The foreword of the book collection makes mockery of the presidency of Muhammadu Buhari in its 2023 final throes with corruption and a viciously rigged presidential election being his parting legacy to the country.
The Nigerian Kleptocracy Project now a major book chronicle
by Zito Brown Africa Forum
NIGERIAN KLEPTOCRACY 1966-2023 is the third collection of arguments by African cultural critic Chin Ce for the social and political re- engineering of that society historically long overdue.
The book which debuts in ebook features alongside a foreword, fifteen articles written between 2017 and 2019 during the politically charged era of retired army general Buhari president from 2015 through 2023. Thus it is expected, and not a question of coincidence, that the collection prioritises high critical condemnations of the government and previous personages who led and mismanaged Nigeria since the military incursion in politics.
As a work that guarantees compulsive reading, consistent with regular subject revisits, the author’s sense of history and social commitment is seen in his straight grasp of, and bold citations on, Nigeria’s troubling issues, which range from misgovernance, hypocrisy, elective office misappropriation and constitutional irresponsibility of the governing elite.
Ce’s point is that from 1966 onwards, when a thieving Nigerian army destabilised the democratic system, Kleptocracy, and not democracy, has been the practising order for Nigeria, and he calls for remediation via Nigerian people writing another sovereign document.
According to Ce, ‘democracy which thrives on the will of the greater collective resulting in a government of the people by the people and for the people, rooted upon independent checks and balances, is virtually non existent in any state of the Nigerian federation, thanks to its military-draft constitution.’
Most entries in the collection critically recall how Nigeria’s armed forces looted and retarded the nation state since the nineteen sixties, and how the senate and assembly house led by visionless kleptocrats of ‘Democratic’ PDP and ‘Progressive’ APC political parties have been incapacitated in the legislation of a people’s constitution till present era.
It is noteworthy that this call in nearly sixteen years of recent democratic attempts has been derided by the political class jostling under current Nigerian system. But for wide sections of younger dissidents represented by the author the position is worth the record for posterity if not a violent and bloody revolution.
Evoking the Dele Giwa Years
In calling out culpable Nigerian leaderships past and present, Ce evokes the ‘Dele Giwa years of Nigerian journalism’ when errant public servants were publicly tagged, if not upbraided, for their shenanigans in office. Chin Ce laments how Dele Giwa was murdered in 1987 by the Nigerian military. Touching on tragic memory and digging up old wounds of Biafra war, the author routinely excoriates Muhammadu Buhari with past leaders not only for the very disappointing performance of his regime but also his disavowal of justice, equity and rule of law needed for a touted national unity and anti- corruption struggle. The outgoing Nigerian leader failed in uniting, while succeeding in polarising, the ethnic conflict with his brand of nepotism and clannishness.
Published by Africa Forum
The Nigerian Kleptocracy collection is taken from Mr Ce’s blog contributions to Africa Forum, the media site that hosts news and commentary on Africa and world developments. The writing is in harmony with the stated objects of the website which dedicates itself to collective evolution of Africa and world humanity. The media forum tagged #MedaAcrossBorders alleges to robustly engage in exposing ‘despots and minions of darkness running their pockets of tyrannical deceptions that have seen the mass imprisonment of consciousness and impoverishment of peoples of the continent.’
About the author
Author of three volumes of poetry, An African Eclipse, Full Moon and Millennial, Ce puts forward a vision for healthy ancestral memory while blazing an entirely unique trail of writing drawn to history, and to a generation of emerging literati who perceive the self- assured sobriety of the old as dwelling in need of revision.
An avid participant in social discourse with three collections of critical essays, his trilogy of fiction Children of Koloko, Gamji College and The Visitor chronicle social and political transitions of African societies while upstaging entrenched religious and traditional beliefs.
Ce mirrors conflict in actors who mitigate the attainment of higher ideals by the limitations of their human natures. The Dreamer (shortfiction) furthers the romantic idealism of Full Moon (poetry) only to contrast with the disappointment we find in his Millennial verses. The Visitor (novel) stretches the imagination a little, experimenting with a continuum of collective past, present and future in a flux of choices and possibilities. In The Oracle (shortfiction) he flagellates individual choices in wider dimensions of cosmic turbulence.
Aside from also editing two volumes of African short stories by those titles, Chin Ce had co- edited and prefaced over thirteen book publication series in contemporary African literary criticism.