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Subject: Literature In English
Topic: Summary Analysis of the Novel ” Harvest of Corruption” by Frank Ogbeche.
Lesson Objectives: This lesson is aimed at helping learners understand the novel “Harvest of Corruption”. So by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:
1. In few sentences describe the author of the novel ” Harvest of Corruption “;
2. Identify and write about setting of the novel ” Harvest of Corruption”;
3. Narrate the plot of the novel;
4. Identify and discuss the themes in the novel;
5. Narrate the plot of the novel.
Learning Aids: See Reference materials below lesson content.
Lesson Summary / Discussions
Note: This is just summary of the novel for instruction purpose and does not cover all contents. As students preparing for exams, we always advise not to depend on this alone but get a copy of the book from bookshops for detailed study.
Harvest of Corruption is a play (drama) written by Frank Ogbeche to condemn the ills and foibles of the contemporary Nigerian society. The play is a satire illustrating how corruption permeates the fabric of the Nigerian society and affects institutions like the police force, the judiciary, and government ministries.
The play revolves mostly around Aloho, a naive and jobless university graduate who is desperately searching for a job. Her meeting with Ochuole, a notorious old school mate of hers leads to a series of events which lend credence to the popular saying ‘You reap what you sow’.
Who is Frank Ogbeche?
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 (SGF). He is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ),and has to his credit a number of plays and poems including The Intruder and the Promises of the Gods.
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.
Harvest of Corruption is a play that revolves around Aloho, a naïve and jobless university graduate, desperately searching for a job. Her meeting with Ochuole, a notorious old school mate of hers leads to a series of events.
The major characters are Aloho, Ochuole, Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka, Ogeyi, Madam Hoha and ACP Yakubu. The other characters are minor characters.
- Aloho is the main character in the play.
- She is a young university graduate desperately in search for a job.
- Her desperation for a job makes her gullible to vices.
- In her desperation, she ignorantly wooed by a criminal network involved in drugtrafficking and joins them in spite of her friend’s constant warning.
- She lives with her friend who warns her to keep away from her former school mate Ochule.
- Aloho is arrested and detained for drug trafficking and upon her release, she realizes that she is pregnant for Chief Haladu- Amaka.
- She 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 lured into crime in their desperation to make a living.
- Ochuole was Aloho’s classmate in the University.
- She officially works as the Chief Administrative Officer at the Ministry of External Relations.
- She is the Minister’s mistress, his confidante, business partner.
- She is the most influential person in Chief’s life and can easily extract money at will from him.
- She is as notorious and wayward.
- She is an extrovert, free willed and a talkative
- She is of average height and likes to wear “a tight mini skirt with an equally dark red designer shoes”
- Ochuole works as Chief Administrative Officer at the Ministry of External Relations.
- She aids Chief’s sexual immoral lifestyle by organizing ladies for him.
- She lures Aloho into drug trafficking in the guise of helping her to secure a job with the Ministry of External Relations.
- In her school days, she “caused a lecturer’s suspension for leaking examination papers”.
- She has no time for “born-again stuff”
- She promises Aloho a job and makes sure of it.
- She tells Madam Hoha that “her duty” “is to convince Aloho to “play ball with” Chief.
- She is a manipulator, she manipulates Chief to do her bidding and she subjects Aloho to do her own will and lures her into having an affair with the Chief.
Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka
- Chief Ade is the Minister of External Relations
- He has a protruding stomach and his friends call him “the pregnant Chief”.
- He breathes heavily while awake or asleep and “walks like a man who has an enlarged scrotum”.
- He is the ring leader of a criminal network of drug peddlers
- He is the epitome of corruption in the play.
- He engages in bribery, corruption and large scale embezzlement of public funds,
- He also engages in sexual immorality and fraud.
- His character is ironical, because he is supposed to use his political position to promote the country but he doesn’t due to his many vices.
- He uses Akpara Hotel as a ware house for his cocaine deals
- He is a spendthrift who throws bundles of money on Ochule and spends on “bottles of big stout” and “mortars of Ishi Ewu”.
- He sees Aloho and indicates readiness to give her a job in his Ministry if she meets him in Akpara Hotel.
- He briefs the Police Commissioner and Justice odili on basis to which they are to protect him against the wrath of the law.
- He divests the Ministry of huge sums of money and converts government workers into his direct servants and agents in his nefarious deals.
- His gets afraid when the SSS come for him and asks them to give him “time to pull” himself together.
- When he is about to be sentenced, he pleads for leniency and informs the court that his “entire village and local government depends “on him.
- Is the Manager of Akpara Hotel at Darkin, she is among Chief’s accomplices.
- She is tall and chubby and her skin is said to be velvety, not too light and not too dark but “could pass for ebony description.”
- Madam Hoha’s looks are as those of “the familiar sight of an eastern Jacassan woman of high society.” She wears gold bracelets on both hands and gold rings on her four fingers
- Her cheeks are lined by “three parallel marks, which look like the whiskers of a cat’.
- She is referred as a “cash madam”, as she has “achieved some degree of wealth.” She is reckless with her speech against Chief in front of his mistress
- Her hotel is the chief’s tryst with his lovers and where he commits his criminal activities. Her hotel is later sealed and she is sentenced to 10years imprisonment with hard labour.
- Ogeyi is Aloho’s friend and confidant.
- Aloho lives with Ogeyi in her small apartment in Pannya.
- She senses that Ochule was trouble and discourages Aloho from taking Ochuole’s job offer and advices her to stay away from Ochuole.
- She seeks justice for Aloho by reporting Chief Ade to the police.
- She is also the voice of reason in the play.
- In court, she is accused of being “jealous of the fact that her friend (Aloho) was always coming home with plenty of money and gifts from Chief, the Honourable Minister”.
- Yakubu is an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
- He is an incorruptible and honest police officer.
- He is a man of integrity
- He was able to withstand 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.
- He doesn’t let the Commissioner intimidate him, he fires back, saying “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”.
- Ayo is a clerk in the Ministry of External Relations.
- He is a liar who claims not to know about the embezzlement in the Ministry until he is bribed.
- He is “slim and hungry-looking, but well-dressed with a white shirt over a pair black trousers and a black tie to match.”
- His shirt pocket is lined with pens of three colours. His shoes are slightly needful of repair at the sides.
- He quickly accepts a two thousand naira bribe to augment his monthly pay of two thousands five hundred naira take home.
- He is ignorant and reveals the sleaze in the Ministry after receiving a bribe,
- He is not aware of the consequence for exposing official secrets and for receiving monetary inducement.
- He gets a five-year jail term for corruption.
- He informs Mrs Obi and Alice on what transpires between Aloho and Chief for which Alice calls him a gossip.
- His role is significant because he exposes what goes on in the ministry
TYPE OF DRAMA
The play, Harvest of Corruption is a satire. A satire is a literary work that exposes vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement.Through this play, Frank Ogbeche condemns the ills and foibles of the contemporary Nigerian society. Harvest of Corruption illustrates how corruption permeates the fabric of the Nigerian society and affects institutions like the police force, the judiciary, and government ministries.
Harvest of Corruption is also a tragedy. A tragedy is a play portraying the suffering of the main character, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character and having an unhappy ending. Aloho endures years of joblessness, struggles to get a job, gets arrested for drug trafficking and eventually dies in her struggle to make ends meet.
The play is set in Jabu, a fictional Nigerian city. Much of the action takes place in different locations- 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. The play was written during the period of transition to democratic government.
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 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.
3. 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.
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