investigation Department of the Jacassan Police Force. In his determination to convict Chief and his accomplices, he obtains his evidence against them by bribing Ayo to secure the relevant documents. He secures Ogeyi’s story with his “little tape-recorder gesturing for her to speak” (pp. 80-81). In court, he is firm and professional in the manner he presents his case against Chief and his cohorts which must have compelled the court to accept his evidence. Inaku gives the detailed information about Chief, his accessories and Ayo who accepts a bribe of two thousand naira in order to part with documents necessary for the case to be successfully prosecuted. Not withstanding Ayo’s usefulness in the suit, he is prosecuted along with the other criminals.
This Judge is different from Justice odili. He is a devoted law officer who is only out to do justice. He is sprite and business-like. He is keen to get to the heart of the matter as soon as it is possible. “What are the facts of the case?” (p. 96) he asks the Prosecution Counsel once the Defence Counsel submits a “not guilty” plea. At no point does he interrupt either the Defence Counsel or the Prosecution Counsel from explaining their positions fully. However, each time there is a triviality being pursued, particularly by the Defence Counsel, he steps in to nip it in the bud. He overrules unnecessary objections, insists on explicitness in the “choice of words” (p. 103) and demands that all points raised be apposite and relevant. A few times he is humorous in court without losing focus nor fails to ask the necessary questions to move the case forward. His remark before the Jury goes out to give their verdict shows that he stands for justice and fairness. He reminds the jury that “corruption is not a friendly word to the legal institution, therefore anybody who plants corruption should be ready to harvest it’ (p. 114) He charges the jury to bear in mind that “justice comes first” (p. 115). In the end, the Judge fearlessly announces the verdict of the jury and goes on to impose the sentences accordingly.
Character Analysis and Role of Lady
In Harvest of Corruption
She is not described; he only stops on sighting the madman, calling him “Showboy!” she advises the madman against “disturbing the neighbourhood with your noise She asks the insane man to “stop your noise or else I shall call Police to arrest you for noisemaking and stealing from the neighbourhood” (p. 24). Although it is not clear if the madman has her in mind when he claims that “she used to be my darling wife wen I poor”, her saying “when you are poor again you can come and marry me” (p. 25) indicates that the lady believes she is the one being referred to. She describes what “Showboy” is saying as “nonsense” and declares, “I can’t waste my time listening to you” (p. 25).
Called “Showboy” by Lady, madman is said to be dressed in tattered clothes and is “carrying a heavy bundle of tightly wrapped bits and pieces of junk drooping over his face He creates a scene by screaming and abusing no one in particular, while laughing from time to time. He addresses no particular audience when he says: “All of you there” (p. 23). Although his remarks seem uncoordinated they leave a lasting impression on ACP Yakubu. He says, for instance, “I be rich, I be rich man but I never steal anybody property.” He also says that he is a rich man “as you see me. I dress fine” (p. 23). If appointed a President by the current President (which is a madman’s talk) he will “run dis country well. No stealing” (p. 24). Moreover, he is interested in sanitation, “yes! Evrometa. Yes! Na sanitation we need abi na evrometa by ourselves not de country” (pp. 24-25). What the madman says impels ACP Yakubu into deep thought; the Assistant Commissioner considers the madman as having prescribed a cure for the country’s “madness and lawlessness” (p. 25). The madman is a metaphor for the confused state, corruption and value overthrow in Jacassa.
