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Although religious bigotry and military tyranny have been overtly delineated by the first and second generation novelists, especially the ones who witnessed the military maladministration in Nigeria, the contemporary Nigerian novelist also attempts to contribute and provide with more resources on the rights of the people and the liberty to be free from the imposition of religious and/or political doctrines that are socially constructed upon the people. In the Nigerian context, religious and political/military despotism are considered to go hand in hand since their ideologies formulate part of the hegemonic, determinist superstructures that push the masses to be at the corner of receiving end. Within Nigeria’s copious output of literature written in English, this paper, using Yishau’s debut novel In the Name of Our Father as a case study, attempts to develop a bird’s eye view of the religious and military issues in Nigerian society. Adopting the praxis of Marxist critical thinking, this paper acknowledges how the author, Yishau, allows his intellectual capacity in the form of a novel to direct his writing in relation to the religious bigotry and military despotism that spearheaded Nigerian society, most significantly in the military regime between 1966 and 1999. The outcome of this paper is that Yishau has accorded a pedigree for himself on the shore of Nigerian novels by leveraging critical attention to unfold the thematic precepts of religious bigotry and military despotism in his first literary, textual appearance.
Keywords: Religious bigotry, military despotism, Nigerian novel.
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