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Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) - Literature - Nairaland

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Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) by keentola(m): 1:17pm On May 23
I started reading this book a few days ago after various recommendations from friends, and after going halfway through it, I had the urge to start doing some reviews on it.

It is an interesting read, if you are curious about this country's history.

Max is one of the leading authorities on anything Nigeria. I will keep updating as the spirit directs.

NOTE: These reviews are not necessarily in chronological order, but I will try and post it in a way that readers will still understand what's going on.

Student involvement in the SAP riots presented the FMG with an excellent opportunity to confront the sometimes radical and subversive student activism which had been a bane of previous governments. The January 1966 Majors had ideological and social links with radical intellectuals atthe University of Ibadan, the “Araba” riots which preceded Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi’s overthrowin July 1966 had origins at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, and the regime of General Obasanjo also clashed with students.

Student activism was of such concern to the FMG that the intelligence agencies presentedmemoranda to the FMG identifying student unions as a source of opposition and subversion. TheFMG responded by buying off and deliberately creating divisions and rival factions within studentunions. The factions eventually confronted each other with deadly casualties. Soldiers were sent tocampuses where violent disturbances occurred and many campuses were sporadically closed down by the military for several months at a time in order to keep a lid on student agitation.

The FMG threatened to keep campuses closed indefinitely. The use of force and closure of campuses further radicalised students, and pushed some of them into secret cults which evolved into armed gangs that roamed campuses, intimidating, robbing, terrorising and raping their fellow students and lecturers. Nigerian student unions and campuses have never recovered from the assault on them by Babangida’s security forces.
Re: Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) by keentola(m): 1:18pm On May 23
1990, Colonel Mohammed Lawan Maina served as Borno State’s military governor for 100days. In that time he spent N9 million to host Prince Charles for a 24-hour visit, N2 million to host Babangida for a six-hour visit and N500,000 for the funeral of Brigadier Dan Archibong.17 Vice-Admiral Aikhomu investigated Maina’s expenditure and concluded that Maina’s only offence was“misapplication of funds”. Maina was cautioned and retired. He was replaced by Lt-Colonel Mohammed Buba Marwa.When Lt-Colonel Ernest Attah took over as the military governor of Cross River State in 1990, he probed his predecessor Ibim Princewill and appointed a six-member committee headed by Justice Emmanuel Effanga to review projects commenced by Princewill. More than N27 million was recovered from contractors that executed projects during Princewill’s tenure. Princewill too, wasmerely cautioned and retired.In January 1990, Rivers State Military Governor Ernest Adeleye was accused by Dinma Denni-Fiberisima (the state’s Commissioner for Health and Social Welfare) of buying four medical boats foralmost N11 million at a time when the state government had not paid staff their salaries, and state health facilities were in serious disrepair, ostensibly for lack of funds. Following the same pattern as Maina and Princewill, Adeleye was merely cautioned and retired.
Re: Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) by keentola(m): 1:36pm On May 23
The Structural Adjustment Programme
Perversely, the increasing ostentation of government occurred in an era of economic depression.The 1980s was a period of great economic suffering for ordinary Nigerians. A combination of profligate spending, the corrupt incompetence of the preceding civilian government and a massive fallin oil prices severely battered Nigeria’s oil-dependant economy and earnings.The drop in oil prices was so drastic that Nigeria’s earnings from oil fell by nearly 80 percent inthe space of six years (from $25 billion in 1980 to $5.6 billion in 1986).9 The oil earnings crisis was exacerbated by a reduction in Nigeria’s oil output quota with OPEC, which meant Nigeria wasessentially producing less oil per day, which also earned less and less per barrel each day.The profligate spending of pre-Shagari governments exacerbated the damaging effect of the globaldecrease in oil prices. Previous governments spent without considering the possibility that one dayoil prices might fall, and that there might be insufficient revenue to pay for their extravagance. It wasas if they were determined to find ingenious ways to squander the nation’s wealth.

The huge disparity between spending and earnings piled up a massive external debt which skyrocketed from $452million in 1970, to $18 billion in 1984, and to $30 billion by 1988.

Nigeria was on the verge of economic implosion with rampant inflation and unemployment. Withover 25 percent of foreign exchange earnings devoted to repaying this huge external debt, and government revenue falling steeply, there was an increasing squeeze on government spending.

