Gender, the Nigerian Civil War and Hard Choices: Nihilism or Absurdism (?) in Isidore Okpewho’s The Last Duty

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This paper entitled “Gender, the Nigerian Civil War and Hard Choices: Nihilism or Absurdism(?) in Isidore Okpewho’s The Last Duty” evinces an evaluative excursion into the author’s delineation of gender in war and its concomitants regarding actions, inactions, and the mindset of the actors and the acted-upon (victims) of the fratricidal Nigerian conflict within a designated theatre. We demonstrated that the quantum impact of the war engages some near-totally nihilistic imperatives of the war. Nevertheless, we surmised, at the final count, that the war results in high-wire tension rather than erode the indices for hope regarding the war victims and victimizers alike; and by dangerous extension, the Nigerian nation. Although we conceded the presence of dystopia which is life-threatening and socially destabilizing, our calculation in the final analysis, is that the tensions generated against both genders in the war are essentially absurdist, not nihilist. In this vein of analysis, we concluded that Okpewho’s delineation retains deliberately enough rays for reconstructive, rehabilitative, regenerative and cohesive engagements that will pave the way for societal survival and continuity.

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