Adeniyi Temitope Olorunsomo
Department of Theatre Arts,
College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti
Ekiti state. Nigeria.
After more than 40 years of Ola Rotimi’s presentation of the gods are not to blame (1970) on the Nigerian stage, Nigerians are still battling with the problem of blaming past leaders (Internal or External) for their economic and political woes. This must have inspired Prof. Bakare, Ojo Rasaki to reproduce this play in Ekiti State on 12th December, 2016, on the orders of the State Government probably to douse the voice of accusations and counter-accusations on the roles played by former leaders in the socio-economic woes of the State in recent times. At the centre stage of Nigerian nationhood, the cacophonous blubber is change. But can the people really see the change? From the premise that Art itself cannot change the society since it appeals to man’s emotion, this paper discusses the innate power of Christian Drama as an art form to change the society through the change of individuals that makes up that society. Using the Haunting Shadows (2004), The gods are to blame (2009), both home videos as illustration, the paper analyses the major characters in both plays in their socio-economic and socio-political relationships and their quest for change, and the aftermath. The paper concludes that change comes from inner part and radiates outwardly, from a single individual to the collective, and that it is when the individual has succeeded in managing the inner change successfully that he can transfer the dynamics of it to the world around him.
Key Words: Theatre, Social Change, Christian Drama
Theatre is reputed to e the most developed of all arts form and it is a social institution where different aspects of human creativity interact.
Drama, music, dance and fine arts are different raw materials for the theatre of these, drama, which is a play in performance; in the most social since its subject matter are often human beings in different social or cultural interaction. The engaging dialogue in drama has been an externalization of the deep thought of the playwrights represented by the actor and actress on the stage.
The theatre stage then, has been a forum of varies cultural, economic, political, social, artistic or aesthetic debates over the ages-all engaging different people in intellectual; investigation of how to navigate the moral impasse equated by living in our moral universe where immorality of different facets in rather the rule rather than execution from antiquity when was used to validate cultural validation of societal to convention to the modern day where theatre is used for social and political development. For instance as Emman Dandaura (1992) noted, the Greeks discovered early the inherent ability of theatre to mould and moderate political behavior by encouraging theatrical contests during the city Dionysian where playwright are encourage to enter the competition with a trilogy of tragedy and a satyr drama. In this tragic contest, man is always presented at the mercy of the gods. Hence, the rulers who are the representative of the gods are held in awe and reverence. This clearly ensures political conformism and social order. Closer home, Ghanaian Theatre, borrowing from folklore, deploys Theatre to the services of social conventions and mores. Ama Ata Aidio’s Anowa (1970) demonstrates the pliable belief that any woman who tries to defy cultural prescriptions of morality and wisdom may end up paying a bitter price for it. Early Nigerian drama too were deployed for cultural validation-Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and The Jewel (1963),The Strong Breed (1964) and John Pepper- Clark Bekderemo’s Song Of A Goat (1964) and Ozidi (1965) are examples of this. However, modern Nigerian drama swerved away from this predilection. The emphasis is on social concerns of man in his society-Jero Plays (1973) by Wole Soyinka; Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband Has Gone Mad Again(1999) If… A Tragedy Of The Ruled (1983) and Hopes Of The Living Dead (1981) .These plays dramatize man’s perennial search for survival in a world dominated by greed, insensitivity and evil malfeasance.
Contemporary drama in Nigeria is partly dominated by radical aesthetics of Femi Osofisan and others- Morountodun (1983), No More the Wasted Breed (1983); Red is the Freedom Road (1983), Olu Obafemi Dark Times Are Over? (2005) are examples of this. Their preoccupation is providing an alternative theatre tradition that is more than entertaining but that will jolt the status quo from centuries of inertia (Adegboyega,154).
On the other hand, silently occupying the centre stage approach to the use of Theatre for conscientization and change-a theatre that is both educational and entertainment in orientation. It is programmed for social transformation
Arguably, all drama could be used for this same purpose but the realities of the times we live in call for urgent re-evaluation of the critical tools of the playwright trade. From the seminal and almost classic D. Olu Olagoke’s Incorruptible Judge (1972) Olu Obafemi’s Dark Times Are Over (2005) the issue of corruption has been debated from every conceivable angle, yet the problem has refused to go, especially in Nigeria. Today, Nigeria occupies the unenviable position of being the most corrupt country of the world (Ajayi, 15) This corruption index of Nigera was highlighted by Senator Remi Okunrinboye in a public forum at Akure, Ondo State recently. He pontificated that as at 1960 when Europeans departed the shores of Nigeia, corruption was below one digit. As at 1979, when Shehu Shagari was president corruption has reached one digit. Nigerians talk about corruption in thousands of naira. By the time Ibrahim Babangida left office by stepping aside in 1998,corruption has become the acceptable currency in official transactions, the index jumped to billions of Naira. Today the index is in the trillions of Naira. One wonders what will become of Nigeria in the next 10 years if the issue is not drastically addressed. Of the plethora of plays Nigerian Theatre has produced on the issue of corruption,the problem has become rather endemic rather than abate. The focus of this paper is not self conscious flagellation or blame sharing but take a holistic look at the underlying principles and proffer an alternative Theatre tradition that may offer a way out.
