SYNOPSIS OF ‘OEDIPUS THE KING’

image

A SYNOPSIS OF ‘OEDIPUS THE KING’

The story begins with a dialogue between Oedipus, the king of Thebes, and the priest, as they discuss the evil predicament that has befallen their land; blights on their harvest and grazing flocks. Oedipus informs the priest of having sent his consort brother, Menoeceus’s son, Creon, to inquire from the Pythian Phoebus at his Delphic shrine, how the state might be saved.

Before long, Creon arrives bringing news from the gods. He says what they demand is the punishment, either by death or banishment, of the murderer of the past King, Laius son of Labdacus. Oedipus, who is new to the land, and keen to bring to light this criminal who is the cause of their woes, asks him details of the murder.

In another scene, Oedipus lays a curse on the killer, prohibits all Thebans from associating with him and encourages those who have knowledge of him to announce it.

The chorus/elders advise Oedipus to summon Teiresias, the blind seer, to give his opinion on the issue. But Oedipus had already sent Creon, in a much earlier time, to bring him to the palace.
Eventually, Teiresias, the widely renowned seer arrives at the palace. He is very unwilling to speak on the Laius and his murderer, the issue for which he was summoned; he in fact requests that he be allowed to take his leave. However, Oedipus accuses him of being the murderer. Hearing this, Teiresias made a counter-accusation by daring to say Oedipus himself was the man who killed Laius. After the exchange of invectives, Oedipus claims that Teiresias must have conspired with Creon to blemish and overthrow him. After hearing this, Teiresias prophesies that Oedipus will be exiled from Thebes and have his eyes no more after he discovers his true lineage.

Creon comes out to deny the king’s allegations, asking what is he to gain from bidding to overthrow him. He would rather not inherit the position at such a trying time, because all he desires, fame and fortune, are already his; the crown is just a burden.
Nevertheless, Oedipus threatens him with death, after he, Creon, suggested banishment.

Jocasta enters and pleads with her husband, Oedipus, to believe Creon for his oath’s sake, for her sake and for the sake of the elders (chorus). She went ahead to enquire about the cause of the rift.
After hearing the claim of the seer, she told him that it could not be true as it was formally predicted that Laius would be killed by his son at a spot where three roads meet. But obviously, he was murdered by highway robbers, as reported by the survivor of the attack. Oedipus was shocked on hearing this fact, so he asked where exactly the incident happened. Jocasta said Phocis, where roads from Daulis and Delphi meet. He asks further, trembling that perhaps the seer might be proven right, what the built of Laius was and how many attendants he had with him.

Oedipus then immediately demands that the Serf, who survived, be brought before him for questioning. He thereafter narrates the cause of his fear to Jocasta, how a drunkard once told him that he is not the true son of his seer (Polybus; and Merope, his mother), how he visited Delphi and Apollo told him of a prophesy that he would kill his father and sleep with his mother, how he ran away and killed some men when he got to the three-branching road. But there is hope of him not being the killer if the Serf confirms that indeed it was an army of robbers that killed Laius and not a lone wayfarer.

Shortly afterwards, a messenger comes from Corinth bringing news of Polybus’s (Oedipus guardian) death, and the search for a new king. This gladdens Oedipus because it seems that the prophecies were false after all, as his father died not through his hands. Nevertheless, he mentions his fear of returning to Corinth because Merope, his mother, still lives and he does not want the second part of the prophecy to materialise.

The messenger offers to rid him of this fear by disclosing that Polybus and Merope are not his real parents, adding that it was he who gave him to Polybus, after another shepherd who is from Laius’s palace hands him over to him. This other shepherd turns out to be the same as the witness of Laius’s death.

Oedipus, against the wish of Jocasta, wants to get to the root of the matter. He wants to discover his true lineage. Hence, he asks, more emphatically, that the shepherd be brought for questioning.

In next to no time, the long-awaited shepherd who is expected to shed more light on the conundrum finally arrives. He was very reluctant to give straight answers to Oedipus’s questions, he even rebuked the Corinthian messenger for saying Oedipus is the accursed child he gave to him years back. However, he soon admitted it, after Oedipus threatened him with death. He also admitted that Jocasta, his mother, gave him to her so that he may get rid of him.

Oedipus was devastated, that, after cursing himself, he immediately left the scene. Not long after his exit, a second messenger came in with the terrible news of Jocasta’s death. She was said to have committed suicide through hanging. And then Oedipus himself inflicted injury on himself, he used the golden brooches on Jocasta’s robe to smite his eyeballs, thereby blinding himself.

Oedipus, came out, a wretched scene he was. He asked that Creon exile him from the land into the desert so that no eye may behold him and Thebes may be freed from his curse. But Creon refused, firstly deciding to consult the gods, and then instructing Oedipus to leave by himself, if he must.

