Sunday, 9 November 2014

Reflection on debates and milieus

The politics of Igbo public affairs has historically been conducted in largely peaceful milieus. The classics indeed attest to this. A reading of that grand debate in Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God between philosopher priest Ezeulu and ogbuefi Nwaka on the crucial subject of the future direction of Umuaro exemplifies the trend. The debate rages and rages with its dogged and at times agonising twists and turns but at no time does either of the protagonists try to raise some army or employ any extra-juridical agency to subvert the discourse or impose their will. It remains to the very end an expansive engagement of intellect, a mutual bombardment of ideas!

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  1. ...and morality or spirituality too. Not eating the sacred yams as defiance in the face of adversity is like a hunger strike or fasting for civil rights and for diversity. By some coincidence, Achebe published it the same year as the Civil Rights Act whose leader-priests were also imprisoned and who may have fasted for freedom and won non-violently. How many of us engage in periodic 24 hour water only fasting for ultimate health? It may be one of the cures for Ebola, President Johnson of Liberia called for a three-day fast.

    1. This gripping 1964-trans-Atlantic date convergence... Fascinating! Many thanks, Biko, for the upgrade. Very best!