Although there are, many varied problems besetting the Nigerian Nation, corruption is the most basic and it is the foundation for all other problems. If there is one thing history teaches us, it is that corruption was imported to Nigeria through the civilizing missions of the colonists, either as trade voyagers or evangelists (Osae & Nwabara, 3). They all bribed the unwary citizens with pedestrian gifts and drafted them to church go away with their agricultural products. There and then the seed has been sown- you can always get what you need if you know whom to see and what to give. In Nigeria political parlance popularized by Ibrahim Babangida, everyman has his own price. Corruption became a directive policy of State Administration. The phenomenal growth of this ‘mustard seed’ has continued to amaze the naïve ideologue who still thinks things could be otherwise.
For instance, all levels of the educational system has been bastardised by this warped morality. Public examinations in primary and secondary school are now teachers’ examination. Tertiary Institutions are a little different. The difference being that more of the academics are still put off the bandwagon probably because of their training and exposure. But the practice of ‘you can determine your own grade in any examination’ is fast gaining ground. Can the present war against corruption affect these “grassroots’ saplings” in the Educational system?
Corruption defined by Websters Comprehensive Dictionary English Language (2013) as a destruction of fidelity or integrity of a person through bribery. (Dong cited in Ajayi) sees corruption as any use of official position, resources or facilities for personal benefit.(33) It is so bad that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo remarked in his Independence Day Anniversary celebration speech at Abuja in the year 2000 that…
Corruption is the greatest single impediment to our national aspiration to enter into a new millennium with confidence… it is not only illegal but bad because it corrupts the very soul of our community ... It makes nonsense of all budgeting and wastefully depletes our resources. It breeds cynicism and promotes inequality… (Obasanjo, 2000).
One wonders what the elder statesman would say of the present dispensation.
Ironically, Nigerian possesses a tremendous potential to be a world power with her population of 186M which places her 7th largest nation of the world. Yet, Britain with a meager population of 65.2M and Japan with a population of 126.3M are world powers. North Korea with a population of 24.7M and South Korea with a population of 48.9M have made themselves a force to reckon with in world economy. The only thing Nigeria can boast of is that the world richest pastor is a Nigerian with net assets of $200M.
This is equally in a country where a significant part of the population claims to be either Christians or Muslims and yet they could sit down and allocate to the National Assembly 37% of the total annual budget of the country; the rest of the citizenry should ‘manage’ the rest. For graphic details: 109 members of Senate and the 360 members of House of Representatives allocate to themselves 37% of national resources while 185 million others compete for 63.7%. If only the Christian members could cry ‘foul’ and object to that arrangement, maybe Nigeria will not find herself in the kind of scenario at hand. Wilbur, O’ Donovan provided clues when he observed that majority of the so-called Christians are either ‘Nominal Christians’ or ‘backslidden Christians’ (O’ Donovan,12). The implication of this is that corruption that has retarded Nigerian progress has even blinded Christians to their duty, probably because of the need for self/ class survival. Where else do we go?
However much Nigerian political leadership has tried to checkmate this rampaging social evil in our national life, they have failed woefully. This may be because the average Nigerian on the street could see the disparity between the political speeches of these leaders and their private lives. This must have led Bunmi Adeyemo to surmise that …’ it will take God’s intervention to solve the problem of corruption in Nigeria’(3).
