olarongbe Akanbi Afolabi


Many literary critics and scholars have posited that failure of leadership is the major concern of Achebe in A Man of the People (1966). This paper proposes, with post-colonial theoretical perspective, a fresh insight of the work by suggesting that the novel should be analysed beyond leadership failure. It argues that the major concern of Achebe in A Man of the People is to explore the collaboration of the citizens with their leaders through actions that encourage bad leadership. Relying on deep textual analysis, it discusses instances of the collaboration and how the perception of leadership by the followers (the citizens) influence the follower’s conduct. The analysis shows how the collaboration which is conceptualized as the solidarity and cooperation of the followers with the leaders to perpetuate bad governance establishes the culpability of the followers in leadership failure.  The work presents a fresh perspective as it reveals that leadership failure is traceable to the actions of the followers thus filling a gap that is largely ignored in most literature. The paper found that it is not only the leaders that should be held responsible for the problems of Achebe’s society in A Man of the People, the followers are equally culpable.  

Keywords: Citizens, Concern, Collaborators, Culpability, Followers, Failure, Leadership.

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