Monday, January 26, 2015

TEN NEW TITLES FROM THE NIGERIAN WRITERS SERIES (NWS)

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema
Have you heard about the Nigerian Writer Series (NWS)? No? It is a publishing imprint of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), modelled after Heinemann’s African Writers Series (AWS). The AWS pioneer editor was the literary legend Chinua Achebe. The Nigerian Writers Series was started with a ten million naira grant given to the Association by Governor Aliyu Babangida Muazu of Niger state in 2012. In 2013, submissions were received all over the country and ten manuscripts were selected from the pool by the Series editors: Unoma Azuah, Tanure Ojaide and Chuma Nwokolo. The manuscripts were published in November 2014 by four publishing consultants to the NWS: Parresia, Kraft Books, Jemmie and The Book Company. Presented here (as taken from the blurbs) are the ten servings from the NWS kitchen… Open mouth J

Burning Savannah echoes the menace terrorist groups like Boko Haram inflict on Northern Nigeria even as it convincingly captures the ethno-religious conflict in Jos. In the midst of this chaos is a story of love. 
Burning Savannah

Emeka, an Igbo resident of Haliru Street, Jos, falls in love with Hauwa, a Hausa-Fulani girl. The city-dwellers frown at the relationship, describing it as "haram", evil. Unknown to the lovebirds, Hauwa is betrothed to Hassan, the son of a popular Sheik who happens to be the father of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jos.  Trouble starts for the young lovers when they are caught pants down by Hassan. The crisis that ensues does not only engulf the innocent lovers, it engulfs the entire city.

Anugba Chikwendu is from Umuchieze in Abia State. He is a graduate of Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri. Currently, he is an Assistant Superintendent II in the Nigerian Customs Service.


Cat Eyes is the story of Pededoo, a country boy, who struggles to maintain a civil relationship with his father who has just returned home after many years abroad with a family of Cat Eyes (a white family). 
Cat Eyes

Despite Pededoo's resentment for his father and the new family, he is hardly able to resist and truly dislike Melissa-Jane, the amiable and dashing cat-eyed blonde. Cat Eyes is a bildungsroman, a book of family, adventure, self-discovery and love that would take readers on a voyage they would hold dear.

Pever X’s real name is Pever Martins Paul Aondofa Marie. He is a trained accountant, student member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Managing Partner of PEA and Associates, a firm into everything in the book industry. In 2013, Pever emerged first runner-up for the ANA Prize for Prose Fiction with his book, Cat Eyes. He lives in Makurdi. Cat Eyes is his first published book.

Crimson Clouds by is a rollercoaster ride into the world of deceit, power, crime, politics and relationships. It is the story of two people from extreme worlds who decide to fight for their right to love each other against all odds. In the process, they find themselves on a quest for justice and become the hope of a nation that wishes 
Crimson Clouds

to bring evil-doers to justice. While written with a political nuance and a plot that progresses fast, Crimson Clouds is ultimately a love story that explores love as it rises above difficult circumstances and triumphs in a world turned upside down by greed and injustice.

Ayodele Arowosegbe is an essayist, literary blogger, and media professional. His works have appeared in SAGE, a lifestyle magazine, and Inscribed, an online literary magazine. In July 2011, he co-founded the Literary CafĂ©, now LitCaf Nigeria, an outfit that seeks to promote creative writing as a social consciousness in Nigeria. Ayodele completed a Master’s degree in Media Enterprise at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos. He currently does freelance media consulting and blogs at Ideology’s Corner. Crimson Clouds is his first Novel.


Cupid’s Catapult is a collection of twelve short stories set in Nigeria,
Cupids Catapult

depicting how love relationships often begin and blossom. From Lawrence who comes to Amina’s rescue in “Baggage to Love”, until we meet Kate in “Subtle Changes”, who after her stepfather’s death, moves to her benefactor’s house where she slowly loses her heart to Jude, Cupid keeps aiming and shooting, spinning this universal emotion as he pleases. The stories in this collection show us the many faces of love within life’s potpourri of laughter and pain. Above all, they urge us to keep believing in love despite all odds.

