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Analysis of Frank Ogbeche's "Harvest of Corruption"

By Nkem Egenuka on Wed, 16/01/2019 - 15:35

Harvest of Corruption is centred on the venal acts of public servants in a country called Jacassa. The principal public servant in the play is Chief Haladu Ade Amaka, the minister of external relations. He is corrupt and unpatriotic. He is an exploits of the state by robbing her blind in an act referred to as "Pen-robbery.  He has aids,  such as the police commissioner who serves at the police headquarters inn Darkin; Justice Odili, Ochuole who organizes girls for him, including those who bear cocain for him; Aloho a girl who has just been offered a job in chief's office as a protocol officer; Madam Hoha whose restaurant/hotel is a haven for criminal activities under the guise of a beer parlour and the Defence Counsel who fought hard to defend the corrupt chief. 

 

PLOT

The play opens with Aloho in the ministry of External Relations of Jacassan for job in search for a job.  There she meets Ochuole, a notorious old school mate of hers who happens to be the Chief Administrative Officer at the Ministry of External Relations and she promises to help her secure a job.

She gets home with excitement and tells her friend Ogeyi the story of how she meets Ochuole. Ogeyi warns her to be careful with Ochuole, knowing that she is a bad influence. 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.

Ochuole helps Aloho secure a job as a protocol officer to Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka after speaking with him. Ochuole and Chief agree to use the Aloho to push drugs within and outside Nigeria. They suddenly arrange her first trip to America, and give a package containing hard drugs to deliver. She gets caught and arrested at the airport by drug law enforcement officers.

Chief bribes the chief justice in charge of the case and the police commissioner in order to perverse the court’s injunction on the case. Aloho, realizes the nature of her new job and quits. She discovers that she is pregnant for Chief and makes futile to abort the baby. Ogeyi advises her to go back home to her parents for proper care. Eventually, she is delivered of a baby girl but she dies in the process.

ACP Yakubu, a just assistant commissioner of police decides to secretly investigate ChiefHaladu Ade-Amaka and Ayo, a clerk in the office of the Chief provides information to the assistant commissioner and Ogeyi seeks justice by reporting Chief to the police, which further implicates Ochuole, Madam Hoha, commissioner, and others. They are arrested and persecuted and Justice prevails.

 

SETTING OF THE PLAY

The play is set in Jabu, a fictional Nigerian city. The action takes place in different locations like: Ogeyi’s apartment in Pannya, Madam Hoha’s hotel at Darkin, Police Headquarters at Darkin, Ministry of External Relations in Maisama, and the Court Room.

 

MAJOR THEMES

Corruption: Frank Ogodo Ogbeche shows how corruption permeates government institutions and every aspect of the society as well as the devastating effect corruption has on our everyday life. All through the play, the prevalent issue is corruption. The playwright seems to pass this play as a commentary on this anomaly. Everywhere you turn, in Jacassa, you see corruption, even in places you least expect. With Chief Ade-Amaka at the forefront of this evil, stealing, fornicating and abusing public office at will, Ogodo-Ogbeche seems to wonder why corruption is always thought to be only stealing of public funds. Aloho's gullibility and desperation, Ochuole's mistress role to Chief, Madam Hoha's role, as well as Justice Odili's, the Police Commissioner's extortion of Chief and even Ayo's request for bribe, all point to the fact that corruption is not limited to those at the helm of affairs. It permeates every facet of life of the people who sow it. Just as in the play, public officers in Nigeria have almost always culturalised corruption, with a single individual, a chief of staff to be precise, stealing a mindboggling sum of $2.1b meant for arms purchase.

Unemployment: Unfortunately, many job seekers have lost their dignity 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 job hunting? 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.

 

MAJOR CHARACTERS
Aloho

She is the main character in the play, a young and native university 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 in their desperation to get a job.

Ochuole
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 drug trafficking in the guise of helping her to secure a job with the Ministry of External Relations.

Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka

He is the Minister of External Relations and the epitome of corruption in the play. He is the ring leader of a criminal network of drug peddlers. He engages in bribery, large scale embezzlement of public funds,sexual immorality and fraud. His character is ironical. As a Minister of External Relations, he is supposed to promote his country’s image in the comity of nations. On the contrary, Chief Haladu- Amaka through his many vices portrayed his country in a bad light.

Ogeyi

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.

Madam Hoha

Madam Hoha is the Manager of Akpara Hotel. The hotel where Chief perpetuates his criminal activities.She is sentenced to ten years imprisonment with hard labour along with Ochuole and her hotel was sealed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Frank Ogodo Ogbeche is from Yala in Cross River State, Nigeria. He studied Communication Arts and currently works as a Senior Council Affairs Officer in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. He is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). He has written a number of plays and poems including 'The Intruder and the Promises of the Gods'.

 

 

Sources

literature366.blogspot.com.ng

sodiqyusuf.blogspot.com.ng

lit105.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

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