Soldiers of Fortune

Here is an advance review of the book by Kaye Whiteman, former editor of West Africa Magazine:

“Soldiers of Fortune is the second work by Max Siollun. It is a logical sequel to his first remarkable book of four years ago on the political history of Nigeria’s military titled Oil Politics and Violence (1966-76). This book’s sub-title Nigeria’s Military Coup Culture gives a clue to his major preoccupation, the forcible taking of power by the military and how they preserve it. Siollun takes the story on to the second period of military rule which began with the coup of December 31 1983 and concluded with the departure from power of President Babangida on August 27, 1993. Apart from the coups of 1983 and 1985 and the failed Orkar putsch of 1990, he takes in other events from this turbulent period such as the Dikko kidnap, Vatsa’s ‘plot’. the killing of Dele Giwa and the still enigmatic annulment of the June 12 election and Babangida’s eventual departure from power. With a skilful inter-weaving of reporting and analysis he gets closer to understanding the inside story of Nigeria’s military rule and its graphically- described cast of personalities than other literature on the subject. It is a bold venture, that many others have shied away from. His inside knowledge and scrupulous attention to detail make his book essential reading for anyone interested in trying to comprehend the complex scope of Nigerian politics both civilian and military, and answer its riddles, which are sometimes generically called ‘the Nigerian question.’”

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