Hannah Onoguwe spent most of her growing-up years in Jos where she discovered her love for writing. She studied at the Universities of Ibadan and Jos. Her work has appeared in various journals in print and online. She enjoys travelling and has a weakness for romantic comedies.

Patroits and Sinners x-rays a typical under-developed country bedevilled by corruption and sundry ills. Siella, the stubborn and self-willed daughter of the President is in the centre of the story. Siella refuses to school abroad, choosing instead to confront the rot in her home
Patriots And Sinners 

country. She becomes a victim of a high-profile kidnap saga that brings her face-to-face with the rampaging evils that hold sway in the country she loves unflinchingly. When she meets the patriots, a group of deadly, dare-devil men, she is forced to see the other side of crime and to assess patriotism from a different angle. It is a story of love, crime, betrayal, corruption and above all, hope.

Nnenna Ihebom hails from Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo state. She is married into the Ihebom family of Umuomi Uzoagba in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo state. She wrote her first story book, The Rejected Stones in 2007. Her novel, The Web, won the ANA/Chevron prize for environmental writing 2009. She has a passion for Igbo writing and also won the ANA/Ken Nnamani prize for Igbo literature 2007.


Souza Boy is a moving account of a motherless Nigerian boy who is born in Cameroon and grows up 
Souza Boy

with his father to become inextricably involved with the foreign surroundings in which he is birthed. But a sudden relocation into a supposed “Land of Promise” soon casts a terrible cloud upon him and the bliss he once experienced abruptly turns into nightmares, a shocking experience from which he never recovers. The result is a gripping work of art – a work of art committed to its artistic values. The author, with remarkable deftness, takes his readers on a gripping voyage from Cameroon to the West African nation of Nigeria to produce a literary piece which is unputdownable.

Elias Ozikpu is a playwright, autobiographer, novelist, student, and a social commentator. He was born in Souza, the Littoral Region of Cameroon but hails from Obudu, Cross River, Nigeria.


The Angel That Was Always There
The Angel That Was Always There talks about single parenting in the Niger Delta. It is a true-life account of the author who is himself a product of a single parent.
Julius Bokoru is an essayist, historical-fiction writer and memoirist. His works have been featured on various local and international literary magazines. In 2012 the government of Bayelsa state named him among the 50 most influential people of the state for his literary contributions.




The Oath is about Ojeiva Jumbo, a poor school teacher, who realizes he needs to get involved in partisan politics and secure power to save his people from the onslaught of poverty, violence and illiteracy in the fictional state of Azayi State.  But this power will not come free as he will require the
The Oat
assistance and connections of a powerful godfather. Jumbo is made to take an oath to reward his godfather financially when he becomes the governor which he will break eventually, drawing the ire of forces hell-bent on destroying him. Jumbo will however survive plots against him, and work hard to fulfil his mission in the government house in this suspenseful political thriller.

Habib Yakoob was born in Okene, Kogi State. He had his first degree in Mass Communications from Bayero University and second degree in Media Arts from University of Abuja. He has published several   articles, and written many yet-to-be published short stories and poems. His play, The Ugly Ones Refuse to Die, published in 2004 has been on the reading list of secondary schools   since 2006.  

The Right Choice is a novel about a group of young military officers who, under the leadership of Brigadier Saleem Sa’ada, strikes and overthrows the regime of General Danjuma. The new military 
The Right Choice

government designs a five-year transition programme to shift power to a democratically-elected government. As the elections approach, the UPP, a political party, lobbies Sameera, a radical writer and journalist, to accept its presidential ticket. After a heated race, Sameera emerges victorious. She will instantly become a world political figure who will set about to actualise her vision of a united economically and politically vibrant African continent.

Zaharaddeen Ibrahim Kallah is a Kano-born writer. He holds a B.Sc. Sociology/Political Science, and Masters in Development Studies. He is a bilingual writer, writing in English and Hausa languages. He works with the Directorate of Academic Planning, Bayero University.



