Tag Archives: literature

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 Their Copy of Soldiers of Fortune (Now Available on Kindle) – Number 26


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 26th shout out goes to Abdullahi Aborode.

http://instagram.com/p/wJgLTwDnuL/

Abdullahi also bought a copy of my first book “Oil, Politics, and Violence”:

http://instagram.com/p/wJgLTwDnuL/

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 Their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune – Number 25 (Adam Dikko)


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 25th shout out goes to Adam Dikko.

https://twitter.com/MalamDikko/status/537282450368786434/photo/1

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 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

 

BuOoh5tIYAEYPmL.jpg

 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:

 

Readers with Their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune: Number 21 – Nas #maxsiollun


 

https://twitter.com/pam_E_chic/status/490594600269393921/photo/1

 

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 21st shout out goes to “Nas” (@pam_E_chic on Twitter).

She has actually posted snippets of a few pages from the book:

 

 

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bs5dDN1IgAAhNj3.jpg:large

https://twitter.com/pam_E_chic/status/490435813445234689

https://twitter.com/pam_E_chic/status/490431728776134656

 

Copies can be bought from:

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

 

 

Readers with their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune: Number 20 – #maxsiollun


Fulani girl

 

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 20th shout out goes to “Fulani Girl” (@fulaniigirl  on Twitter).

 

https://twitter.com/fulaniigirl/status/481515847161511937/photo/1  

 

Copies can be bought from:

 

  • The Hub Media Stores in Shoprite, The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki

 

 

  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
    +234 1 480 5222

 

 

“He Walks you like a friend to a logical conclusion” – Reader Thoughts on Soldiers of Fortune


SOF Book Cover

 

I am letting readers tell the story of their “experience” with Soldiers of Fortune in their own words. Some readers have been kindly submitting reviews of their emotions and thoughts after reading the book. Here is the latest review, written kindly by reader Nnenna Muo:

 

Soldiers of Fortune, My Personal Journey, by Nnenna Muo

 

 

“This book is the story of Nigeria’s political journey between January 1, 1984 and August 27, 1993. This is the story of how things fell apart”

 

For most of us who were born after the defining  military regimes of Major-General Mohammadu Buhari and Major-General Ibrahim Babangida, it could be a little sketchy separating facts from fiction, as everybody seems to be biased in their analysis of both regimes. So, we take what we can and try to imagine what it must have been like. Time and time again however, we fail. Simply because we cannot imagine that which we have no concrete idea of… And so, we yearn to have a truthful, unbiased, creditable account of what our joint history must have looked like. Well, we would have to look further, but, Soldiers of Fortune is a good place to start.

 

You can not fully understand the simplicity that draws one to this book, until you have done it justice by reading it. There is no grandiose attempt to sound overly scholastic. It is an easy read, gets its points across without being unnecessarily verbose.

 

“He Walks you like a friend to a logical conclusion”

 

With research and facts from about 125 publications covering books, articles and legislation (yes, I counted), I dare say Mazi Max Siollun was very thorough with his research. He presents facts from different sources, and walks you like a friend, to a logical conclusion of the gray areas in Nigeria’s government from 1983 – 1993.

 

There are little facts in the book however, that would make one realise on reading, that oral literature also plays a huge role in getting acquainted with history, and Mr Siollun does not overlook this aspect at all.

How else would he have known that Maryam Babangida held her 6 month old daughter in her hands while IBB’s living quarters was attacked in 1990? How else would he have known that we had a Mary Antoinette-esque  “leader” in Dikko back in the days? These little seemingly unimportant facts helps one understand the quality of work one has on a platter.

 

This book simply exposes the nitty-gritty of the workings of governance in the time it covered, analyses these critically, fairly points out the failures and successes of those regimes and most importantly, piques your interest in Nigerian history. It just leaves in you a desire to start by reading all the books in the bibliography, to be very honest.

 

“You definitely can’t go wrong with SOF.”

Are you interested in the History of Nigeria? This is a good place to start right. Are you reading for pleasure? This is a good piece for your reading pleasure. Are you a curious mind? Just reading to gain some understanding? You definitely can’t go wrong with SOF.

 

The book comes packaged in a lovely shade of golden-yellow containing 3 newspaper clips of Babangida, Buhari and Abiola as its front cover. Its writing is very catchy as well, and its extensive use of dates cannot be faulted. It treats its topics profoundly and has very cohesive maps of the country. It comes with some picture spreads of the key players of the polity at the time, which is a very thoughtful addition (I must say).

 

In spite of the simple, factual approach to this work nonetheless, not all truths are pleasant, and one is bound to  realise this. There was obviously no other way to paint some of the pictures this book presented on a lighter note. I found a few truths rather depressing but educational. This is what the book offers. No beautified, white-washed facts. What the country saw in those years is what you get. Really.

 

 

Sadly, being a very critical reader/eye myself, I discovered that the 336 paged book has a single editorial mistake which could easily have been overlooked (but I can’t) on page 150. I do hope future editions correct this dot of imperfection on an otherwise perfectly, deeply satisfying read.

 

Finally, if the aim of Soldiers of Fortune by Max Siollun was to fill the void that our renewed interest in history has created as it postulates, then I must say this is a very good job, and I look forward to reading more works from this author.

 

*Curtsies*

 

 

 

“He Proved to be a Master of His Brief” – Reader Thoughts on Soldiers of Fortune


 

SOF Book Cover

 

Reviewed by Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema

 

http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=3262 

 

History is not popular in Nigeria. Rare is the Nigerian youth who chooses History as a course of first choice in the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board entrance examination. The systematic onslaught on the Arts by the planners of our education curriculum is not helping matters.

