Letters of disillusionment with Nigerian politics and government from students I’d taught at Nigerian universities in the 1980’s inspired this book of fiction. They’d complained of how the virtues of government they’d learned in class were being defamed by successive Nigerian governments. Public services dysfunction, infrastructure decay, chronic official corruption, clamped down free speech, perennial election rigging, and state-sponsored lawlessness had all ruined their dreams for a better life, while many within their ranks had simply surrendered to the lucre of official financial embezzlement. What options, they ask, are they left with?
The rising expectations from Africa’s colonial liberation in the 1960s never materialized for the vast majority. In Nigeria, that dream quickly extinguished after the rigging of that nation’s first general elections in 1959. The seam of nations that the British had cobbled together into the Nigerian state soon began to crack under the divisive issues of tribe, religion, region, and class. In 1967, an unprincipled civil war tore the country apart and affirmed the long-held view that the center in Nigeria could no longer hold under the circumstance. Yet, history was never linear. The digitally sophisticated young people around the world are increasingly demonstrating the capacity to organize and mobilize while entrenched oligarchies have become increasingly vulnerable. This book captures this imaginative historicity and relives the dream of change that is possible. However, this story does not stress youth organization purely for its own sake. Rather, organization must drive mobilization through innovative democratic ideals that’d complement Nigeria’s pluralist ideal of justice for all. For a nation as resourceful, this book portrays the hope that its talented youths would seize this moment in the sun to demonstrate the unique industrious nature of the Nigerian spirit. To the Nigerian youth is this book dedicated.”