Literature as an Instrument of National Security: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart as a Case Study

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Literature as an Instrument of National Security: Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart as a Case Study

Mary Effiong NYONG (Ph.D)1& Kemi Nojim YEKINI2
1Department of Language Education, Bamidele Olumilua University of Education, Science and Technology, Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
2Michael Otedola College Of Primary Education, Noforija-Epe, Lagos State, Nigeria.

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Insecurity has become a global concern. Governments of the World spend a large portion of their annual budgets on insecurity, Nigeria inclusive. This paper attempts to show how literature can be used to curb insecurity in Nigeria using Chinua Achebe’s things fall apart as a case study. The paper further examined the definition of insecurity, a brief history of insecurity in Nigeria, causes of Insecurity, effects of insecurity and efforts of Nigerian government in curbing insecurity. Conclusions were also made.

Keywords: Literature, Instrument, National Security, Chinua Achebe, things fall apart.


We shall begin this paper on literature as it relates to national security with the words of Datondji (1980: 63) below:
All the problems we are faced with, and which we cannot cope with properly, are clearly stated in African novels and there is no doubt that the teaching of these lessons to growing generations can be of great benefit, by making them, so we hope, avoid the mistakes or misadventures of their intellectual elders.
Security of life and property has become the major challenge of contemporary societies, Nigeria inclusive. The Boko Haram attacks, herdsmen attacks on farmers, militancy in the Niger Delta as well as kidnapping activities, according to Ugbegili (2019), are major forms of insecurity in Nigeria. Governments have adopted many measures to tackle the problem of insecurity in their societies. In spite of all these efforts, the problem of insecurity, globally, escalates every day. Just a few decades ago, the global concern was the HIV/AIDS pandemic. All of a sudden, security has become the first item on the agenda of the different governments of the world. The Nigerian government, through its policies and other measures has been battling with the problem of insecurity for years. The government’s efforts have tripled since the birth of the ill-fated terrorist group called Boko Haram. The result has been nothing but incessant waste of lives of innocent citizens and hard-earned property. This means that there is still a lot to be done. This is where our approach comes in, that is, the literature approach. This is because insecurity is a societal problem and literature is directly linked with society. Writers, from time immemorial, have treated all subjects under the sun in their works. They have, most of the time, put their works at the service of their epochs, treating any burning