No Longer At Ease
"Of course those of you who know book will not have any difficulty," said the Vice-President on Obi's left. "Otherwise I would have suggested seeing some of the men beforehand."
"It would not be necessary," said the President, "since they would be mostly white men."
"You think white men don't eat bribe? Come to our department. They eat more than black men nowadays." (4.24-26)
Obi's theory that the public service of Nigeria would remain corrupt until the old Africans at the top were replaced by young men from the universities was first formulated in a paper read to the Nigerian Students' Union in London. But unlike most theories formed by students in London, this one survived the first impact of homecoming. In fact, within a month of his return Obi came across two classic examples of his old African. (5.1)
"Why do you want a job in the civil service? So that you can take bribes?" he asked.
Obi hesitated. His first impulse was to say it was an idiotic question. He said instead: "I don't know how you expect me to answer that question. Even if my reason is to take bribes, you don't expect me to admit it before this board. So I don't think it's a very useful question."…
Joseph was not very happy when Obi told him the story of the interview. His opinion was that a man in need of a job could not afford to be angry.
"Nonsense!" said Obi. "That's what I call colonial mentality. (5. 13-14; 16-17)