The study examines the portrayal of militancy and its effects in the Niger Delta area as reflected in Chimeka Garricks’ Tomorrow Died Yesterday. In the course of the analysis, the text identified the play of several acts of militancy displayed the Niger Delta militant boys. Most of these features are portrayed in the thematic preoccupations of the writer as the case of kidnapping, oil bunkering, exploitation, unemployment, corruption and injustice. For kidnapping, the writer identified it as a crucial issue discussed by the writer to illustrate the notion of militancy. Kidnapping is an act of violence employed the Niger Delta militants as means of revenging or revolting against different acts of exploitation attempted by the politicians in charge of the region.

The study revealed that; Chimeka Garricks reflects how militancy has imposed fear on the entire citizens and has also become a great threat to insecurity. He reflects how the Niger Delta militant boys seem to be much stronger than the government security agents as it is reflected in the way the Mobile Police officer threw his gun in the water and went on his kneels as a sign of deference and respect for the Niger Delta militant army (pg.5).; The conspiracy of the government in the Niger Delta militant boy is aimed at silencing the top leaders of the militant groups. This is captured in the way Amaibi was charged to court based on the charges they know he did not commit. This also justifies the theme of injustice as depicted in virtually all aspects of the textual themes.; However, the militancy issue in the Niger Delta area is also possible of making a positive development as it moves to put an end to gas flaring in the region.

The study concluded that militancy stimulates violence in the area where it is practiced and it has mostly negative effects on the both foreign occupants and indigenous occupants of the land. The study further recommended that; future researchers should explore the counter responses of governments to militancy in the Niger Delta area and the possible judgment that has been made against militant groups in the area. 



                                               GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1  Introduction

This chapter is an introductory part into the study. It presents the overview features of the research on the aspects of militancy and life survival in Chimeka Garrick’s Tomorrow Died Yesterday. It presents the background to the study; the problem which the study intends to solve, the aim and objectives of the study, scope, limitation, methodology, significance and the literary theory that will be guiding the analysis in the study.


1.2  Background to the Study

For about some decades ago now, the issue of militancy has been recurrent around the Niger Delta region of the South East. The insurgence has adopted a lot of reactions and criticism among concerned citizens. The word ‘militancy’ means using violence or aggressiveness, usually to support a cause. The noun militancy comes from militant, ‘combative, violent, or confrontational’, which we can trace back to the Latin miles, or ‘soldier’.

Militancy can be defined as the quality or state of being militant. It is also defined as the use of violent or confrontational methods in order to support a political or social cause. Life survival on the other hand is the ability for one’s life to be sustained or remain alive in spite of difficulties. Otherwise, it can be defined to be how one endures or live through difficulties, afflictions and adversities. This chapter unveils the topic of the analysis, investigates the background to the study on the militancy, statement of the problem which seeks to approach the aim and objectives of the study as well as the scope and significance of the study.

The discovery of oil in the Niger Delta region in 1956 generated hope, expectations and opportunities to improve the welfare of local people. However, the reality is, national elites compromised of politicians and (former) military personnel, have been the principled beneficiaries of oil revenues in contrast to local communities who so far seen little or no benefits. According to Max Silloun (2008), Militancy is not new to the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Decades before MEND and other militants group in the region, an Ijaw nationalist named Isaac Boro led an armed campaign for greater Niger Delta autonomy, resource control and self-determination for the inhabitants of the Niger Delta. Boro noted that ‘most of the youths were so frustrated with the general neglect that they were ready for any action led by an outstanding leader to gain liberty… we were clenched in tyrannical chains and led through a dark alley of perpetual political and social deprivation. Strangers in our country! Inevitable, therefore, the day would have come for us to fight for our long-denied right to self-determination’.

Otoghagua (2007) says that, the neglect of the Niger Delta region since the discovery of oil in 1956, pitched the youths of the region against the Nigerian state. The people of the region believed that they have been deprived of the gain from resources that comes from their soil. A prominent indigene of the Niger Delta region and an environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa became a vocal voice both local and international to fight for this injustice but was eventually killed together with 8 other environmental activists by General Sani Abacha’s regime on 10th November, 1995.  According to Kimiebi Ebienfa (2012), the source of militancy can be classified into two which are the remote and immediate causes. The remote causes include interalia: environment degradation, marginalization and underdevelopment in the region, the existence of displeasure laws such as the Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Land Use Act of 1978, and the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa. The immediate causes of militancy on the other hand include the militarization of the Niger Delta by the Nigerian state, the ‘Youth Earnestly Ask for Abacha’ programme, the Kaiama Declaration, bunkering by Niger Delta youths and the mobilization of youths as political thugs during the 1999 election. 