 

But professional historians must also bear a large portion of the blame for the position of History in today’s Nigeria. They are unwilling or unable to take History out of the cloister of dusty, tome-clustered Ivory Towers to the streets in the form of accessible and highly readable books that portray the facts of History in a manner the average Obi, Sule and Ademola can identify with. Our jet-world needs a fast-paced History that will also abide by the time-honoured canons of historical research which the likes of E.H. Carr, Professor Kenneth Dike and the ancient masters like Herodotus and Thucydides laid down for anyone who would pursue a professional study of the past. Anyone who can marry such scholarship with the literary mass appeal of, say, Frederick Forsyth, deserves to be a master of the pen, oops, keyboard.

 

Max Siollun is one of the few contemporary Nigerian historians who has, to a great extent, satisfied the requirements of the ancients in an astonishingly modern manner. His second book ‘Soldiers of Fortune’ can comfortably sit beside anything Forsyth or Chimamanda Adichie has to offer for sheer readability and escapism.

 

But Siollun is not a dealer in fantasy, though his writing is fantastic. The years 1983 to 1993, covered by his book, continue to reverberate in 21stcentury Nigeria . The military elite, Nigeria ’s equivalent of the Praetorian Guard, occupied our national space in a manner rivaled only by the first set of the uniformed adventurers who altered Nigeria ’s political dynamic between 1966 and 1979. Most of the actors in that first act of the khaki drama are also the lead cast of the second act covered by Siollun’s book.

 

The book gives us insight into the likes of General Buhari, the current leader of opposition democratic politics who, at the height of his glory as military ruler threw suggestions of restoration of civilian rule out of the window; how power-plays by the genial professional coupist Ibrahim Babangida and his men took Nigeria to the brink; how MKO Abiola ended up in the belly of the military tiger he nurtured; how General Sani Abacha emerged to set the stage for his reign of terror.

 

Siollun is worth reading because he writes about these lords of the Nigerian clan and their deeds with the right combination of detachment and involvement. Reading through the chapter on the Vatsa coup, I developed goose pimples as I followed Vatsa and Company on their journey to the stakes. Yet the pro and con arguments raised by the author about the possibility of the coup the Federal Capital Territory Minister was supposed to have sponsored left me wondering if those men had died just deaths.

 

 

 

 

 

Given the sensitive nature of some of the subjects raised in the book and the significant positions most of the living characters of that period still occupy in Nigeria , Siollun should not be over-criticized for merely whetting our appetites with painstaking but limited research in some chapters. An example is the chapter on Dele Giwa. I looked forward to more details on developments just before, during and after Giwa’s death. For example, just how close were IBB and Dele Giwa? Outside the Gloria Okon angle, what other concrete theories can be posited about that letter bomb that disfigured Nigeria on October 19 1986? Clearly there is only so far Siollun can go. Let ‘Honour for Sale ,’ the recent release by ex-Major Debo Bashorun, IBB’s former press aide, fill in the gaps. Interestingly Siollun’s book is silent about the adventures of the Major who ran into rough waters in 1989 or thereabouts with the government.

 

On a personal note the period covered by the book was a coming of age period for me. I was in my teens then. Events depicted in the book flashed across my mind; SAP (we called it Stomach Adjustment Programme); that Sunday in April 1990 when my family visited my mother’s eldest sister in the village only to find everyone huddled over the radio listening to Major Gideon Orkar; the buses bringing back Igbo people from the West following the annulment of June 12 presidential election. Many of the seekers of safety across the Niger told their bemused neighbours they were travelling for the New Yam Festival with all their worldly goods!

 

IBB became hard to define as I perused the chapters. Love, loathing and pity fought in my head as I watched him struggle to rein in the wild military horses he had unleashed on Nigerians, especially as June 12 took shape. Characters like Ebitu Ukiwe, Domkat Bali, Ike Nwachukwu, Salihu Ibrahim, Colonel Umar, and even Admiral ‘DO-NOT-ROCK-THE-BOAT’ Aikhomu stood out in sharp relief.

 

While this book revealed the bizarre and Byzantine paths our military travelled within this period, it also forcefully brought home to me the fact that the gun-wielders committed their sins with the support of the political class. Nothing new, you may say. But in case we have forgotten how and why we sank so low in those years; and why these fibreless men continue to dominate our national space in our democracy, Siollun reminds us vividly, especially in the last two chapters.

 

The photographs in the book are a collector’s item. The endnotes and bibliography are useful for the academic. Siollun’s book helps us to understand a decade that shaped Nigeria down to our slang – for example ‘Ghana must go’. I wish the author beamed his searchlight on the Abacha years but that might have led to the type of fat book that frightens the average Nigerian reader. Cassava Republic’s production processes are worthy of emulation.  Although the author’s analyses in some chapters were not in-depth, overall, he proved to be a master of his brief. Any study of Nigeria’s history between 1983 and 1993 that excludes this book is incomplete.

 

Publisher: CASSAVA REPUBLIC

 

Number of pages: 336

 

Soldiers of Fortune can be pourchased from:

Autographed copies available here:

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

Regular non-autographed copies can be bought from:

  • The Hub Media Stores in Shoprite, The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki
  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
    +234 1 480 5222

 

Henry C. Onyema is an author and historian. He can be reached at henrykd2009@yahoo.com

 

 

Readers with their Copy of Soldiers of Fortune – Number 19 – #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 have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for  buying and reading the book.

The 19th shout out goes to Mr Aye Dee (@MrAyeDee on Twitter).

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-505FIcMkNYg/UyzCi0fvGyI/AAAAAAAAM0c/8OxDFtoPLmc/w506-h675/14%2B-%2B1

 

There are also autographed copies for sale. Available here:

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

Regular non-autographed copies can be bought from:

  • The Hub Media Stores in Shoprite, The Palms Shopping Mall, Lekki
  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
    +234 1 480 5222

 

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