Okeke is a man who has attached all of his personal morality to the dogmatic rules of his religion. Because of this, he is a man that is incredibly severe, strict, and resistant to any external threat of change or emotion. At times he is deliberately obtuse, wanting to hear nothing of Nnaemeka's feelings of love or even his life outside of his father's clutches. Nnaemeka continues communication with his father even after abandoning his village because he believes truly that his father is a good man.
This insensitivity ultimately reflects Okeke as a fearful man. He fears that his son has turned from the way of God and that he will suffer God's wrath if he continues associating with his son. In the end, Okeke does show some courage by allowing himself to feel emotion upon hearing the news of his grandsons. The reader is meant to believe that Okeke did become a less fearful man and reconcile with his new family.