SUMMARY AND ANALYSIS OF THE BOYS AT THE BORDER BY WALE OKEDIRAN

by Kev
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SUMMARY

It is a story that tells us how our leaders use to take bribe from the traders who smuggle goods outside the country without being cut; even if they were cut they will be released without much charge and without much statement. The novel is about the custom s and the notorious smuggler Lati Baba who in the story is the head of the smugglers who nicknamed or addressed themselves as the P T A the progressive traders association, they succeeded in giving themselves the innocent name .

The story started when Samuel Adigw one of the custom man died ,who was killed by one of the smugglers Atere on the account of refusing to pay him for the truck to pass.The director of custom Emeka Emodi is the brother in law of Samuel that was killed and he had told them to transfer him from his side few days befor he was killed he felt guilty because his wife had been telling him asking him to change his brother from that place to another but he delayed it ,he tried all his best to know if he could find the person behind his in laws death but he couldn’t .
Before the death of his in law military took over the affairs of the country two months earlier and requested that all the legal smugglers in the country should expectsally on the country’s border through which most of the cocoa goes out from the country to the neighbouring village which is the Republic of Benin which is because of the inadequate workers in custom, which made the new president to held a meeting with Mr Emodi that he need immediate Emodi told other ministers what the president told him they disagreed with him telling him that the Army are the head of smuggling that they are the popular smugglers after the meeting Adepeju told him not to tell the president that the Army are amoung the smugglers that he won’t be happy about that, the next meeting he had with the president he told him that the Army are the head of smuggling in the country he called his ministers to be his witness but all of them denied him which made him to lose his job as the minister of custom he become unconscious the day he had of her job.
His wife Grady’s Emodi revenged she make sure that Alhaji Jibo who take over his husbands office and who was the cause of his husband condition was sent out of the office ,by revealing his act he was collecting bribe from Lati Baba the notorious smugglers she was able to record their statement and his husband was help by the government they take him out of the country for treatment .

Plot

The story begin with the death of Samuel Adigwe who was killed in the story by Atara a member of the smugglers he killed Samuel because he asked him to pay for the truck he want to carry out of the country ,he gave him two thousand naira for the three truck but Samuel refused that it must be six thousand naira he refused and killed him because he needed the money to marry a new wife ‘
Emeka Emodi the director of custom in the story the president ask him to stop all the smuggling going on in the country expectsally from the western border where they export coco with immediate effect ,he agreed and went home to tell his co workers who told him that it is not possible that the people who smuggle most in the country are the Army that ordinary people can’t overcome them ,but one of the ministers Alahaji Adepeju told him not to tell the president about it that it will cause problem between both of them but he couldn’t listen ,the next meeting he hold with the president he told him about it and called out four ministers as his witness but all of them denied him which made the president to sake him for accusing the army when it was announce that he had been removed from the office he fell down and become unconscious ;
Later his wife Gladys revenged his sickness she makes sure that Alahaji Jibo was removed from the office by recording his conversation with Baba when he collected bribe from him for the goods he smuggled out from the country they shared the money ,she published it in news pepper and this made him to be sacked and another person take over his husband was later taken care of because the president noticed that the army are really smuggling good out from the country they take him to hospital outside the country .

Setting

The novel was written after the colonialism some event took place in the novel a place like Ibadan, Okeho, Ikoyi, Oyo state, which is the capital ,Iganna, Iwere, Ijio, Aiywtoro-ile than Itasa which is the last town on Nigeria soil.River Opara which is the border river which has to be croved before oeget into the Beninions town Kabria ,Jabata and Moke ,Kabua where the Nigerians use to meet their buyers in orther country.

Diction or Language

The language of the writer is straight and simple for an average reader to read and understand.

Point of view

Point of view the writer use the third person point of view that is all knowing narrator

Tone and Mood

The tone of the writer is serious on telling us how the smuggling of goods is going on in the country. Mood of the story is serious and moody but at the end of the story it became smooth and interesting.

Symbolism

In the story the ring that Lati Baba use to wear symbolises protection it protects him from death and harmful people it alert him whenever he is in danger.

Characters and Characterisation

Emeka Emodi
He is the husband of Gladys Emodi Emodi and he is the director of the custom in Nigeria who works hard to make sure that things are right. In the story after the coup the new president who took over the government ask Mr Emodi to make sure that he stop all the smuggling going on in the country with immediate effect, he went home and tell his fellow ministers about what the president told him but they advised him that the smuggling cannot be stop easily because of the army who are involve in the smuggling business but one of the ministers advised him not to tell the president about it ,in the next meeting he had with the president he was asked by the president to know what is holding him in stopping the smugglers ,he told him about his meeting with the president that the Army are the head of smuggling in the country, he called them as his witness but all of them denied him saying that they never said a thing like that ,this made the president to ask him out of the office which made him to lose his job . He becomes unconscious till the end of the story.

Lati Baba
In the story he is the head and the chief of all the smuggling going on in the country he is the chair man of the P.T A. Progressive traders association. He is Alahaji Jibo’s friend who always rescue him any time he is cut in the act .In the story he is a great and a rich man who know how to get out of trouble if he find his self in any .he always have a ring which his medicine man give him that use to protect him to tell him when someone wants to kill or harm him in the story, he is an easy going person who always love marring and enjoying his self.
Ajo
She is the girl who work in Gladys hotel and she is employed for her to kill Lati Baba because Gladys thought that he was the one that killed his brother Samuel so she dicide to avenge the death of her brother, the first day she sleep with Lati she poisoned his drink but couldn’t suicide because of the ring Lati wear that indicated the poison she later tried the second time but she became unconscious about the thing that happened how Lati and the man who was paid to kill him did both of them fight and the one that was to kill Lati died .
Atere
He is among the smugglers and he is a man of determination, he determined not to give Samuel money for the truck he wants to move away from the country but he refused to complete the money instead of given him the money he killed him ,he asked him to give him six thousand naira but he said that he will give out two because he needed the money to marry another wife.
Gradys Emodi
She is the wife of Mr Emodi Emeka, she is a 32 years old woman who is full of determination and strength she is the sister of Samuel who was killed by Atere just because of six thousand naira and she is the one in the work that wanted to revenge the death of her brother and her husband who was betrayed by his friend she went to the extent of going to Alahaji Jibo’s office to recording all he said with Lati Baba which he used against him.

Themes

  • Theme of murder and betrayal
  • Theme of political intrigue
  • Theme of determination and success

Theme of murder and betrayal
Atere in the story murdered Samuel because Samuel refused to collect the two thousand naira he offered to him which made him to be murdered and Lait Baba murdered the criminal that was paid to murder Lait succeeded in murdering him. Emodi Emeka was betrayed by his ministers who told him that the military are the head of the smugglers but he called them to be his witness but all of them denied saying a thing like that which make him to lose her job.

Theme of political intrigue
In the story the people in charge of government also collect bribe from people they also side the smuggler .in the work Alahaj Jibo who is the head of Nigeria custom ,who collect money from the smugglers whom they suppose to arrest for what they are doing but they went on to collect money from them.

Theme of determination and success
Glady’s Emodi in the story she determined to revenge his husband position which made her to determined and fight Alahaji Jibo who lied against his husband that made him to lose his job as the director of custom she make sure that she tape his transaction with Lati Baba the time he collected money from him which made him to lose his job also.

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