Littlemore than a decade after being in the midst of an unprecedented oil boom, and being the richest country in African history, Nigeria was reeling. International creditors refused to extend further credit. Nigeria had no one to turn to apart from the IMF, in the hopes that it would bail Nigeria out of the financial crisis.
Re: Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) by keentola(m): 6:06pm On May 23
At one point Babangida was so overcome by the mental strain that he said he was considering consulting a psychiatrist.

Some officers were so rabidly anti-Abiola that they threatened to physically eliminate him if he became president. Babangida quoted Brigadier David Mark (Director of Strategic Studies at the National War College) as saying “I’d shoot Chief Abiola the day NECpronounces him the elected president”.

Mark and Abiola apparently had a disagreement dating backto Mark’s days as the Minister of Communications and Abiola’s time at ITT.

Another officer issued a thinly-veiled warning that Babangida “must act and resolve this issue immediately or else”.

Babangida’s close associate Captain Sagir Mohammed later confirmed that people who did not want Abiola as president subjected Babangida to a level of pressure akin to blackmail. Mohammed is sufficiently well-informed and close to Babangida to comment on him with accuracy and reliability. He revealed that it was not just northern military officers who opposed an Abiola presidency (as is widely believed), but that some Yorubas also opposed Abiola:There was a lot of pressure on Babangida. He was extremely edgy and nervous, because there was too much pressure on him. He didn’t want to annul that election, I tell you. Butthose officers in the Armed Forces Ruling Council36 [sic] were pressuring him. Some were telling their colleagues that even if Abiola should be sworn in, they would take over the next day… The mere fact that we were getting a lot of information that if the June 12[election] was not annulled, there would be coup or the Commander-in-Chief could be killed was enough… but going further, let me tell you, most of the Obas from the South-West were not in support of Chief Abiola becoming the president of Nigeria… there were differences between Abiola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, even though he was dead, theYoruba saw Abiola as somebody who betrayed Awolowo and were against him.
Re: Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) by MsTIQ(m): 7:34pm On May 25
Hello Chief
Please, how can I get this book from you?
Several people have recommended it to me, but I've been unable to get it free for a while now. If there are other books that detail the history of Nigeria and you have in your archives. I'd be glad to have them too
My email is aderantiademolar@gmail.com
Thank you
keentola:
I started reading this book a few days ago after various recommendations from friends, and after going halfway through it, I had the urge to start doing some reviews on it.

It is an interesting read, if you are curious about this country's history.

Max is one of the leading authorities on anything Nigeria. I will keep updating as the spirit directs.

NOTE: These reviews are not necessarily in chronological order, but I will try and post it in a way that readers will still understand what's going on.

Student involvement in the SAP riots presented the FMG with an excellent opportunity to confront the sometimes radical and subversive student activism which had been a bane of previous governments. The January 1966 Majors had ideological and social links with radical intellectuals atthe University of Ibadan, the “Araba” riots which preceded Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi’s overthrowin July 1966 had origins at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, and the regime of General Obasanjo also clashed with students.

Student activism was of such concern to the FMG that the intelligence agencies presentedmemoranda to the FMG identifying student unions as a source of opposition and subversion. TheFMG responded by buying off and deliberately creating divisions and rival factions within studentunions. The factions eventually confronted each other with deadly casualties. Soldiers were sent tocampuses where violent disturbances occurred and many campuses were sporadically closed down by the military for several months at a time in order to keep a lid on student agitation.

The FMG threatened to keep campuses closed indefinitely. The use of force and closure of campuses further radicalised students, and pushed some of them into secret cults which evolved into armed gangs that roamed campuses, intimidating, robbing, terrorising and raping their fellow students and lecturers. Nigerian student unions and campuses have never recovered from the assault on them by Babangida’s security forces.
Re: Book's Excerpt: Max Siollun's Soldiers Of Fortune(history Of Nigeria) by keentola(m): 8:48pm On May 26
MsTIQ:
Hello Chief
Please, how can I get this book from you?
Several people have recommended it to me, but I've been unable to get it free for a while now. If there are other books that detail the history of Nigeria and you have in your archives. I'd be glad to have them too
My email is aderantiademolar@gmail.com
Thank you
you can message me through the number in my bio,

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