 Ebienfa (2010) also adds :

that the oil produced in the Niger Delta is the life blood of the Nigerian economy, oil has failed to translate to regional prosperity and development in the Niger Delta. However, the region has been rewarded with massive environmental degradation and political and economic marginalization. Despite the abundant oil wealth, there has been unimaginable mass poverty and negligible development in the region. The violent repression of peaceful dissent exemplified by Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogboni eight saga, has been the preferred method of the federal government in addressing agitations from the Niger Delta over years. This created an environmental of anger, desperation and violence. Years of political and economic marginalization, environmental degradation, bad governance and policy inconsistency by the government, and the divide and rule policy of the oil companies led to emergence of militancy in the Niger delta in the early 2006 (6).

 Chibuzor Nwaodike (2010) says ‘Militancy refers to the violent activities of an individual or group holding an aggressive position in support of a given ideology or a course. Such individuals or group of persons in a psychologically militant state in a physically aggressive posture’

Militancy can also be said to occur when someone becomes combative and aggressive especially in the service of a cause. The Niger Delta Militant groups are recognised terrorist groups in the South eastern part of Nigeria. Following the insensitivity of the government of their outcry and pain after the crackdown on law and order in the late 1990s, their actions eventually escalated into different form of violence, such as kidnapping national and international oil workers and destroying oil facilities and installations in the hope of gaining autonomy and self-control of the oil resources of the oil resources of the region. The activities of Niger Delta militants have in the past threatened not only the economy of Nigeria, but also the country’s security.

Recently, there has been the unbalanced appointment into Federal government offices, lack of unemployment opportunities for the people of the area and so on. Support only came to them during the administration of Musa Yar’adua’s with the setting up of Niger Delta Ministry and eventual granting of Amnesty to the Niger Delta militants to bring peace to the area and possibly development.

  Militancy has a lot of negative implications to the society and also to an individual. It can lead to loss of lives of innocent people, disorder, trauma, disillusionment due to loss of loved ones and properties, amongst others. The degradation of the Niger Delta environment through pollution has constituted challenges and concern for the people of the oil rich region which destroys the ecosystem, which prompted the people in this area to attack these oil companies through many ways.

 According to Azeez Olaniyan and Lucky Asuelime (2014) ‘Since the Civil War of 1967-1970, insecurity and instability manifesting in form of militancy, insurgency, kidnapping, hostage-taking, pipeline vandalism, ethno-religious crises, community conflicts, election and sectarian violence, radical Islamist extremism, agitations for self-determination, secession bids and other social vices have presented themselves as unrest and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) in Nigeria that challenge the authority of the central government while at the same time engaging in fights against each other.

Against the background above, the present study intends to investigate the act of militancy and life survival in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria as duly represented in Chimeka Garrick’s Tomorrow Died Yesterday.



1.2 Statement of the Problem

Every research is bent towards filling an academic gap. Previous researches like Eton Simon, Jonas Egbudu Akung and Bassey-Ude Bassey make use of Helon Habila’s Oil on Water focusing on solution to age-long problem of socio- economic and political growth which is to be met in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Other literary writers have treated these texts looking at the themes of religion, love, death, amongst others. However, this research is seeking to explore and treat the effects of militancy on the people within the society in Chimeka Garricks’ Tomorrow Died Yesterday.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The research is aimed at studying the militancy in Chimeka Garricks’ Tomorrow Died Yesterday. The following are its objectives:

  1. to examine the factors responsible for militancy using Chimeka Garricks’ Tomorrow Died Yesterday as literary platform.
  2. to examine the effects of militancy to the society in the literary text.
  3. to examine the survival of the society during and after militancy in the text.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This research is not just contributing to the previous researches, it is also furthermore helping to discover the effects of militancy, the solutions to these issues and how it is significant to literature.

1.5 Scope of the Study.

This research focuses on the issues of militancy which is to be centred on Chimeka Garricks’ Tomorrow Died Yesterday which is the primary source. Other materials that is used for this research also include the secondary sources like articles such as: ‘Destroying the Destroy: Militancy and Environmental Degradation in the Niger Delta by Azeez Olaniyan, ‘Contemporary African Artist: A Case of the Environmentalist and Poet Nnimmo Bassey’ by Agofure Joyce Onoromhenre, amongst others.                                                               

1.6 Methodology

To carry out this research, this study adopts a qualitative descriptive method as the basis for collecting and analysing the data.  The source of data in the study includes both the primary and secondary means.  The primary data includes the text: Chimeka Garrick’s Tomorrow Died Yesterday which is the basis for the analysis. The secondary data therefore are those sets of information which was gathered through a thorough library and online research.

