Tag Archives: history

The Assassination of Dele Giwa: #Nigeria’s First Act of Terrorism?


https://player.fm/series/witness/witness-the-death-of-dele-giwa

This broadcast is about the the letter bomb assassination of famous Newswatch Dele Giwa in 1986. Giwa was the ex-husband of Florence Ita-Giwa, the Senator for Cross River South. Many regard Giwa’s murder as Nigeria’s first act of terrorism. This broadcast includes an interview with Giwa’s colleague Kayode Soyinka, who was with Giwa when he was killed.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028n6c6

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028n6c6/broadcasts

Readers with Their Copy of Soldiers of Fortune (Now Available on Kindle) – Number 27


Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for buying and reading the book.

The 27th shout out goes to Chukwuemeka Okonkwo

Chukwuemeka was so determined to get a copy that he had a copy routed to him via the UK all the way to Nigeria!  Thanks Chukwuemeka. :-)

https://scontent-1.2914.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/s720x720/1512443_10152686418006919_4711398285834722163_n.jpg?oh=5e9b7f2023a41d957792da3bb48d89bc&oe=550AE2B6

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can now be downloaded to Amazon Kindle from the Amazon website:

It can also be bought online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

other buying locations: -

  • Glendora, Awolowo Road, South-West Ikoyi, Lagos
  • Patabah Bookstore, Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall, Surulere, Lagos
  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Terrakulture, Plot 1379, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos

Full list of locations here: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/where-to-buy/

Reviews: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/in-the-news/

Readers with Soldiers of Fortune: Philip Effiong (Number 24) #maxsiollun


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Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for buying and reading the book.

The 24th shout out goes to Philip Effiong who bought his copy in Nairobi, Kenya!  Philip is of course the son of the late Lt-Colonel (Biafran Major-General) Philip Effiong who was second-in-command to Ojukwu during the Nigeria/Biafra civil war.

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can be bought from:

Online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

Full list of locations here: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/where-to-buy/

 

 

Readers with Their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune: Number 22 – Sakina Kabir “Awestruck Reader”!


 

 

pic.twitter.com/UbHUGvQxe3

 

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 Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for  buying and reading the book.

The 22nd shout out goes to Sakina Kabir – an “awestruck reader” in her own words!  Sakina says the book “might as well be” a movie, since “so many unwritten movie scripts are contained in our history”! Quite an endorsement.

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can be bought from:

Online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

 

The Early Days of Boko Haram


It seems that the public and media missed critical clues in the evolution of Boko Haram. People seem to think the 2009 clashes between Boko Haram and security forces were the start of the group’s campaign of violence.

However there were clues about the group’s increasing radicalization as far back as 10-12 years ago. In early 2003 a group that advocated implementing a purer form of Sharia law embarked upon a Hijra (migration) away from secular society which they regarded as corrupt, to a remote village in northern Yobe State near Nigeria’s border with Niger. Its members were described as “mostly urban, comparatively well off Nigerians who had moved to a commune-like village to set up their own isolated society”. Locals nicknamed the group the “Taliban”. Until the “Boko Haram” moniker became part of popular discourse in 2009, the group was known as the “Taliban” for about 5 years.

WHO WERE THE “NIGERIAN TALIBAN”?

According to Shehu Sani (who has met Boko Haram members) the “Taliban” group was led by an associate of Mohammed Yusuf called Mohammed Alli. Alli led the Taliban’s migration to a village close to Kannamma in Yobe State. The Taliban were largely peaceful and devoted themselves to their own interpretation of Islam and isolated themselves from the rest of secular society. Its members included “individuals from wealthy Islamic families in Borno State, unemployed university students and friends and colleagues from other states including Ogun and Lagos”. The Governor of Yobe State Bukar Abba Ibrahim denied allegations that his son was a member.

Although the Taliban were not violent, a Professor at the University of Maiduguri in Borno State, Abdulmumin Sa’ad, said that the group was on an “idealistic outing in Yobe State,” but that it and other groups could easily become violent and adopt extremist ideology or foreign ties. The Professor and his colleagues noted an increase in religiously inspired sects on Nigerian university campuses. Professor Sa’ad also said that radical Islamist groups were also emerging from unemployed academics looking to make sense of their corrupt society.  With Nigeria becoming more corrupt and economically polarised, “radical groups will likely emerge and youth may look to Islamic extremism to strike back at economic and political injustice.” Chillingly, a U.S. diplomatic cable in February 2004 warned that “A small sect could easily turn to terrorism, or be used as a tool by international terrorist groups.”

