Christopher Oriko is the first character introduced in this novel. In the first scene, we find ourselves in the government headquarters, where ameeting between Christopher, the Commissioner of Information and the country’s heads of state is taking place. In this scene, we see a disagreement between The President and Chris. We are shown how thisconfrontation between them cannot be solved by other way than Chris apologising and taking back what he had said. There we start to get a glimpse of his relationship with “His Excellency” (later knownas Sam), and how their history together marks a difference. Chris is unable to point some particular event or time, when their friendship began to dissolve; nevertheless, he describes how theirrelationship since the coup was getting less and less friendly. However, he knows that power is the reason why his friend has changed and feels responsible for having changed the way he treated him.
Webegin to know about his personality too. We can see the selfishness in him when he asks twice for Sam’s forgiveness. Chris explains how some years ago he would have never asked for forgiveness the way hedid, but he does no longer care. He does it as a casual favour to his old friend because he knows it means a lot to His Excellency and nothing at all to him. Through out the novel, Chris continues toprove he is a completely selfless, morally correct and honourable man who cares about the greater good rather than his own.
Some chapters later, we are told more about Chris’s childhood, and hisfriendship with two other characters, Sam and Ikem. They became friends since very young ages, and went through high school and college in Britain together. Each one of them represents a different partof the power. And although their personalities contrast, together they own power. While Chris describes Sam as the outgoing, social one and Ikem as the intellectual one, he says he is in between,...