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Bisi Ojediran Dedicates New Novel To Dr. Mo Ibrahim - Literature - Nairaland

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Bisi Ojediran Dedicates New Novel To Dr. Mo Ibrahim by Orikinla(m): 4:50pm On Sep 10, 2007
Bisi Ojediran, the author of the bestseller, "The Governor's Wife", has dedicated his new Peter Abel novel to Dr. Mo Ibrahim.

Dr. Mo Ibrahim, who endowed the $5 Million Prize for Achievements in African Leadership, has accepted the dedication of Bisi Ojediran's latest novel, THE FALSE TRUTH, to him.

In 2006, Dr. Ibrahim, who sold Celtel, his pan-African mobile phone company to MTC of Kuwait for $3.4bn, launched the world's biggest prize to reward good governance by departing African statesmen, with a host of world leaders backing his landmark initiative. The prize, which will be first awarded in October, 2007, far exceeds the 1.3 million dollars given to recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The annual Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership will offer a former head of state or government with a five-million-dollar (four-million-euro) prize split over 10 years, with 200,000 dollars annually for the rest of their lives. A further 200,000 dollars a year will be made available for good causes espoused by the former leader.

A Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established last year to support the attainment of good governance in Africa. The foundation is backed by former South African president Nelson Mandela, the former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is also the Chairman of the Prize Committee, former US president Bill Clinton, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and African Union Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare among others.

Responding to Dr. Ibrahim's decision, Bisi said, " although I had started preparatory work on the novel, I was inspired to finish it upon the discovery that Dr. Ibrahim shares my pain over poor leadership in Africa, and had indeed set up a foundation to support the attainment of good governance."

Dr. Ibrahim said of the award and the foundation, "Nothing is more important to African development than good governance. I'm ashamed that we always have to look to the rest of the world for assistance. It impacts on our dignity and our self-respect. We want to celebrate the guy who managed to take his people out of poverty. That deserves the largest prize in the world."

Bisi explained that upon the request to Dr. Ibrahim for consent over the dedication, his staff asked for a copy of the manuscript, which was read before the approval was given.
"I am delighted to inform you that Dr. Ibrahim would be happy for you to dedicate 'The False Truth' to him," Robert Watkinson who works with the Foundation said in an e-mail to Bisi.
"It is my seventh novel and I am happy about the insight it gives to governance in Africa. Processes to get the novel published in London are on-going," said Bisi who gave the following insight into the novel:

Mubonde is one of Africa's most successful democracies. A toast of the West, it is considered the beacon of hope for the rest of a continent still plagued by poor leadership. The economy is booming, local employment is healthy, crime rate has plummeted, the Mubondian currency is at on par with the Euro, and international corporations are competing for stake in the boom. Credit for the new, prosperous Mubonde is to President Robert Suweri, a selfless and visionary leader.

Peter Abel, an acclaimed investigative reporter for The Zodiac, a prestigious newspaper, is so taken with President Suweri that he gives up exposing corruption in high places to become his press secretary. Even the most profound arguments against the move from Abel's long-time editor, Chief Benson, fails to dissuade him.
He is soon to realise that Mubonde is not immune to the sit-tight syndrome of governance.

Trouble begins for Abel when a protestor accuses the president of trying to subvert the constitution and accuses Abel of selling out. When the protestor, after being beaten and jailed, turns up dead, Abel's investigative-reporter instincts take over. He feels compelled to look into the man's death. But he can't find the body, and when he is ordered to concoct a press release about the prisoner dying accidentally while in custody, he knows something is very wrong. But he has no proof.

Abel's journalistic instincts are piqued when he discovers that the pressure group intent on extending the president's term is not a grassroots movement gaining momentum among Mubondians, but instead a plot orchestrated and funded by a powerful cabal with global connections that wishes to seize control of the Mubondian government and literally enslave President Suweri to do its bidding. They include the First Lady, the overall security boss called Songa, national chairman of the ruling party, a former CIA agent, lobbyists in the US and Europe, multinational companies, and some US Congressmen. The cabal resorts to all manner of violence to pump fear into President Suweri to make him dependent on them - bomb attacks on his convoy, assassination of top politicians, false security reports, and false media reports printed by them.

Seeing Abel as a threat, the cabal cuts his direct contact with the president and ensures that the only report or opinion President Suweri gets is through them. They tell President Suweri and others repeatedly that he is indispensable. ("Any lie repeated often enough could eventually be accepted as truth."wink

Then, one after another, the cabal begins to kill Abel's collaborators, including a lady, who doesn't want to see the president brought down by a cabal of unscrupulous and dishonest aides. Isolated and shadowed everywhere he goes, and with his office and homes bugged, Abel does not have to be told he is on the death list.
He fakes his own death as a cover for a desperate trip to Washington, D.C., where he is convinced the answers lie buried. He will survive only if he can prove his case. He finds support from Bitallo, a Georgetown University professor, who speaks out against "sit tight" African leaders.

When Abel learns that the president is travelling to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly, he goes there. With some craftiness and good fortune, he manages to enter Songa's hotel room and locate his computer notebook.
As Abel retrieves vital information on the plans of the cabal from the laptop, one of Songa's guards catches him in the room. The men fight viciously, and in an act of self-defense, Abel kills the guard. He is then forced even deeper into hiding. When Abel confirms that the president will be killed during his visit to the US, Abel calls in the FBI, who later arrests him for the murder in the hotel.

Abel escapes from the custody of the FBI, and he arranges to crash an elegant party at the Mubondian Embassy in Washington D.C., where he is convinced the cabal plans to assassinate President Suweri. He spots Songa placing a suspicious substance in the president's drink "for reneging on a tacit approval to remain in office." Songa chooses the US of all places to cover his tracks, and to punish the US for disappointing him.

Abel immediately intercedes-a startling sight for many people who up to that point believed he was dead. Once the president's safety is secured, Abel writes an exposé about the cabal, and Benson publishes it on the front page of The Zodiac.

EPILOGUE: President Suweri returns to Mubonde with Abel. He immediately broadcasts a speech emphasizing the need for true democracy throughout Africa and the ways in which Mubonde will be in the vanguard. He offers Abel a ministerial position, but he decides to return to the newsroom. Dangerous as life can be undercover, Peter Abel fears that without it, his heart will stop beating and his blood freeze. The adrenalin rush keeps him feeling alive.

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Bisi has written six novels, an economics textbook; two religious/inspirational books, English and Mathematics books for Nursery and Primary Schools, eight plays and four Supplementary English Readers for Secondary Schools. Bisi's novel "The Governor's Wife", has been rated one the best books in Nigeria for the year 2002. His novel, Product of Africa, was published in the United Kingdom in September 2006.

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