Prof Lucas Preaches Against Covetousness In New Book, Dividends Of Greed
Olabode Lucas is a professor of Crop Physiology and Nutrition at the University of Ibadan, and since his retirement, he has been contributing his quota to the development of the literary space and the country through his books.
In his latest work, Dividends of Greed, Professor Lucas tackles covetousness, which is definitely part of the problems the country is facing today.
The book focuses on Aremu Olotu, who, though comes from an humble background, finally succumbs to the negative influence of his wife, Joyce, which then ruins their lives.
‘Dividends of Greed’ opens with the reader being treated to the brilliance of Olotu in his university, National University of Zonga, in Laguna, to which he is known as Arems Pareto. He is so brilliant to the extent that even students in the Department of Sociology believe he will be the first person to have a First Class from the department. However, due to the jealousy of his head of department and project supervisor, who also did not make the grade during their time as students in the university, Olotu is marked down for a Second Class Upper Division.
Olotu is, however, not happy with this development to the extent that he refused the offer of a scholarship for his postgraduate studies in the university.
For his Zonga Youth Service Corps programme, Olotu is posted to the Midway State, although he is not too happy with the development, he, however, decides to stay there. He is posted to Owoneka Community Grammar School as a teacher. Owoneka is a village and it is about 20 kilometers from Zenin-City, the capital city of Midway State.
Although for a long time, many corps members have been rejecting their positing to Owoneka due to its rural setting, Olotu and another corps member, Jude Okagbue, decides to serve there to the joy of the principal of the school, Pastor Ogedengbe, who takes them as his own children and keeps offering them fatherly advice.
While Olotu hopes to secure scholarship to travel to the United States for postgraduate studies, Okagbue, who has a Third Class Degree, is also making arrangement to travel to the United Kingdom to start a Law degree.
In order to raise money to fund their dreams, they both decide to stay on for a further year at the school, and it was during this period that Okagbue returns home where he meets one of his former schoolmates who is now a successful businessman, who agrees to assist him with his quest to study overseas. Olotu, on the other hand, develops friendship with a military man, Lieutenant Uyi, who they move about painting the town red.
Olotu, by this time, has also derailed from his humble background and is already having affairs with female students under his watch.
Lieutenant Uyi, who works in the Army’s account section, always have more than enough to spend, and it is through him that Olotu meets Joyce, who he finally marries.
Even during and after the marriage, Lieutenant Uyi continues to support Olotu as his teacher salary is not enough to sustain him.
On a particular day, Joyce informs her husband to approach Uyi for a loan of N200,000 so that they can start a business, but to their surprise, Uyi gives them N500,000, adding that they should all start the business together and they can be sharing the proceeds. After a while, Uyi also takes a box to Olotu to keep for him, adding that some people are after what is inside as it is a traditional regalia.
It is not long after this that Uyi and other senior officers in the Accounts Department are arrested for fraud. They are court-martialed and sentenced to various terms imprisonment. Uyi is to spend 10 years in jail.
With the money given to Olotu and his wife for the business, they become comfortable and failed to remit Uyi’s share into his account. One day, Joyce urges her husband that they should even open the box that Uyi put in their house, but to their amazement, it contains N10 million. They believe it is part of the proceeds of fraud Uyi is involved in. They quickly put the money into their business and they further become very rich.
However, when a new government assumes office, Uyi and some other officers are pardoned and released. That is after 10 years of being in jail. Uyi then finds his way to the house of his friend to claim his share of the business’ profit and also retrieve the box. Joyce quickly tells him to return the following morning to collect them claiming they are not aware he will be coming.
The following morning, Joyce and Olotu contract a thug, provides him with a gun to eliminate Uyi. The thug, Momoh, successfully eliminates Uyi, but he is later arrested by the police.
The items police detectives find on Uyi also direct them to Olotu and his wife. In the end, they are found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.
The book highlights how greed for material wealth can bring about unexpected twists in one’s life.