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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 was born in Aba, Nigeria, and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. 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 Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or 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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