Synopsis of the Plays
Haunting Shadows by Mike Bamiloye
Haunting Shadow is the story of an average Christian family that falls apart because of the activities of the ‘Second Woman’. The father, an Engineer simply known as ‘Dad’ in the play, sends his wife (Mum) and their two children –Stella and Segun packing. The major conflict in the play begins when Stella gains admission to the University of Port-Harcourt to study Architecture. The mother refuses to continue to shoulder Stella’s responsibilities because she has gone to see her father against her mother wishes. Unfortunately, the father too refuses to contribute towards Stella’s education. As a result of this, on getting to the University, Stella got involved in what can be termed as campus prostitution in order to meet her financial obligations in school. After completing her National Youth Service, she meets a dandy playboy named Kenny and moves in with him. After six months of living together Stella becomes pregnant. However Kenny denies being responsible for the pregnancy and this leads to a serious quarrel which finally tears the relationship apart. Since Stella cannot cope with the stigma of being a single parent, she terminates the pregnancy and her womb is destroyed in the process.
After the discovery of this bitter fact, Stella decided to go back to Lagos and is accepted by both estranged parents though she opts to live with her mother. She finds employment in an Architectural firm and proceeds to start a new life. With time, she meets Richard, a young Christian accountant who works in her father’s office and they eventually decided to get married. As the wedding draws nearer, Stella becomes apprehensive as she consider her sordid past; after some inner struggle, she decided to damn the consequences and tell her fiancé the whole truth. After a night of agonizing, Richard finally decides to go ahead with the wedding.
While arrangements are in top gear, Stella meets an old friend, Laide, who is now married to Kenny, Stella’s former lover. Laide has tested positive to HIV causing a lot of ripples because she has always been known to be a chaste, innocent girl. As a result of this, Kenny also goes for the HIV test and his result is positive too. True to type, Kenny assumes that it is Stella that is the genesis of his present plight and tries to make life miserable for her; in her bid to clear her name, Stella likewise goes for an HIV test and luckily for her she tests negative. Stunned by the discovery, Kenny now begins to live under the fear that Laide will discover details about his escapades while he was resident in Port-Harcourt. Not too long after this another of Stella associates comes to Lagos and meets Laide and her husband. Knowing of Kenny’s past, and feeling a strong pity for Laide, she tells her about her husband’s past and the shock of this discovery lands Laide in the hospital where she later delivers a baby boy. Kenny is forced to accept his guilt; he begs for forgiveness and is reconciled to both his wife and Stella’s family.
The story could have ended happily there if not for the fact that Stella, now married, is childless and faces rejection from her husband’s family. However Stella and Richard are undaunted in their love for one another and refuse to be bothered by the present state as they opt for adoption. It is at this point that Liberians refugee in Richard home church dies at child birth leaving behind a set of twins. The childless couple adopts the twins; dad and mum are reconciled to the detriment of Patricia, the strange woman who repents of her sins and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. As a result of this conversion, she realizes the havoc she has caused in the family and seeks forgiveness from Dad, Mum and Stella. This done, the play ends on a note of harmony with everybody ‘living happily ever after’.
The Gods Are to Blame by Kolade Segun-Okeowo
The Gods Are To Blame dramatizes a man’s confrontation with his fate. Prince Adeoye, a lecturer and Head of the Department of African Studies, University of Lagos, sets out to war against the tragic fate befalling the kings in his home town of Ejiworo, by becoming the fourth Elejio in 10years-inspite of all protestations from his wife, mother and the head prince. The last Elejio who lived longest of the rulers before Adeoye, reigned for 7 years, begged his wife to warn all his children to steer clear of the throne of Elejio. Adeoye, confident of his education and exposure, decided to take on the throne. He went through the coronation rituals except one without knowing the cause of the previous king’s death. After the coronation, problem started.
Adeoye was visited nightly by a pregnant woman who whipped him sore. Vexed, he sought the advice of the head prince who upbraided him for not taking advice when offered freely. However, the head prince intimated him that the nightly visit of the pregnant woman might not be unconnected with the ritual sacrifice of pregnant women made by Awonbiagbon, the first Elejio of Ejiworo. Awonbiagbon had done this as a ritual of appeasement to the gods who aided him in his war efforts. But the pregnant women now deified came to trouble the occupant of the throne of Elejio. Every sacrifice or ritual made to appease the women availed nothing and the gods could not help the kings either. Adeoye, first tried to connect his illness with the uncompleted ritual of Itakose which was to be the final ritual connecting him with the lineage of Awonbiagbon. He went through it. But in tragic twist, the visits became more frequent and three women, instead of one, visited every other night to accuse Elejio of blood guilt.
