No Longer At Ease
"But take one of these old men. He probably left school thirty years ago in Standard Six. He has worked steadily to the top through bribery—an ordeal by bribery. To him the bribe is natural. He gave it and he expects it. Our people say that if you pay homage to the man on top, others will pay homage to you when it is your turn to be on top. Well, that is what the old men say." (2.31)
He spoke of the great honor Obi had brought to the ancient town of Umuofia, which could not join the comity of other towns in their march towards political irredentism, social equality, and economic emancipation.
"The importance of having one of our sons in the vanguard of this march of progress is nothing short of axiomatic." (4.15-16)
Why did Clara insist that he must not tell his people about her yet? Could it be that she had not quite made up her mind to marry him? That could hardly be. She was as anxious as himself to be formally engaged, only she said he should not go to the expense of buying a ring until he had got a job. Perhaps she wanted to tell her people first. But if so, why all the mystery? Why had she not simply said that she was going to consult her people? Or maybe she was not as guileless as he had assumed and was using this suspense to bind him more strongly to her. Obi examined each possibility in turn and rejected it. (5.46)