Character Analysis and Role of Madam Hoha In Harvest of Corruption
The proprietress of Akpara Hotel at Darkin, she is among Chief’s accomplices. She is tall, bulky and “seems to be having a lot out of life” (p. 11). Her skin is said to be velvety, not too light and not too dark but “could pass for ebony description.” A well-fed “cash madam”, she has “achieved some degree of wealth.” The playwright describes her looks as those of “the familiar sight of an eastern Jacassan woman of high society.” On both hands there are gold bracelets and on her four fingers gold rings with both cheeks lined by “three parallel marks, which look like the whiskers of a cat’ (p. 11). She calls ochuole “the chic”, the Lioness” and “Bubbling Baby” and in a moment she gossips about Chief and how his likes will “never regret their retirement because of the chain of companies they float” (p From her comments on the Chief and his ilk and how “all they do is stashing government money somewhere through some conduit pipes for the rainy day” (p. 2), it is clear that she is into abetting Chief in his nefarious activities with her two eyes wide open. It also shows that Madam Hoha is a reckless commentator who does not weigh what she says. Making all that remark against the Chief in front of his mistress shows that indeed she speaks “hoha’, meaning without restraint. She has a low opinion of Chief who will easily fall when “we’ll dangle this babe (Aloho) before the Chief for a price” after all he will employ her and we can make use of her to get what we want” (p. 13) When she is called “Madam de Madam” by Chief, she responds “It’s a matter of cash, Chief” (p l4. Chief orders for drinks and two mortars of ishi-ewu for him and ochuole, Madam Hoha that “she her own. When she receives her largesse, she then yields to Chief joining his girl, and remarks is dying have you already” (p. 15). Madam Hoha’s Akpara Hotel is Chief’s tryst with his lovers. He
tells Madam Hoha that his girls “are supposed to be here waiting for me and not the other way round” (p. 38). Although we treat her here as a minor character because of her limited role in the play she receives a similar as Ochuole’s, having been described as having an insatiable appetit money. Her hotel is thus sealed up “as we cannot continue to be operating havens for criminal activities under the guise of beer parlours (p. 120).
Character Analysis and Role of Market Woman In Harvest of Corruption
We meet her in Wusa Market where she sells rice of various types- Gwari, Nupe and Uncle Ben’s. She beats the price of Gwari rice with Ogeyi until they both agree on eighty naira per mudu. An illiterate woman, she speaks Pidgin English like Alice, the tea girl. She is used by the playwright to show how Ogeyi wisely uses her money in spite of the “little pay” which still compels everyone “to buy in the same market with everybody” (p. 70).
Chief’s secretary, Mrs Obi is a lady of average height, “slim with a good figure.” She has on a pair of eyeglasses and is said to be light-complexioned. She is aware that Ochuole is a staff of the Ministry and is close to the Minister but she still insists on the protocol of how to see the Minister, yet without pretending to “risk it” (p. 31). Although Chief has instructed that no one sees him before 12 noon, Mrs Obi violates this rule since she knows the relationship between her boss and young women. Through her we know a bit about the Minister as one who violates his own instructions, and one who fails to follow protocol once women are concerned. Apparently Mrs obi hears little, quite ignorant of what is going on in their office until Ayo gossips to her. Informed that “Madam Aloho” has been caught at the.airport for cocaine-pushing and is “pregnant for oga (Chief, Mrs Obi snaps her fingers and remarks: thought as much. I know that all these games that have been going on will one to light” (p. 79). She describes her boss as “poor man” even as she thinks that he deserves whatever is coming to him whatever a man sows, same shall he reap. I pity (p. 79). Yet when the Sss men come for Chief, she bursts into his office, panting. She senses trouble for Chief bat e latter to be calm about it until he knows that his time is up.
A nursing sister, Halimatu works with Doctor in the Wazobia Hospital in Mabu. As the play Scene Five is dressed in “well-standard white apron with a stopwatch and biros of two different
colours decorating the front left breast pocket She has three tribal marks on each of her cheeks, is dark-complexioned and of average height. She is a cautious nurse who speaks to patients in a gentle voice. She is unpretentious and apologizes to Aloho for not recognizing her when next the latter shows up. She is obedient to Doctor and comes to inform him of an emergency when Aloho is about to be handled in the abortion theatre. It is not clear if she precipitated the emergency or not; it is not clear if it had been a ploy since we had read some reluctance on the part of the Doctor to abort Aloho’s baby.