Here, a Youth Corps member who was a former student in Adeoye’s department came to visit in the company of other Corps Members and he was invited for further visits. In one of these visits, the Corper led his former lecturer to Christ. Adeoye now had a dramatic visitation in the night by a divine being who introduced himself as Adimula, and a king whom is also the son of a king. This visitation changed Adeoye. Upon the next visit of the pregnant women, he confronted them with the claims of Christ’s sacrifice as atonement for all misdemeanors of men. He countered their accusation of blood guilt with a counter accusation that the human race as a whole is guilty of the death of Christ. Yet, God has forgiven us freely. This encounter ended the spirit-women nightly visit to the palace of Elejio.
However, the story in a tragic twist of tradition, the high priest in council with other chiefs, accused Adeoye of untraditional practices which could spell a doom for the land. Adeoye upbraided him to leave the gods to fight for themselves. The high priest at this point insulted the king by calling him his name. This angered the gods and Jalaruru, the high priest died on the spot.
The theoretical paradigm for the study is Utilitarianism of Arts. This posits that Art, relevant Art, should perform a function in the society. J.W Kalrushe (quoted in Bamidele, 8) states that a working art should provide us with a counter-image and model rather than a mirror image of the society. Berthold Brecht posits further that drama should be an affair for philosophers who wish to change the world.
However, Art itself, according to Olu Obafemi (23-24) cannot change society…. (But may produce) the kind of awareness which may be cultivated through the medium of Art. This surmises that drama, through which theatre holds a mirror to the society and makes necessary adjustments, cannot provide a lasting change but ignites a desire for change through the awareness created.
However, Christian drama which Foluke Ogunleye (106) describes as “dramatic sermons on a silver screen” may possess that ability to, not only sensitize the people for change, but also provides a platform to effect change. The purpose of this kind of drama, according to Mike Bamiloye, originally the chief exponent, is Evangentainment (Bamiloye, (3). Victor Turner (1989), as well as Bamidele believes that audience reaction should be channeled towards positive action to redress the ugliness of their experience. Brecht’s The Good Woman Of Setzuan (1961), dramatizes the humanistic view of man’s essential goodness as well as his powerlessness to remain good in the face of conflicting circumstances. This is the epitome of prophet Jeremiah’s enigmatic question “can a leopard change its own spots” (Holy Bible, Jer. 13:23) in this wise, volitional change which can promote attitudinal change in the society becomes elusive. This incapacitation of man to change of his own volition in the midst of prevailing evil is the central message of Christianity. Christian Drama tends to preach that it is the knowledge of the truth that can provide the enabling environment for change. Ogunleye, (17) calls this ‘propaganda’ which is a mode of persuasive communication used to influence the thoughts of a target audience.
Theatre and Society
Drama has been accepted as imitation of real life situations Ogunleye, (20). Yet, it cannot occur in a vacuum. It usually reflects the conditions of the society that produces it. Biodun Jeyifo opines that:
...drama deals at a highly concentrated… intense level with the contradictions of social existence. A dramatic piece which does not, in one form or the other, deploy as its organizing structural criteria, a physical or emotional conflict, a moral or spiritual contest of will, a confrontation between contending principles, is almost inconceivable. (Jeyifo, 7)
Drama is then the vehicle through which Theatre mirrors the society. Through Drama, any society can view its strengths and weaknesses through the lenses of the playwright whom Aristotle describes as philosophers wishing to change the world. While Theatre reflects societal ordering through its arts; the society receives education, entertainment, instruction and correction through the theatre. Both exist in a symbiotic relationship. The artists of the Theatre, especially the playwrights, owe it a duty to society to alert it of steps being taken, inimical to its wellbeing for the simple of reason of self survival.
Society could be viewed as a community of people with shared interest and institutions with corporate responsibility for its survival. Nigeria, with her 186M people from diverse ethnic and cultural background has this composite picture of what a society looks like. What Obasanjo (2000) said earlier carries enormous weight considering the population and the status of Nigeria in world affairs. Where then can we begin to change? Since, a society consists of both the micro and the macro components, Nigerian 180M peoples belong to some homesteads across the land within the four geographical spaces commonly associated with her. Each home constitutes the individuals in that home. Then, for changes to begin effectually, it must begin with the individual. Prophet J.O Obadare, one of the foremost religious leaders Nigeria has produced was reported to have said “if every individual should wake up each day and sweep his/her house stead, evidently the whole country will be clean”. This, according to the late fiery preacher, means that corruption in the country starts from the homes where individuals come from. If it is then true that the home before any other institution is the primary agent of socialization, then for this change to be true and meaningful, it must begin in every home. The parents must realize that their every action has a cumulative effect on their children and that the children left untaught eventually brings destruction to the well-ordered home. A popular saying among the Yoruba says if we have a well ordered homestead, it is because the bastard there is yet to grow up. All the thieves of whatever levels we have today come from different homes. The parents, who steal public money and provide unusual luxury for the home, if queried, will eventually suffer the backlash. The children, likewise, who use what they have to get what they need (Efua T. Sutherland’s Marriage of Anansewa) while the parents look on without complaining, are all accomplices in the programmed self-destruct of the whole nation. If changes could come from the homes as evidenced in the home of Stella’s parents in Haunting Shadows or in the lives of individuals that make up that home, then there is hope. Anything less is a mirage.
