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THE SIX MILITARY GOVERNORS Voices of History by Dan Agbese
The style adopted by Dan Agbese in his compilation of the interviews he conducted in The Six Military Governors, Voices of History: Reminiscences of a Reporter (MayFive Media Limited, Lagos; 2018) as a rookie is novel.

His tributes to both the institution, New Nigerian newspapers, and its editor, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, who discovered and mentored him shows his appreciation for the way and manner these two jointly “conspired” to make him the celebrated writer of books on the profession he hardly knew about before they tapped him.

The author traces the history of New Nigerian newspapers into which Mallam Adamu Ciroma, administrator-turned-editor, recruited him.

Agbese had no previous training in journalism and saw his entry as a stint, from which he would exit within a reasonably short period of time.

That was on July 6, 1967. He is still in the profession and sees the publication of this book as a means of showing his gratitude to the profession, to the organization and to Ciroma who exposed and trained him.

Ciroma made a journalist out of a trained teacher, and Dan will never forget him for making him believe in himself. Dan recalled: “Ciroma was one of the most broad-minded Nigerians it has ever been my luck and privilege to work with. He was a kind and patient man. And he always showed a tremendous understanding of, you guessed it, my non-stellar performance as I struggled to learn the ropes. I could not have had a greater and more kindly mentor; I followed his guidance every inch of the way.”

One of the challenges Mallam Adamu threw at Dan on assumption of duty has resulted in the publication of this book.

Within three months of his assumption, Mallam Adamu threw the challenge to Dan to prepare himself to interview the six newly appointed military governors of the six states carved out of the former Northern Region.

Dan portrayed all the six military governors he interviewed as simple, humble and committed to developing the states the Head of State, Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon had put under their charge.

Gowon, it appeared, had known personally or shared similar perspectives (by attending the same secondary school) with over 60 per cent of them.

₦4,000
Ibrahim Babangida: The Military, Politics and Power in Nigeria By Dan Agbese
In a country where the art of writing life history has been bastardised to serve selfish political interests, the author of a new biography or autography is a suspect, especially with the 2015 presidential election around the corner. So, when this reviewer got a copy of Dan Agbese’s latest work on the former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida; Ibrahim Babangida: The Military, Politics and Power in Nigeria, his first impulse was to find out if it was actually a biography or just another hagiography.
He rushed to the chapters dealing with issues like the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election widely believed to have been won by Chief MKO Abiola, the controversial Structural Adjustment Programme, Dele Giwa’s murder, etc. He compared the author’s analyses on the topics with his fiery comments on the same issues in the Newswatch magazine in the ’80s and ’90s to see if there were contradictions that would suggest he is an emergency biographer trying to repackage Babangida.
But Agbese’s perspective in this book proves to be quite consistent with his previous viewpoint: IBB is a tragic hero. The 433-page book comprising eighteen chapters is a classical case study of a leader who started out with the noble aim of bettering his country but got swept off by the whirlwind of his personal ambition and parochial considerations just when his noble dream was about to be realized.
₦6,000
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