Character Analysis and Role of okpotu In Harvest of Corruption
okpotu (p. 90) Twenty-two years old, he is dark complexioned and has three tribal marks on each of his cheeks. He is Aloho’s younger brother who comes into Jabu to see Ogeyi from his village. He brings the news of the death of Aloho and the survival of her baby girl. Okpotu is sent to Ogeyi by his father who would want to know the name of the man who had impregnated his daughter. He speaks in a conciliatory tone which suggests that he is not a trouble maker. Rather than be emotional that his sister had died, he asks Ogeyi who is sobbing on hearing Aloho’s death to pull herself together, saying, “We all miss her. What can we relations reach Ogeyi whose name she continued to call until she gave up the ghost. He is a grateful fellow who thanks Ogeyi for “all that you did for my sister while she was alive” (p. 92). Without his appearance, it would have been difficult to have the full perspective of the Aloho subplot of the play. namely that she later had a baby, never forgot ogeyi and died thereafter.
It is not clear if it is the same Registrar we meet at the cocaine trial as the one we meet at the Chief and his cohorts’ assizes in Scene Eight. The Registrar we meet in Scene Three is a stout-looking, elderly man who is dressed in an “Elizabethan age” coat considered to be undersized for his build. Justice Odili asks him to call the first case of the day which he quickly does. Just for saying that the Prosecutor of the case is not present while the defendant’s counsels are in court, Justice Odili takes umbrage at him. “Look here, Mr Registrar,” Justice odili barks at him, “next time when I ask a question, I expecta direct answer” (p. 51). When next he reminds “My Lord” that the “state prosecutor came to your chamber this morn he is warned “to speak only when you are spoken to.” Justice odili goes on to belittle him insisting that he should not “tell all that you see.” The reason is that “you may not be able to explain the differences between what you actually see and what you imagined you saw” (p. 52). In Scene Eight the Judge treats him with more respect. There are no threats as he calls out Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka and five others. He reads out Chief’s offences without any interruption and asks the jury if they are agreed on the verdict of “guilty” arrived at in the case of Chief and five others to which the Foreman of the Jury responds, “We are agreed” (p. 116). It is the Registrar that addresses the accused persons and announces what they are convicted of: he it is too who seeks to know if any of them has reasons “why the court should not give you judgement according to the law”
structure of harvest of corruption
The play has eight scenes, each scene corresponding to an aspect of the drama. The first three centre on the nefarious activities of Chief and his criminal allies until Aloho, the Chief’s errand girl, is caught at the airport with a suitcase of cocaine Scenes four, five and six are the build-up to compelling Chief face the music initiated by ACP Yakubu and Inspector Inaku. Scenes seven and eight heighten the hunger for justice marked
by the news of Aloho’s death in scene seven and the prosecution of Chief and five others in Scene eight. It is a regular plot whose tuming point is the muffling of the law when Aloho though guilty of cocaine pushing is freed in a kangaroo judgement by Justice Odili. The climax is the jailing of Chief and his accomplices who had all the while seen themselves as being above the law
The play is founded on a binary value system of good and evil. Each of the prominent characters belongs to either the “good comportment or the “evil’ chamber. Chief Haladu, Ochuole, Madam Hoba, Police Commissioner, Justice Odili, Ayo, Aloho and Defence Counsel fall within the ‘evil’ slot whereas Ogeyi, ACP Yakubu, Customs Officer, Inspector Inaku, Constable Ojo, Doctor, Prosecution Counsel. Judge, Registrar, etc, belong to the “good” axis. The ‘evil’ ones fight to thwart the law the “good figures
work to restore order and discipline in society. Thus, there is for the ‘evil’ lot a period of supremacy and enjoyment and later a moment of punishment and restoration of social form, hitherto breached. For the ‘good’ ones, there is a period of lamentation and worry for society and the happy decimation of disorder at the law court. There are the Police Commissioner vs ACP Yakubu, Justice Odili vs Registrar Aloho vs ogeyi, Defence Counsel vs Prosecution Counsel, Chief vs Customs officer, etc open and muted conflicts arising from contrasting value convictions