Moreover, political leaders need an encounter with the god of truth which Archbishop Desmond Tutu describes as an open wound, their action will be tele-guided by this god of truth. This is the message of the drama used for this study.
The Society of the Plays
The engineer’s family is a microcosm of the average Nigerian homes where the society starts. The misbehavior of the larger society is as reflected in the fragmented home. It started just with a minor infraction that finally ended up in a conflagration that only succeeded in destroying the shops of the second woman. It was the woman that organized the arson yet pretended otherwise. These are the images of the various groups in the Niger Delta fighting for equitable access to resources from their region. It was only until every principal member of the family met with Jesus Christ that the conflict was resolved.
The Gods Are To Blame on its own zeroes in on the chequered political history of Nigeria vis-à-vis-death in the palace. This mirrors the Nigerian society of the pre-civil war to the death of Alhaji Musa Yaradua in 2008, Chief M.K.O. Abiola (1998), and general Sanni Abacha. This trio may represent the three Elejios (kings of Ejiworo) that died within the last 10 years in the play. This political history is the immediate reference of the play. The Jesus-persona offers his blood as a compensation for the ravaging pregnant women’s cry of revenge and hence breaks the power of blood guilt upon the throne of Elejio.
The Plays and Social Change in Nigeria
Change presupposes attitudinal disposition favourable to progress. Change comes from inward to outwards. It starts with the thought process. Attitudinal change is the most important. It affects all other areas of public life-politics, public service, religion, economics and social relations. ‘Change’ from Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of The English Language means to alter, transmute or make different; to alter ones attitude or principles or religious conversion- a passage from one phase to another.
Social change implies attitudinal changes in our day to day activities in the society starting from the home front to public/ political offices. This of necessity must reflect in our individual and communal relationship. It affects a sort of shift in a new direction; a turning around from the status quo. Change also represents dissatisfaction with the status quo. This is evident in the present political dispensation avowed commitment to change in public morality; in fact in every area of Nigerian life.
Analysis of the Plays and Social Change in Nigeria
The relevance of Haunting Shadows lies in its haunting indictment of Nigeria middle class homes. The engineer father of Stella was the focal point of the corruption virus- the other woman. He left his family for her and everything falls apart, the home front could no longer holds Mummy jettisoned her responsibilities to her children as well because of the hatred. Stella was hit by the corruption virus and became a prostitute to pay her way through University education. But she lost her womb in the process. This womb is a symbol of her creative and development abilities. Even though a graduate and a pretty lady, she is just a signpost of expired woman, a continual sorry reminder of what she could be but cannot because of the misuse of her youth and body. Laide, Kenny’s avowed bride that was infected with HIV as a result of Kenny, a deacon’s promiscuity, became a living symbol of wasted opportunity as she spent her days in agony of the incurable disease.
The turning point came when Stella, the pivot became ‘born again’, her turn around affected her parents who re-dedicated their lives to Christ and reconcile to each other and committed themselves to rebuilding the home that has been scattered. The many efforts that were wasted in the process of finding a cure to both the damaged womb of Stella and Kenny and Laide’s illness are symbolic of the several fruitless efforts to rebuild the moral psyche of the Nigerian Nation after tasting the forbidden fruit offered by the rampaging Europeans in the guise of civilization mission to Africa. The virus of corruption so released has blossomed to become a big tree hiding the country from the gaze of the true sun (civilization and development). Though Kenny repented and confessed his sins to God, he and his family had to live with the bitter fruit of their sin, a life cut short, socially and financially by the dreaded HIV virus, and a baby mercifully spared from the disease. This parallels Nigerian transition to democratic rule with high hopes for development as if it is the magic wand. It may be working elsewhere but Nigeria appears to be cursed down by the evil fruit of corruption everywhere. This must have promtpted Isaac Oni to comment long ago that:
The political class has usually been much better concerned with what it wants for itself from the national purse, without the love concern and self identification with the masses, most of whom are suffering from hand to mouth. This basic self centredness and aparthy to the state of the masses has been made manifest in the ignoble activities of our democratically elected law-makers and decision takers both at the National and State levels.(35)
Patricia, the other woman, used and abandoned by the engineer’s family, became a thorn in their flesh. She is the epitome of the Niger Delta, the crucible of Nigerian wealth, yet abandoned through decades of exploitation and neglect. The region, like Patricia, became very angry and vents her anger in tormenting the family, hence, the implacable fratricidal wars against the Nigerian community because of their perceived grievance against the Nation State.
