Ghosts of the Niger Delta, a new novel on the Niger Delta crisis that crippled Nigeria’s oil industry from 2005, will be released tomorrow, 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, a journalist with decades of experience, chronicles the Niger Delta crisis in revealing details through the eyes of an investigative reporter, James Hunter.
Told as a faction, it begins when Hunter, The News Hub newspaper’s award-winning investigative reporter, reluctantly undertook an assignment to investigate pollution in the Niger Delta. He is held captive in a death camp with an American environmentalist, Jones Coleman. Coleman, meanwhile, is the son of a powerful 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 on oil facilities. Militants also took many expatriates hostage. 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 three 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 influential people, including oil thieves, arms dealers, corrupt government officials and politicians. He is followed and attacked at every turn, but he remains resolute.
The crisis escalates, taking a heavy toll on lives, property, the international oil market and the environment, devastated by oil spills.
For trying to expose the corruption of politicians, big oil and government agencies and their complicity in the thriving crude oil theft, Hunter is kidnapped for the fifth time during a night out with a US investigator. Again, he escapes, after being tortured for days, to tell his story.