In other words. there is a time of sewing corruption, tendering it and harvesting it. What Mrs Obi says with respect to her boss is instructive “Well I think he deserves whatever is coming to him It is real harvest time for him. Whatever
a man sows, same shall he reap” (p. 79)
Pidgin English as a factor of social difference In the play “harvest of corruption”
The playwright deploys language in order to show social differentiation. His sane and educated characters use good English while his not-so-educated figures use Pidgin l English or mix them. The madman, market woman and Alice use Pidgin. Madam Hoha brings in a line of Pidgin -Chop am if you like” (p. 15) when she wants to assert that ochuole is too eager to have Chief all to herself. The slang, “what’s cooking baby?” (p. 15) is Chief’s manner of melting the social distance between him and his mistress. warns Chief not to call her “baby again” (p. 15) after the huge monetary gift she does not protest he calls her “You bitch” (p. 16) ochuole, like Madam Hoha, uses Pidgin English too. While when ochuole’s Madam Hoha’s use is the last sentence of her remark, is the very first sentence of her first remark in the play. She runs into Aloho and screams, “Na your face be this?’ (p. 1)She subsequently uses Pidgin further to socialize with her friend who has just come into Jabu to look for work: “Make you take ya time to think am out before you decide because once my oga take you, he no go let you go again o” (p. 4). Because Pidgin is a language of the masses, the madman cannot but address his imaginary mass audience in Pidgin which he begins by calling out to the people, “All of you there you no fit be like me” p. 23). Imagining he is also before a large audience, the madman responds to Lady who cautions him on noise-making by saying, “You see wetin I mean?” The market woman speaks Pidgin English for the short period she appears in the play. She pidginizes “Good afternoon” to read “Guduafunu” (p. 69), and incorporates a local lexical item, “mudu” in her Pidgin utterance. The tea-girl in the Minister’s office speaks Pidgin the short time she speaks in the play, interspersed with tolerable English. Ayo, the clerk, speaks of Aloho being “pregnant for oga” (p. 78). All the while he had spoken in faultless English
The use of Irony in harvest of corruption
The entire play is built on underlying irony
Whereas Chief presents a good image of himself to theoutside world and his Defence Counsel holds onto that in order to save his client’s job in the court of he has been doing underneath public perception is different. The Defence Counsel speaks of everybody having been “satisfied and his staff in the Ministry speak(ing) eloquently of his magnanimity generosity and charisma” (p. 110). Earlier chief had said of himself, “My records as a public servant are clean and I am a responsible and respectably married man with children” (p. 108)
However, the verdict of the Jury is different, considering the Judge’s announcement. The very first sentence of the announcement is worth making reference to: “I shall not call or address you as Chief because you do not deserve it” (p. 117). He later states: “I am strongly of the opinion that this country must be protected against unscrupulous public officers of your type, who abuse their positions of trust and responsibility thereby betraying the confidence reposed in them” (p. 118) irony resides in the activities or even utterances of some of the characters. Early in the play Madam Hoha, one of Chief’s accomplices, describes people of Chief’s ilk as “dubious” since a do is “stashing government money somewhere through some conduit pipes for the rain
day” (p. 12) mentioning Ochuole specifically as one of these pipes. While pointing a finger at Ochuole fingers point at her. This is because later on her hotel is identified as Chief’s “warehouse and a hideout for his dubious business and a meeting point for executing his obnoxious plans” (p. 100) As a non serious Minister he had directed his secretary, Mrs Obi, not to allow anybody see him before 12 noon “no matter who or what he or she
is” (p. 32) but he welcomes Ochuole and Aloho who break this rule and even goes ahead to promise the latter a job. Another irony is scored when Aloho, upon the promise of a job, thanks Chief, saying, “I cannot thank you enough. God will reward your goodness, Chief” (p35). Later, Alobo describes him as a very cheerful and considerate man. God will bless him” (p. 37) However, not long after when she had become pregnant for Chief, Aloho turns round to give us another view of the Minister: “That Chief is a devil, the very Satan himself” (p. 57).