In an imaginary country, Nianga, the military boys have struck, seizing power from civilians. The leaders of some sections of the country are targeted and assassinated.
A countercoup is organized with advice and instigation from Bature. Callous and indiscriminate slaughter of people from a section of the country occurs. The former colonial master had earlier been pressured into transfer of power. He had relinquished power and had granted independence reluctantly to Nianga. His interest persisted in his former colony but only from the economic and selfish angles. The crisis offers a good opportunity for Bature to once again dictate the tune. He throws his weight squarely behind a side in the conflict. He rallies a coalition that includes a world power to the East, in support of Nianga.
The secessionist side, Biamfrah, is mauled from land, sea, and air. Two million lives are lost by mob-engineered slaughter, starvation and disease Bombing and strafing of civilian populations by Bature-arranged coalition collaborates. Colossal human tragedy that could easily be averted is glossed over, courtesy of Bature. With success in his brokerage venture, Bature claims his prize with economic control.
The defeat of Biamfrah leads to annulment of the letter B, by military decree. Paranoia over Biamfrah makes mention of the letter B a treasonable offense. Unfortunately, Bature also starts with the letter B. A dilemma develops. An ineffective and cosmetic declaration of “no victor and no vanquished” is declared.
It is suddenly realized that the words Nota Bene exist in Bature’s lexicon. The letter B is spared, but only as a component of Bature, NB, or Nota Bene. Any other use of the letter B is outlawed, worse still if Biamfrah is connoted.
The vanquished lick their wounds and suffer in silence. Bature and the victors in his sponsored war bask in the sun and glory in the oil windfall. The resources of the stupendously oil-rich republic can afford to sustain the party, which goes on . . .
and on . . .
Inside the fictional country of Nianga, two sides battle for different ideologies "regional self determination" versus "unification of a nation". The results are indiscriminate carnage and starvation of civilians at the hands of the federal troops. However, they are acting with implicit approval from Bature as most of the world turns a blind eye to this dehumanization. As this wonderfully written story unfolds, it becomes apparent that as colonial power about to grant independence for Nianga, Bature has created a way to maintain power through manipulation, division and isolation of Nianga's various ethnic groups. It was in this manner that Bature would favor and aid the group easiest to manipulate.
This is a must read as this illustrates the human suffering of the Baimfrah people and their survival spirit. Furthermore, it exposes a story hidden from much of the world through carefully orchestrated propaganda. This story demands to be read for as Winston Churchill proclaimed, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
Well written and compelling!
Dr. Adaobi Kanu
Associate Professor Pediatrics
Pulmonology, Texas Tech University
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A handing over of power from colonial masters to inhabitants of a country leads to an escalation of sectional conflicts and war within the country with Bature and Biamfrah being the key players in this conflict. Bature however ends up being the victor in the war and subsequently proceeds to further marginalize the losing side to the extent that the use of the letter B becomes outlawed in the country of Nianga as the letter B it reminds people of Biamfrah (starts with the letter B) . The law actually ends up being a conundrum as Bature itself begins with the letter B. This book gives us an insight of what marginalized sects within a country face and how difficult it can be for people with strong differences in culture, language and beliefs to co-habit under a given set of laws especially when one or both parties aren’t willing to compromise.