Such was the fate of Oedipus of Thebes, the son of Laius. And such was the evil calling and cunning desire of the gods. To kill his father, lay with his mother, and spend the rest of his miserable life groping in darkness and humiliation.

ASUU STRIKE: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

image

ASUU STRIKE: A BLESSING OR A CURSE?

An entry for Roulette III, 2014.

It all seemed like a dream when my ENG 112 lecturer announced on the afternoon of July 1st that the class will not be holding. This unanticipated development was not because he was having another commitment or because the day had, without warning, turned out to be a public holiday. It was due to nothing save that the ‘almighty’ Academic Staff Union of Universities had decreed that activities be discontinued in about 70 federal and state universities all over Nigeria, affecting nothing less than 1.5 million Nigerian scholars.

For 4080 hours, between the days of Monday, July 1st and Tuesday, December 17th, students of most Nigerian universities were forcefully exiled to their mothers’ homes, all because of what has now been termed an ‘annual festival’.

In the words of William Arthur Ward, ‘change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.’ Thus, a change, a digression from normalcy, as far-reaching as the recent 6-month ASUU strike must have fallen under one of the said categories. So which is it?
I hold the view of the enlightened majority, the view that appears to look beyond the newspaper headlines and government propaganda. I believe, and strongly so, that the regretful saga, in the form of the recent ASUU strike, is more a curse than a blessing. In fact, it seems more and more, from occurrences over the years, to be a generational scourge, which we may never free ourselves from if the necessary sacrifice is not made.

While the strike lasted, it is generally known that most students were academically inactive. I myself, and many others, found it difficult to study or even engage in other lucrative ventures. This was so because of the incertitude that surrounded the whole event. Many thought, ‘what if I subscribed to a driving/computer school today, and the strike is suspended the next day?’ Or ‘what if I study myself to death now and the strike’s end is not even close?’ In essence, while our counterparts in private universities and foreign institutions were busy making good use of their time, increasing in erudition and adding great feats to their records daily; we were very busy in our fathers’ homes, watching one season film or the other.

Also, I am aware of the fact that, solely because of the strike action, several students lost the opportunity to further their studies abroad with all expenses catered for. This loss ran into millions and millions of naira. Opportunities they say come but once. I wonder if after getting their demands attended to, the union plans to undo this colossal damage by sponsoring the affected students.

Aside from this, we also have cases of students, finalists in particular, adding a year to their academic calendar all because of the insensitivity of our ‘parents’ in government and those in the zenith of the ivory tower.

Instances abound of law students who, after spending a whopping 5 years (or more) in school, hoping to start fending for themselves soon, were disallowed from going to law school at the right time.

In addendum to these is that the accursed strike also saw the death of many giants, prominent of whom is Professor Festus Iyayi, a past president of ASUU, who died while making efforts to see that the strike ends favourably. Also, I personally know of students who passed away while trying to make ends meet during the course of the strike, most being in their final year. It is simply unimaginable, the agony their parents must have passed through on hearing the news of their children’s demise.

After all these shortcomings, akin to applying salt to injury, the much awaited positive upshots of the strike are yet to be seen. Our lecture theatres still lack adequate ventilation; our halls of residence are still, in a way, overcrowded; our lecturers still use lecture notes composed in the 70s to teach us; we are still mandated to pay exorbitant amounts as school levies; and to top it all, our universities are yet to start experiencing an infrastructural turnaround.

No doubt, the federal government is blameworthy for not putting their all-in-all into the nation’s education system, and ASUU is justified by speaking against this injustice. However, the manner in which their dissatisfaction is exhibited goes a million mile in determining whether they get compensation or crucifixion, whether the students will be contented or frustrated and whether the whole exercise is a blessing or the opposite. Quite unfortunately, the union was so autocratic, the government, so unyielding, and the strike so unconscionable, rendering the whole event a huge let-down.

After all is said and done, the incontrovertible truth and irrefutable fact is that the 200 billion naira claimed to have been handed over for the development of universities can never equate with the long hours wasted in inactivity, it will never be utilised to mitigate the damage caused from lost scholarship awards, and most important of all, it can never restore the many lives that have been lost consequent to the strike action. It is therefore visible to the blind, audible to the deaf, and in fact, smelly to the anosmic that the recent ASUU strike is nothing but a downright misfortune.

GLOBALISATION: THE CRUX OF WORLD VIOLENCE

image

THIS IS A PRESENTATION MADE AT THE 2014 DR. YOMI FINNIH ANNUAL INTER-ORGANISATION DEBATE.

VENUE: MAIN HALL, CONFERENCE CENTRE, U.I HOTELS, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN.

DATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2014.

DURATION: 3 MINUTES.

TOPIC: GLOBALISATION: THE CRUX OF WORLD VIOLENCE

Between July 28, 1914 and June 28, 1919, the world witnessed a ‘Great War’ – the First World War between all major world powers. It had has casualties over 37 million persons.

Again, between 1939 and 1945, another massive bloodbath ensued in the form of the Second World War. In this war, over 2.5% of the world population was killed: 60 million persons. That is like double the population of Canada.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to put it to us that the 97 million casualties of these two great wars would have lived longer to enjoy the company of their family, go to school, get a degree, play with friends, marry and maybe nurture grandchildren, if it were not for global compression and international integration; if these nations had not inter-related and unified so much as to give room for bullying, bloodshed and unnecessary battles.

Greetings. My name is Adebajo Adekunle, and I am here in the ambassadorial capacity of the Quiz club. I will be speaking in defence of the submission that globalisation is the crux of world violence. So, what are my reasons for making this assertion?

Globalisation breeds violence, as it produces inequality, poverty, environmental degradation and unprecedented concentration of economic power in the hands of a few. And in a situation where poverty is king, violence is inevitable. Just as is well summarised in the words of one of the foremost proponents of non-violence in the world, Mahatma Gandhi; ‘poverty is the worst for of violence.’

Another point I would like to raise is the fact the expansion and evolution of globalisation has led to a facilitation of the exportation of aggression. In a situation whereby countries like US, Russia and Germany produce 63% of all the weapons in the world, whereby the arms-industry makes a whopping $411.1bn annually; what else do we expect except violence?

Even if the human race is finally united and peace is reinforced, as long as we have persons who benefit from war, persons who benefit from bloodshed, persons who find pleasure in exporting weapons, violence is sadly inevitable.

In conclusion, I wish to seek validation in the dictum of Lord Robertson. He said ‘globalisation will make our societies more creative and prosperous, but also more vulnerable.’ ‘Vulnerable to what?’ you may want to ask. I say vulnerable to vast, vile, veritable, vicious, venomous and very vexatious violence.

Thank you!

THUGGERY: A SILENT THREAT TO PEACE IN NIGERIA

image

THIS IS AN ORATORY PRESENTED AT THE GROUP STAGE, LITERARY AND DEBATING SOCIETY (UI) IN-HOUSE SPEAKING CHAMPIONSHIP.

DATE: February 7, 2014.

THUGGERY: A SILENT THREAT TO PEACE IN NIGERIA

In 2003, the policemen in Anambra state shot dead four persons, just because the driver conveying them refused to offer them gratification.

In December 2010, violence erupted in Plateau state, in which victims, including children, were hacked to death, burned alive, kidnapped, dragged off buses and murdered, leaving more than 200 people dead.

Again, In April 2011, we also witnessed the ‘post-election-violence’ in Northern Nigeria, which after 3 days, according to Human Rights Watch, left more than 800 people dead.

Apart from these, many a time too, we hear of 7-year-olds, 8-year-olds, 9-year-olds, being defiled by persons old enough to be their Great-grand-father.

What is common to all these events: Hooliganism, Gangster-ism, racketeering, violence and thuggery! Sadly, they have all become deeply woven into the great fabric called the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

We live with them every single day of our lives. We see their corollaries on the news on an hourly basis. We go to our schools and work-places not with the fear of God but in the fear of thugs. No single protest takes place without it been hijacked by scallywags. No single election holds without us recording death tolls to the tune of hundreds of souls.

It is so disheartening that thuggery is not only found amongst the unemployed, illiterates and youthful. We also see its traces in the police force. The police which are supposedly responsible for safeguarding the populace are the ones we find battling with the army, harassing and, in fact, slaying the people at the slightest opportunity. We see its traces in the parliament. The parliament, ideally the assembly of best intellectuals in a state, in Nigeria, is nothing but a gathering of professional boxers. We see its traces in the academia and university environment. An environment famous for civility and erudition is in Nigeria, infamous for cultism and intimidation. Students are not, therein, educated but instead, masticated.

The heart-breaking truth is that the youths are the main tools and instruments of turbulence and instability in this nation. That is why I have come to this stage, on this occasion, to deliver this talk; with the hope that we when we get to the crossroads of history, when we reach the moment of truth, we will choose civility and moderation above thuggery.

Let it be known that: When next you ‘sag’ your pants, know you are an inch closer to thuggery. When next you raise your voice on others, know you are an inch closer to savagery. When next you use curse-words, when next you abuse drugs, when next you assault another creature, remember the interest of this great nation. And please take a step backward.

