Lagos — Ghosts of the Niger Delta, a new novel on the Niger Delta crisis that crippled Nigeria’s oil industry from 2005, will be released on Monday, March 22.
The author, Bisi Daniels, disclosed that the novel would be partly serialised in the online paper, The QuickRead, quickread.ng, before its formal publication.
The author of over 12 books, who is also journalist with decades of experience, chronicles the Niger Delta crisis in revealing details and insider information about Nigeria’s oil and gas industry’s politics through the eyes of an investigative reporter, James Hunter.
For example, it reveals that, ”In 2005, the United States conducted a war game exercise, predicting the outbreak of violence in the oil-producing area of Nigeria that would lead to expatriates’ evacuation, including US citizens, and a hike in oil prices.
“Six months after the exercise, massive bomb explosions at major oil facilities announce the commencement of violence in Nigeria and resonate worldwide.”
Told as a faction, it begins when John Hunter, The NewsHub newspaper’s award-winning investigative reporter, reluctantly undertakes an assignment to investigate pollution in the Niger Delta. He is held captive in a death camp with an American environmentalist, Jones Coleman, the son of a fictional US Senator.
After being made to bury some of the inmates tortured to death, the duo are worried about their fate when armed youths attack the camp at night.
Jones dashes back to the US.
As Hunter recovers in Lagos from the torture, the Niger Delta makes headlines with several armed attacks target oil facilities and many expatriates taken hostage by militants.
This inhibits oil production and immediately impacts the global oil marketplace. Crude oil prices soar, and oil companies and consumers panic.
Hunter rushes back to the region, which is now under the siege of angry militants.
He eventually tracks the militant commanders down at one of their camps after encounters with oil companies, security agencies, and angry residents.
Staring death in the face, he is detained for days. The cold hands of death draw closer when he is later embedded with the militants during an attack on a major oil facility.
Hunter is shocked by their efficiency and their large cache of sophisticated weapons.
With the government’s inability to halt the violence, oil companies withdraw more of their staff members from the fields and further reduce crude oil production.
Hunter’s mission to expose the corruption and exploitation that led to, and resulted from the Niger Delta crisis, makes him a target of many powerful people, including oil thieves, arms dealers, corrupt government officials and politicians. He is followed and attacked at every turn, kidnapped five times but he remains resolute and lives to tell his story.
The author says the novel provides understanding of some of the changes, like the establishment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board that have happened in the oil and gas industry over the years