But, the history of the Nigerian Nation State parallels the story of this play in a symbolic form. The civil war ended in 1970 with ‘no victor no vanquished’ but the effects haunt the Nigeria Nation still. Even though, the Federal Government pronounced a total pardon for the vanquished, stillborn Biafra, yet the mistrusts could be perceived in political appointment in the centre. The disenchanted Igbo people have been agitating again for Igbo Nationhood vision in the old Biafra cause. This has led to a bitter feud in the nation since the end of the war till now. It was until Patricia was ready to come out of her shadows and face the reality of her existence that she experienced true forgiveness, reconciliation and harmony. The truth of the infraticide war must be told without undue emotional involvement from the living actors.
The Gods Are To Blame
Kolade-Segun Okeowo’s play The Gods Are to Blame here is a response to the seminal Gods Are Not to Blame by Ola Rotimi. Whereas, Rotimi in his classic adaptation concluded that the gods should not be blamed because he was the one that allowed the gods to use him (Rotimi, 77). Okeowo disagreed. To Okeowo the gods are the real culprit for the rampaging problems of the town of Ejiworo. But the difference is in the gods the two are referring to. To Ola Rotimi, the gods refer to the Almighty God, ‘Olodumare’ in Yoruba culture who is responsible for the destiny and passage of man in this life, while to Okeowo, the gods are the Yoruba divinities who were human beings who in their life time were powerful beings and who at their deaths are deified. But according to Yoruba cosmology, they are lesser gods called ‘orisa’(Oso, 6). These Orisas is the literary focus of the play. But social reference is different. The Orisas are the man-made gods that direct human affairs. In the socio- politico context of the play, they are the finite beings entrusted with political power because of one social achievement or the other in the community. They are people entrusted with position of responsibilities that are now using these positions to compromise the commonwealth in their own selfish quest for power, affluence and fame. They are represented with ‘gods’ in (HB, psalm 82vs 6). In this context, they are to see to the welfare of the others but they are more interested in their own welfare. This is represented in the King Awonbiagbon’s ritual of appeasement for the continual success of his war efforts. But this ritual compromised the seat of authority which is a symbol of the people’s collective wealth and wholeness. Awonbiagbon thus represents in a symbolic form the corrupt leaders in different spheres of life that deployed State resources for private use at the expense of the common good- the corrupt enrichment of a few priviledge ones at the detriment of the entire populace. The present Nigeria experience wherein even judges are accused of corruption, makes an ugly scenario for the survival of the Nation State. But in the mould of socialist-critical realist of drama, Okeowo provides a way out of this dilemma in the extra- terrestrial resolution of the conflict through the intervention of the priest-king (Jesus Christ) who offered his blood for redemptive purposes from the curses of the pregnant women. By this, Okeowo suggests that the way out of this moral quagmire that Nigeria has find herself in, which has plunged the nation into economic, physical and social desertification- a situation when nothing works- is through a turnaround humbling experience of acknowledging all wrong-doings through asking of forgiveness from the Christ-persona. This can lead to a moral turn- around as evidenced by the King Adeoye who put a stop to the perennial deaths in the palace.
Christian Drama offers an alternative for resolution of societal problems related to morality and development. The under developed state of the Nigerian economy in spite of the oil wealth that has been flowing for more than 50 years is a direct result of the corruption in the system. While, one may not make religion a directive aspect of state policy, it is obvious that the only way to get out of this moral quagmire that has plagued and continues to plague the Nigerian State is a drastic turning around which can only be achieved though a spiritual operation of repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation. The moral universe envisaged in Olu Olagoke’s Incorruptible Judge can only remain a mirage. Otherwise every leader- political, public service, judiciary, military, economy and business-needs to have an encounter with the Jesus-persona who alone can redeem humanity. With the encounter of these leaders with this persona, there could be a moral shift in the nation that may engender development. We have tried almost every available theoretical, artistic, epistemological and pedagogical approach to Nigeria’s problem; we may as well try the simple approach of Christian drama.
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