The Threshing Floor is a collection of a dozen short stories that has just a bit of everything. From religious hypocrisy, marital infidelity and human deception and fraud, to spiritual mysteries, the limits of justice (in our land), the many and uncertain shades of love, and the redemptive value of 
The Threshing Floor
suicide, Isaac Attah Ogezi skilfully and sensitively explores the human condition in its social, psychological and spiritual dimensions. The stories are both universal and uniquely individual as everyone can identify with one or another of the characters whose experiences are portrayed in The Threshing Floor. The author's mastery of language and power of narration will surely seduce any reader.
Isaac Attah Ogezi is a legal practitioner and writer. His published works include: Waiting for Savon (2009), Casket of Her Dreams (2010), Under a Darkling Sky (2012), Embrace of a Leper (2013) and The Threshing Floor (2014). In 2014, he was nominated for both the Soyinka Prize for African Literature and NLNG Prize for Nigerian Literature for his Under a Darkling Sky.

So, there you have it! The books as told by the blurbs… What do you think? Interesting enough? Go grab a copy and see why the Editors took these ones from a full pool… And please, don’t forget to share your thoughts too. You can follow Nigerian Writers Series on twitter @NWSBooks or like the facebook page.

Su'eddie blogs @ http://sueddie.wordpress.com and tweets @sueddieagema

Saturday, January 10, 2015


NOT IN MY NAME: NIGERIA’S BETRAYAL OF PALESTINE

 Bala Muhammad
balamuhammad@hotmail.com
 

One had thought the New Year and the Maulud dual breaks would come with a real break – some hiatus one can enjoy devoid of Nigeria’s politics and other things mundane. One had really hoped the holidays would come and pass without as much as a whimper – or even less. Alas! The last few days – nay, almost the last day – of the year 2014 came with a bang, a shocker; the story that Nigeria, of all countries, at the United Nations (UN) in far-away New York, had betrayed the long-suffering Palestinian people.

Nigeria, the country which, despite its distance from the vicinity of the struggle, had earned itself the honourable title of a ‘frontline state’ in the fight against apartheid South Africa (and had chaired the UN committee against apartheid for many decades); the same Nigeria that had sacrificed resources – human and material – to save the peoples of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Mali and many other nations from annihilating themselves; the same Nigeria that had always stood for justice in the comity of nations; now is the same Nigeria that has betrayed Palestine.


The Betrayal of Palestine is NOT in my name!

The betrayal story was broken Thursday morning by many media organisations. Daily Trust, daily sister of this newspaper, carried the bold front-page headline STATEHOOD BID AT THE UN: NIGERIA ABSTAINS, PALESTINE LOSES in its Thursday edition. The story ran: “A last-minute decision by Nigeria to abstain from voting at the United Nations (UN) Security Council…helped defeat a resolution calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory by 2017. A ‘yes’ vote would have paved the way to compel Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip which dated back to1967…

“The Palestinians needed nine votes in the 15-member Security Council but fell short of one when at the crucial moment Nigeria’s envoy Joy Ogwu, abstained from voting. China, France and Russia were among the eight countries that voted in favour of the text. Other countries who supported the resolution are Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg. Australia and the United States voted against, and five other countries – Nigeria, Britain, Lithuania, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda – abstained. Diplomatic sources said Nigeria had been expected to support the resolution and changed its stance at the last minute. Nigeria had previously said it would vote for the resolution.”

So Nigeria is more Israeli-loving than China, France, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg, and especially France, Argentina and Luxembourg that can count many Jewish politicians among their leadership.

The Betrayal of Palestine is NOT in my name!

Immediately after Nigeria’s show of shame at the UN, it was reported that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come out openly to praise President Goodluck Jonathan “after Nigeria pulled a last-minute surprise that helped thwart a resolution calling for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory by 2017…Mr. Netanyahu said he [had] personally spoke[n] to President Jonathan and [had] received his assurance of support [to thwart the Palestinian Statehood Bid]”, according to one version of the news reports. Meaning, it was all planned – there was nothing last minute about the vote.