The motto of this Nation says: Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress. Meaning if we are disunited enough to fight against one another, and intimidate one another, engaging in despicable acts of thuggery, there will naturally be no peace. And in a place where peace is inexistent, progress is a far cry as well.

From my years of research, I have made a discovery that wherever it is we have larceny, debauchery and thuggery; it is a matter of inevitability that there shall be misery, instability and insecurity. For us to make a recovery from this malady, we have to do that which is not only necessary but mandatory. We have to shun thuggery and embrace unadulterated harmony.

Friends, Let us put an end to thuggery before thuggery puts an end to us!

Thank you.

RES JUDICATA!

image

RES JUDICATA !

First, It Was Vet. Medicine.

The Thrashing Was Really Something,

To Take Home As Subject Of Deep Thinking.

They Were Thrashed Four To Nill.

Then In The Second Round, Of Sixteen,

Pharmacy Was Next In Line,

They Proved A Little Less Benign.

But We Trounced Them All The Same.

The Druggists’ Drug For Victory Seemed Inadequate.

Two-Nill Was The Scoreline.

In No Time, We Reached The Quarter Final.

None But The Electricians Were Our Rival.

With A Spanking Of Five To One.

It Was Held In The Legal Action.

That The Rule Of Law.

Is Stronger Than All Electric Force.

The Game Was Getting Tougher.

The Ambience, A Little Bit Tenser.

Muhammad Ali Boasted About It.

But Only We Could Achieve It.

‘Medicine’ Was Truly Made Sick.

When MBBS Lost To Us In A Penalty.

The Score Line Was Five To Three.

To The Final We Finally Reached.

Pitted With A Huge Team On A Huge Pitch.

After Some Dribbling And Mingling,

Some Kicking, Hailing And Jaw-Breaking,

With A 2-1, We Outdid Agric. Engineering.

Establishing Our Relevance In The Soccer Discipline.

All Hail Ministers In The Temple Of Justice!

MULTIPLE PARTY SYSTEM IS BETTER THAN BI-PARTY SYSTEM FOR THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL ARENA

C360_2014-01-31-17-06-40-155_org

THIS IS A DEBATE PRESENTED AT UCJ’S 2ND FRANCIS EGBOKHARE INTER-PRESS DEBATE COMPETITION

TOPIC: 

MULTIPLE PARTY SYSTEM IS BETTER THAN BI-PARTY SYSTEM FOR THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL ARENA

 DURATION: 3 MINUTES.

DATE: 31ST OF JANUARY, 2014.

VENUE: GAMALIEL ONOSODE’S SEMINAR  ROOM, MELLANBY HALL, UI.

Joseph Joubert said, ‘it is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it.’

Greetings, Ladies and Gentlemen. Adebajo Adekunle is my name. And I am here, on this august occasion, as an ambassador of the Mellanby Hall Press Organisation.

I will be speaking in defence of the submission: Multiple Party System Is Better Than Bi-Party System For The Nigerian Political Arena.

So what is my justification for holding this conviction.

First and foremost, the multiple party system does not limit the voters’ choice. Voters are given a wide range of candidates to choose from in line with the ideals of democracy, liberty and justice. As aptly summarised in the words of Thomas Sowell, ‘the most basic function of government is to provide a framework of law and order, within which the people are free to choose.’ Ladies and Gentlemen, do we call it freedom when you are asked to choose between Starcomms and MTN? Do we call it freedom when you are offered admission only at Igbinedon university and University of Maiduguri? Do we call it freedom when you are given scholarship to study either in Syria or Somalia? Do we call it freedom when you can only choose between two political parties? When you are compelled to pick ‘the lesser’ out of two evils? When we can actually choose the best out of many ‘goods’. No we do not call it freedom! Why? Because Pars libertatis est non liberum, partial freedom is no freedom at all.

Secondly and in addendum, the two party system and Autocracy, dictatorship and totalitarianism are sons of the same mother. This assertion has anchorage and is substantially validated in a scenario that played out in the first republic of Ghana, when the late President Kwame Nkrumah used the Preventive Detention Act to arrest and detain members of the Opposition United Party, leading to the gradual dismantling of the opposition, and virtually turning Ghana into a one-party state.

Finally, the multiple party system is natural, legal and recognised by the constitution of this country, which states in Section 40 that: ‘every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests.

To conclude, all I am saying, my elite addressees, is that to have just two political parties in a political entity such as this will only, as a matter of certainty and inevitability, cast the political arena of the country into a governmental instability, administrative despondency and electoral melancholy. Nigeria is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-tribal, multi-dimensional, multi-directional, multi-faceted, multi-racial, multi-purpose, multi-vocal, and multitudinous nation. Tell me, what better party system will suit our political arena, if not the multi-party system?

I rest my case!