The Revolutionary Perspectives Of Esioba Irobi In Edo Politics
World over, playwrights are believed to be social commentators as they mirror and set societal agenda through satire. This postulation can be deduced from the classical works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, down to our own Wole Soyinka, Ngugi Wationgo, Ola Rotimi, Femi Osafesan, just to mention but a few. African writers of this period focused their dramaturgy on colonialism vis-a-vis it effects on the continent.
The second generation of playwrights however redirected their dramatic energy to post-colonialism. One of such writer whose works vividly comes to mind is Esioba Irobi. In his Play, “Hangmen also Die”, the playwright didactically present maladministration that has taken the centre stage with a resultant effects on social vices. He posits that revolution remains a necessary mechanism for addressing the quagmire of ineptitude and nepotism that now characterised the Nigeria society using the Niger Delta region as case study.
In this Play of reference, Irobi advances his arguments by depicting the suicide squad as “Highly Educated and talented” in a clime with disdain for intellectualism.
Having paced the streets with bleeding hills and bruced hands, the suicide squad realised that their envisioned sane society while in school was but a figment of their imagination.
The words of Dr Ahitophel Ogbansiegbe, their one time Staff Adviser while in school about terrorism and revolution hit their minds like a timed bomb. It became glaringly on them that a revolution starts in the stomach after many days of starvation, that it is never achieved by holding hands and singing ‘we shall overcome’. They also realised that the tyranny of a tyrant is dependent on the patience of the oppressed.
Ogbansiegbe, an idealogue, a demagogue and a Marxist who indoctrinated members of the ‘Comrades’ into this radical ideology with the aim of getting back at his political opponents through his agents of death never envisioned them driving scrolls into his stubborn skull, nor mixing cement as tea for his greedy throat. He became a victim of the weapon of mass destruction he created.
If you juxtaposed that into the political happenings in the Edo state, what readily comes to mind is the indoctrination of Obaseki into the rhetorics of zero godfatherism with the later petching as owl around his neck.
The suicide squad in the the state is not only consuming their perceived political enemies as foretold but allies.
Will a utopia Tamara redirect the suicide squad to their true allergens to the people or allow them perish in oblivion as they are fast drifting into the claws of the witch that cried at night? Only time will tell.
Remember, if you Oshiomole me, I will Obaseki you.