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Okey Ndibe. Image via Google.

US-based author Okey Ndibe, known and respected for his incisive, unrelenting criticism of corruption and governmental abuse of power in Nigeria, was yet again held up by the State Security Service at Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Here is what he wrote on his Facebook page on 8 April.

I had another irritating encounter with the SSS at Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos. I told the officers who took me to their office for questioning that it’s shameful they salute and escort corrupt officials but harass a citizen who insists we can, and should, have a sane system–based on true democratic values, the equality of ALL citizens before the law, and political accountability.
For the record, the SSS officials were courteous throughout. Once again, they advised me to go to Abuja and apply to have my name expunged from their watchlist. No, I said. I did not go to Abuja in 2010 to ask the Umaru Yar’Adua administration to put me on a list of enemies of the state. I will not go to Abuja to plead that my name be removed from the list.
I thank all of you who’ve written or called to inquire after my wellbeing. I’m in wonderful spirits, far from cowed. Fear is a choice; I’ve chosen not to fear.

The incident has been reported by Nigeria’s Premium Times as well as Sahara Reporters where he published a characteristically unapologetic article in January.

One of Nigeria’s best known writers, Okey Ndibe is the author of the novels Arrows of Rain (2000) and Foreign Gods Inc. (2014), and the memoir Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American (2016).

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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