International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

Portrayal of corruption and image of Nigerian leaders in written IGBO poetry: A mirror image reading

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Res. J. Language and Literature Sci., Volume 10, Issue (1), Pages 8-16, January,19 (2023)


Corruption and poor leadership have been adjudged to be responsible for the present economic woes of Nigeria, forcing its many citizens into untold hardship. Earlier studies on corruption in Nigeria were more of political discourse; the views of Igbo poets who write in Igbo language have not been sought regarding the matter. To this end, this study investigates written Igbo poetry, with a view to examine how modern Igbo poets portray the menace of corruption in Nigeria and their views about Nigerian leaders, being the principal actors in the Nigerian project. Five poems written by four Igbo poets; two male and two females constitute the data for this study. The poems were randomly chosen to represent poems written in the four decades of the existence of written Igbo poetry (1975-2015), with a poem each representing each decade. Data were analyzed through the lenses of the Mirror image theory. Findings show that corruption in Nigeria has grown worse from the time the Igbo poets began mirroring it to 2015. Again the image of Nigerian leaders held up by modern Igbo poets in their works is that of corrupt and insincere elite group that cares less about the people they claim to lead. The study recommendsa psychological and moral examination of anyone vying for political office in Nigeria.


  1. Osoba, S. O. (1996)., Corruption in Nigeria: Historical Perspectives., Review of African Political Economy, 69, 371-386, Taylor & Francis.
  2. Moyosore, S.O. (2015)., Corruption in Nigeria: Causes, Effects and Probable Solutions., Journal of Political Science and Leadership Research. International Institute of Academic Research and Development, 1(8), 22-36.
  3. Okolo, O. P. & Akpokighe, O. R. (2014)., Corruption in Nigeria: The Possible Way Out., Global Journal of Human-Social Science (F) Political Science, 14(7), 1-9.
  4. Solomon, A & Ifediora, O. (2017)., Corruption and Politics in ChukwumaIbezute’s Cries of the Downtrodden., Research Journal of Language, Literature and Humanities. 4(3), 1-4.
  5. Shklovsky, V. (1965)., Art as Technique. Russian Formalist Criticism: Four essays., (Lemon, L. T., Reis, T., Trans, J.). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
  6. Oraegbunam, C. U. (2021)., The Developmental Trajectory of Written Igbo Poetry (1975-2015): The Influence of the Missionaries and the birth of the Igbo Oriented Poetry., African Study Monographs, 41(2), 35–50.
  7. Zulu, I. M. (2009)., Nigeria: The Giant of Africa., Special Issue, The Journal of Pan African Studies, 3(3), 1-3.
  8. Ijewereme, O. B. (2015)., Anatomy of corruption in the Nigerian public sector: Theoretical perspectives and some empirical explanations., Sage Open, 5(2), 1-16.
  9. Jadhav, A., & Hall, J. (2014)., The historical development of the sociological approach to the study of literature., International Journal of Innovative Research & Development, 3(5), 658-662.
  10. Wellek, R. & Warren, A. (1949)., Theory of Literature., New York: Brace and Company.
  11. Ogunsínà, B. (2006)., Sociology of the Yoruba Novel: An Introduction., Ilorin: Integrity Publication.
  12. Oraegbunam, C.U. (2022)., Analysis of Development, Content and Form of Written Igbo Poetry., Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Lagos, Lagos.
  13. Folorunso, A. O. L. (1999)., The Written Yoruba Poetry (1949-1989): A Study in the Sociology of Literature, . Diss. U of Ibadan.
  14. Vatsa, S. (2016)., Literature is the Mirror of Society but Must Be Able to See the Mirrored., International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities, 115-124.
  15. Emenanjo, N. (2015)., A grammar of contemporary Igbo: Constituents, features and processes., African Books Collective.
  16. Suppes, P. (2009)., Rhythm and meaning in poetry., Midwest studies in philosophy, 33, 159-166.
  17. I., Ogbulogo, C. & Okoro, L. (1992)., Omenkà, Owerri: Trumpeters Concept.,
  18. Ogbeidi, M. M. (2012)., Political Leadership and Corruption in Nigeria Since 1960: A Socioeconomic Analysis., Journal of Nigeria Studies, 1(2).
  19. Ikwubuzo, I. (1992)., Dibịa adụgburuja’, in Ikwubuzo.,
  20. Blench, R., & Dendo, M. (2005)., A dictionary of Nigerian English. Cambridge, United Kingdom, CB1 2AL, 26., Available online at, https://www.academia. edu /3831796/ A_dictionary_of_Nigerian_English.
  21. National Centre for Economic Management and Administration (2008)., Structural Adjustment Programme in Nigeria: Causes, Processes and Outcomes., Pg. 3, Nigeria_proposal.pdf.
  22. Okediadi, N. (2003)., Ije Ụwa. Enugu: Fulladu Publishing Company.,
  23. Oleru, H. (2006)., Ọchịchị’, in Nwadike I.U. (ed.)., Akọnauche.Obosi: Pacific Publishers.