As should be expected, the Palestinians are in anguish in relation to what Nigeria has done to their statehood aspirations. Palestine’s Ambassador to Nigeria Montaser Abuzaid said his country and its people were shocked, disappointed and hurt at how Nigeria abstained from voting in support of the resolution to end Israeli occupation…Abuzaid said they were shocked because they looked up to Nigeria as a big brother that has been in the forefront fighting for justice all over the world.

 Alas! That was then! This is now a new Jonathanian Nigeria which is more Israeli-loving than France, Argentina and Luxembourg!

The Betrayal of Palestine is NOT in my name!

In order not to try to reinvent the wheel, two recent media releases from two organisations should suffice to show our collective anger on this Jonathan Administration’s betrayal of the Palestinian people. The first was from the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) signed by its Director Professor Ishaq Akintola, while the second was from the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) and signed by its Executive Chairman Disu Kamor.

MURIC says interalia: “Nigeria…abstained from voting during the United Nations deliberation on whether Palestine should be recognized as a full-fledged state. The abstention cost Palestine denial of the recognition just when it needed only one vote to scale through. Eight votes were secured by Palestine out of the mandatory nine votes as Nigeria refused to cast a vote…Whereas Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Luxembourg, China, France and Russia (8 justice seeking countries) voted ‘Yes’ to a Palestinian state…Nigeria joined Lithuania, South Korea, Rwanda and Britain in the abstention camp. The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is astounded by this conservative shift in Nigeria’s foreign policy.

“It is on record that Nigeria has always been in the forefront of Africa’s struggle for freedom, justice and equal rights. The latest support for Zionist Israel which is notorious for killing unarmed civilians, women and children is therefore most baffling, uncharacteristically cowardly, highly reprehensible, long in impunity but short in principle. Nigeria has always been known for its principled stand on international issues. This great African country confronted the apartheid regime of South Africa until it collapsed…The basis has always been the promotion of fundamental human rights on the international scene. On what basis has Nigeria supported Israel this time around…?

MPAC, in its own release, said among other things that the Centre “is deeply concerned over the shift in Nigeria's foreign policy made apparent…by the refusal of Nigeria to cast a "Yes" vote during the question of Palestine and the Palestinians’ bid to be formally recognized as a state and a full member of the U.N. The apparent shift of the Nigerian position on the issue of Palestine has serious implications and Nigeria's refusal to support a vote that may have acted as the impetus for peace in the region is indeed historic…

“Given that the conflict in Palestine is based largely on the historic wrong of the dispossession of Palestinians, and that a majority of world’s population sees the resolution of the issue of Palestine statehood as a crucial component of any peace negotiation, Nigeria's refusal to take a public stand of support entails the dangerous implication that states can get away with illegal annexations of territory provided they make the process irreversible through the establishment of settlements and demographic shifts…

“Nigeria's ‘no-vote’ during this festive period when the Palestinian Christian community has its spiritual, cultural and economic links between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, located just a few kilometres [from each other], nearly severed due to the construction of Israeli settlements around the city sends a clear message to the Palestinians about where we stand on the issues of peace and justice…The refusal of Nigeria to support this bid has strengthened the extremists’ voice, encouraged the actions of the colonists in Israel, and those in Washington and London who pretend to speak for the ‘international community’. It is very sad that on an issue of important universal human rights struggle, the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has let the opportunity to side with justice pass…”

The Betrayal of Palestine is NOT in my name!


Inna lillaHi wa inna ilaiHi raji’un! (We are from Allah, and unto Him shall we return!); And HasbunalLahu wa ni'imal Wakeel! (Allah is Sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of affairs!)

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Kano, Kano, Nigeria
Dr. Yusuf M. Adamu is a Professor of Medical Geography at the Bayero University Kano. He is a bilingual novelist, a poet, and writes for children. He is interested in photography and run a photo blog (www.hausa.aminus3.com) All the blogs he run are largely for his hobbies and not his academic interests. Hope you enjoy the blogs.