1.7 Biography of the Author

Chimeka Garricks was born in Dublin, and raised in Port Harcourt (the city which, like all first loves, still inexplicably holds his heart). He is the author of the acclaimed novel, Tomorrow Died Yesterday. He started writing short stories, and eventually, ‘A Broken People’s Playlist’ to avoid working on his second novel. He would rather choose soundtracks for movies or be a DJ, but lawyering, and, writing a second novel stand in his way. He lives with his wife and three children in Lagos (masobebooks).

1.8 Theoretical Framework

This work adopts the theory of Ecocriticism serving as a guide to the analysis of Chimeka Garricks’ Tomorrow Died Yesterday which is to guide and deepen our understanding of militancy. The literary theory that is being used in this research is called Ecocriticism.

Ecocriticism is the study of literature and environment from an interdisciplinary point of view where literary scholars analyse the environment and brainstorm possible solutions for the correction of the contemporary environmental situation and examine the various ways they treat the subject of nature. It is simply defined to investigate the relation between humans and the natural world in literature. One of the main goals in ecocriticism is to study how individuals in society behave and react in relation to nature and ecological aspects.

Glotfelty (1966) is the acknowledged founder of ecocritics in the United States of America. As a pioneer in this field, she says:

Simply put, Ecocriticism is the study of the relationship between literature and the physical environment. Just as feminist criticism examines language and literature from a gender conscious perspective, and Marxist criticism brings an awareness of modes of production and economic class to its reading of texts, ecocriticism takes an earth-centred approach to literary studies (xviii).

Kerridge’s definition in the British Writing the Environment (1998) suggests, like Glotfelty’s broad cultural ecocriticism that:

 The ecocritics want to track environmental ideas and representation wherever they appear, to see more clearly a debate which seems to be taking place, often part-concealed, in a great many cultural spaces. Most of all ecocriticism seeks to evaluate texts and ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness as responses to environmental crisis (5).

Several scholars like Glotfelty, Lawrence Buell, Greg Garrard and Charles Bressler have divided Ecocriticism into two waves, recognising the first as taking place throughout the eighties and nineties. The first wave is characterised by its emphasis on nature writing as an object of study and as a meaningful practice (11).

Central to this wave and to the majority of ecocritics still today is the environmental crisis of our age, seeing it as the duty of both the humanities and the natural sciences to raise awareness and invent solutions for a problem that is both cultural and physical. As such, a primary concern in first-wave ecocriticism was to ‘speak for’ nature. This is, perhaps, where ecocriticism gained its reputation as an ‘avowedly political mode of analysis’ (3) .This wave, unlike its successor, kept the cultural distinction between human and nature, promoting the value of nature.

The second wave is particularly modern in its breaking down of some of the long-standing distinctions between the human and the non-human, questioning these very concepts (5). The boundaries between human and the non-human, nature and non-nature are discussed as constructions, and ecocritics challenge these constructions, asking (among other things) how they frame the environmental crisis and its solution. This wave brought with it a redefinition of the term ‘environment’, expanding its meaning to include both ‘nature’ and the urban. Out of this expansion has grown the eco-justice movement, one of the more political of ecocriticism branches that is ‘raising an awareness of class, race, and gender through ecocritical reading of text’ , often examining the plight of the poorest of a population who are the victims of pollution are seen as having less access to ‘nature’ in the traditional sense. These waves are not exactly distinct, and there is debate over what exactly constitutes the two. For instance, some ecocritics will claim activism as a defining feature of ecocriticism from the beginning, while others see activism as a defining feature of primarily the first wave. While the exact features attributed to each wave may be disputed, it is clear that Ecocriticism continues to evolve and has undergone several shifts in attitude and direction since its conception (236).

Tanure Ojaide, an ecocentric poet in his work The Activist And The Tale Of The Harmattan takes an approach which incorporates elements from environmental, political, and socio-cultural images to analyse how his work shows the connection between the environmental issues and governmental cooperation with global corporations while arguing for revolution by the Delta people to achieve a vision of environmental justice. He also focuses on the historic environmental degradation and disastrous oil pollution caused by multinational oil companies in Niger Delta area. Literature therefore, has a way of portraying reality, be it the good and the ills of the society.

Hence, literature can be said to be the reflection of the society which mirrors life. Here, we see that we are being exposed to the happenings of the society of a part of Nigeria which is Niger Delta.