Pushers of the pen all, we were at President Jonathan's 'Bring Back The Book' campaign at the Eko Hotel on Monday, December 20. Round about 7.30pm, Charles Okolo of The Guardian lined us up as above, and snapped.
Photo: Charles Okolo
Writings of the general word's body
Photo: Charles Okolo
At some point in the book’s journey, Musdoki is in a car filled with Northerners, fleeing the South and an alleged pogrom. This is Maiwada at his best, or some would say, at his worst. The reader is taken by Musdoki’s trip home to the North away from the vengeful Yorubas. It is harrowing and moving indeed, except that this is fiction. It did not happen. The dialogue in that car houses some of the worst bigotry against Southern ethnicities that I have ever heard or read in my lifetime. In any case, someone with a good grasp of the events of 1993 should educate me: What exactly did M.K.O. Abiola the presumptive winner of the elections say against the North after the annulment that was meant to incite Southerners into war?
This book is an inelegant expression of lingering resentment by Northerners against Southerners, a book that is almost dismissive, perhaps a rousing defense and justification, of the pogrom of the sixties against the Igbo, one that is curiously silent on the genocide that was the Nigerian civil war. It also seems devoted to glorifying T.Y. Danjuma’s counter coup, that bloody response to Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu’s 1966 one (p100). Hear one of the characters taunt the Yoruba. “They are indeed white hyenas. Otherwise, why have they deserted their towns and villages for their dogs and goats? See for yourself! How can white hyenas ever have the liver to declare a war, like Ojukwu did? (p99).” ‘Musdoki’ is a bipolar organism moving swiftly between narcissistic self-absorbent musings to a sweepingly false vista of Nigeria’s history, relentlessly blurring the border between truth and fantasy. It comes across as a partisan attempt to rewrite a most unfortunate portion of Nigeria’s history.
Experts who would be delivering papers at the conference are:
UPDATE J.M.G Le Clezio will not make it to Port Harcourt after all. His doctors advised against the trip, after he fell ill in Mexico. So there you have it. But we're all here, as are tons of other writers. And the Great Soyinka will still make it.