A Man Of The People Character Analysis

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In Chinua Achebe’s A Man of the People, a recurring subject that causes issue is the subject of power in the country. In the time in which the book is set, Nigerian politics was ripe with corruption following its independence from Britain, who had been its territory since 1885, and with independence came greed for power from the elite of Nigeria. Although the book is set in an unnamed country, Achebe is most likely basing the events of the book on events that took place in postcolonial Nigeria. The main character, Odili is a young young teacher from a small village, early in the book he meets Chief Nanga, who happens to be his former teacher turned Minister of Culture for the African country. Odili is invited to Chief Nanga’s house in the capital …show more content…
Throughout the book, Achebe uses Chief Nanga’s greed for power and exploitation of his political position, to highlight the challenges that African countries face as they transition to independent and democratic states, and the mission to end corruption and consolidation of power in the country.

Chief Nanga is portrayed as a liar and a selfish person in A Man of the People, despite his reputation with the people, due to the promises he breaks for his own personal gain. Chief Nanga uses his powerful position in the country to increase his personal wealth by using money earned through his illicit activities. Chief Nanga “had built out of his gains three blocks of seven-storey luxury flats at three hundred thousand pounds each” (Achebe, 1966). Nanga had made lots of money when he was Minister of
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An ally of Chief Nanga Chief Koko tries to weaken the C.P.C with bribery. Maxwell, one of Odili’s senior party members bribed, “Chief Koko offered me one thousand pounds” (Achebe, 1966). Chief Koko offers Maxwell the money to try and get him to abandon his political activities to weaken the rising C.P.C. Although Maxwell takes the money, he does not abandon Odili and the party. Chief Nanga and his allies in the country try to stop the party’s growing influence by bribing members to pull their support for the party, as a result, ensuring that they stay in power and maintaining the corruption that makes them rich. Additionally the fact that Chief Koko can directly bribe and opposition party member and not suffer any consequences shows the corrupt state of the country. Furthermore, there is another example of the obvious corruption, when Chief Nanga personally visits Odili at his father’s home. “[Chief Nanga] has now brought you the scholarship… he has brought you two hundred and fifty pounds” (Achebe, 1966). Chief Nanga makes a personal bribe to Odili to pull out of the election by offering him a scholarship and a considerable amount of money. Chief Nanga does not need to worry about the consequences of his bribery due to his power. Chief Nanga’s offer is an attempt to take his main opposition directly out of the elections,

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