Wale Adebanwi publishes searing book on a major anti-corruption drive in Nigeria.
A book chronicling the anti-corruption war in post-colonial Nigeria has been published by a Gates alumnus.
The book, Authority Stealing: Anti-Corruption War and Democratic Politics in Post-Military Nigeria, has been written by Wale Adebanwi (2003), who is now assistant professor in African American and African Studies at the University of California-Davis.
It has been recommended by one of Nigeria’s most prominent authors Chinua Achebe, who said it would make the reader cringe “at the extent of debauchery that has enveloped Africa’s most populous state”.
Wale received his PhD in Social Anthropology from Cambridge in 2008. His book tells the story of Nuhu Ribadu, whom he describes as “perhaps Africa’s most successful anti-corruption czar”, and his controversial work as the head of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Despite a growth in the number of anti-corruption agencies in Africa in the last decade, there is yet no elaborate scholarly focus on these agencies, most of which were created in the wake of the recent expansion of multi-party democracy in Africa, says Wale.
He adds that Ribadu’s anti-corruption work is placed against the background of the crisis of nationhood in a country in which public office is regarded as an ‘eatery’.
The book has been praised by other academics. Professor Richard Joseph, a professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University in Illinois, calls the book a “searing exposé.” Professor Adeleke Adeeko, Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University, says: “This book provides the evidence to theorise corruption discourse as the main instrument with which Nigerian rulers invent legitimacy, induce consent from the governed, nurture public goodwill, and sustain continuation. Governance in Nigeria thrives on corruption!”
*Authority Stealing is published by Carolina Academic Press. For more information, click here.
Picture credit: criminalatt and www.freedigitalphotos.net