After living peacefully with their neighbours in 2003, conflict arose after the Taliban got into a dispute with locals about fishing rights. Local leaders asked the Taliban to leave and in December 2003, the police destroyed the Taliban’s camp and arrested several of its members. This interaction with the police marked the first step in the weaponisation of the group that eventually metamophorsised into Boko Haram.

THE SLIDE INTO VIOLENCE

The Taliban retaliated by attacking the police station in Kannamma and taking several guns and ammunition from the station.  They attacked other police stations in Yobe State before finally being suppressed in the Yobe State capital Damaturu. It is important to note that at this stage, the Taliban’s violence was directed almost entirely at the police and they had little interest in conflict with civilians.  One Taliban member called Ismael Abdu Afatahi (a 21-year-old student from Lagos who joined the group) said: “I don’t know the major reason why we attacked the police posts. Maybe it is because the police is the protector of the people in Nigeria – But I was not told actually”.

In early 2004 the Taliban took their weapons into Borno State and also battled the police there. Press reports mentioned that scores of men wearing “red bandanas”, carrying a flag with an Islamic inscription, and chanting “Allahu Akbar!” attacked police stations in Bama and Gworza in Borno State. During their raids they also kidnapped some locals who they tried to conscript and forced to dig trenches around their camp. According to Shehu Sani, the Taliban who survived these clashes then joined Mohammed Yusuf’s movement. The movement that eventually became Boko Haram…

https://twitter.com/maxsiollun

Readers with Their Copy of Soldiers of Fortune – Etim Eyo (Number 15) – #maxsiollun


 

Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I will be posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for  buying and reading the book.

The fifteenth shout out goes to Etim Eyo. Etim actually gave this copy to his son, and tasked the young man with reading the book and summarising it for his father! I autographed this copy for Etim. Etim also has several other autographed copies for sale. Available here:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151630836522572&set=gm.547047158687760&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf

 

Gowon: Ojukwu Acted in a Cowardly Way, Ran Away and Left His People To Suffer


Nigerian leader Major-General Gowon Interviewed After the end of the Nigerian Civil War in 1970

Nigeria’s federal leader Major-General Gowon speaks after the end of the Nigerian war on his nemesis – Biafran leader Chukwuemeka. Gowon said: “He didn’t do a Hitler. Ojukwu ran away and left these poor people that he led into such suffering…just left them…I hope his conscience will allow him to rest. God knows.”

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFfAVrh06fA&feature=youtu.be

Readers with Their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune – Number 6: Pat Okwy Ucheagwu


Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I will be posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for  buying and reading the book.

The sixth shout out goes to Pat Okwy Ucheagwu. See him above with his copy of Soldiers of Fortune which he bought from Patabah Bookshop, in Surulere, Lagos.

A Profile of Nigeria’s Founding Fathers


 

 

A video profile of the four most prominent men in early post-independence Nigeria: Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and Ahmadu Bello.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYCS5EiRXCs

“It is a Must Read”: Cheta Nwanze Reviews Soldiers of Fortune


 

http://sundaytrust.com.ng/index.php/media-media/13883-encountering-nigeria-s-soldiers-of-fortune

 

Cheta Nwanze reviewed my latest book “Soldiers Of Fortune: Nigerian Politics from Buhari to Babangida (1983 – 1993)” at the above link.  Key quotes from his review:

 

“The book has it all: drama, suspense, and even love.”

“When my fiancée saw me hugging my e-book reader, she asked what could possibly be in 336 pages of politics that had me so engrossed and disinterested in anything else. The answer: a great era of my country’s history, and presented in a very readable manner. Max presented it as a story, the story of Nigeria, in the ten-year period between 1983 and 1993.”

“The entirety of chapter two is devoted to the kidnap of Umaru Dikko, and THAT makes for excellent reading. That chapter reads like a great novel, full of suspense, intrigue, and ultimately, failure.  It just happened to be true.”

“One thing that this book has done for me is to elevate my thinking. It has left me with a mix of anger, enlightenment, irritation and regret.”

 
 

 

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