Book Review: Olukarede Yishau’s ‘In The Name Of Our Father’ Limelights The Irony Call Nigeria.
Telling the unpalatable story of a degraded and dysfunctional nation is an arduous task. It makes you feel helpless in a society with so many problems and elusive solutions. It is for this reason that Nigerians who find it difficult to articulate Nigerian’s sour reality in its undesirable dimension will appreciate Olukorede Yishau’s “In The Name of Our Father” grim but allegoric narration of the Nigerian situation.
The novel “In The name of our Father ” centers on the life of a young journalist who got into the black book of powerful men due zeal to reveal the truth concerning their activities. The Journalist, Justus Omoeko, wrote a damning book on a popular man of God, Prophet Jeremiah and Commander-in-Chief, General Idoti; their hypocrisy and their disservice to the people they ought to serve.
The novel discusses subtly a wide range of societal issues and vices which include, poverty, corruption, religious obstinacy, fraud, government oppression, religious stupidity, immorality, crime, leadership failure, to name a few. These issues were enveloped in a narration that saw a man, who became frustrated by the unfortunate occurrence in his life and family, evolve into a man whose desperation led him to call himself into Christian ministry in the name of God. In his bid to enhance his greed, he got involved with an equally desperate head of state.
Olukorede’s narrative fluency and courage to tell the naked story of the most populous nation in Africa is not surprising. Being a seasoned and award amassing journalist, Olukorede employed his veteran experience in journalism/column writing to forge a story that depicts Nigerian’s religious, social, economic and cultural lot in the most compelling manner.
Yishau softened the mood of his narrative with a seamless and thrilling narration. Even though the issue he brought to fore were those that should make Nigerians weep and wail in pain and regret, the author’s employment of a narrative style that made it easy to take in the load of unpleasantness the story portrays, is satisfaction and thoughtfulness. In other words, Yishau’s narration help readers swallow stones with a lot of fruit juice.
It is important to say that the story courageously tackled two massively intimidating social institutions – the religious and political institutions. You will agree with me that these two institutions give the country its identity. Yishau courageous attacked the obviously numerous bad eggs in these aspects of the society without the fear of being haunted by sentiments and structure put in place to protect the abnormal status-quo erected in the sphere of the society.
“in the name of our father” portrays the irony called Nigeria. The creative work is not just a story, it’s a commentary on Nigeria’s past, presence, and indeed, future. It an irony that Nigerians being a religious society still grapple with so many immoralities. You would have thought that our ridiculously massive religious consciousness would help us curtail social vices. It is even terrifying that religious and political leaders like Prophet Jeremiah and General Idota, employed the name of the Supreme Being to suppress and manipulate their subjects.
Its ironical that people like Alani, (turned Prophet Jeremiah) will languished in poverty, and even losing his son, in a supposedly wealthy nation; a nation where his C-in-C pays billions of naira for spiritual protection. Although Alani was sure that he was destined to be wealthy, he still had to send his wife and son to the village because he couldn’t cater for them. “Olodomare, I See wealth around me, about me, I see the good things of life… But why? Why can’t I possess them” Alani had lamented?
Also ironical is the fact that the C-in-C and leader who should be an agent of unity for the nation, saw ethnical violence in some part of the country as political leverage for his ambition. It is also ironical that the truth that ought to set people free sent bright and incorruptible journalists, like Justus Omoeko, to captivity and moral folks like Pastor Hezekiah, to their early grave.
The story had a fast-paced narration. The author apparently didn’t want to bore his reader with a lengthy narrative that will take the joy out of the story. The initial sequence of the story successfully captures readers’ attention. The calamitous events that graced the first three chapters of the book may make one believe that we might cry at the end of the book.