Thursday, August 29, 2019 11:04 am
Mindforte Tony Osokpor is the author of Pray for the Peace: A Tale of Seductive Impressions. It is a detective novel electronically published by Black Tower Publishers, Lagos Nigeria.
The story of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping and attempted murder is built around a prominent lawyer and businessman, Paul Efere. Lawyer Efere is an influential figure in the politics of Warri town and Delta State.
From street names such as Refinery Road, it comes round that the story is woven around the oil producing areas of Niger Delta in Nigeria.
In such communities, prominent citizens are often settled, as it is often said in local parlance when communities are rewarded for hardships caused them by oil spillage. These companies regard as social responsibility, monies and benefits given back to communities as proceeds of their land degraded by oil exploration. Thus, situations arise when citizens quarrel over such gifts and benefits.
One of such situations opens the book: “On the money of that fateful day, Barrister Paul had a serious foreboding. He mysteriously felt drained and feverish. And therefore, didn’t want to do any business. But there was a serious undertaking which had been postponed several times, he couldn’t overlook.”
Such is the life of businessmen in these climes that their high standards of living become impediments to communal living. They attempted kidnapping Paul but for his nimble hands and fast feet, which helped him escape into a vicarage.
Pray for the Peace has 18 chapters and 139 pages. The scenes paralleled Sherlock Holmes’ detective stories of yore, which captivate and excite. The book unravelled the attempted kidnap of a student from far away Ogun State in Western region.
“He thought of the other two children —both of them girls. The first was almost 23 years old, pursuing postgraduate studies in Canada, while the second was in boarding school in Ogun, preparatory for university. And since his relationship with Kamsichukwu fell apart, he’d had to give her strict instruction to remain in school throughout the session and go to his sister in Lagos during holidays. He didn’t want any of them both in the middle of his matrimonial disengagement. He worried for their wellbeing and the safeguarding of their emotions. Nobody else, as well must be able to touch a kobo that is theirs by inheritance! Come on, let’s go, and make some real decisions, he told himself.”
The excerpt above is the fulcrum of the novel. Kamsi is Paul’s estranged wife. Paul’s children in Canada belong to them both. They no longer live together. Kamsi even sponsors assassins to kill Paul. She also organises the kidnap of her daughter from boarding school in Ogun State. She is the central figure of this book. The book epitomises the ills of the Nigerian nation. It shows avarice, our penchant for greed, and disrespect for the sanctity of human life. Pray for the Peace is delightful reading for everyone seeking to understand the problems of the peoples of Tropical Africa. Without any record of obscenity, I recommend the book for reading in Nigerian secondary schools.
With 139 pages and 18 chapters, this book should be an ideal award winning volume in the fiction category. Its simplicity in language and diction recommends it for adult education textbook in the country’s tertiary educational institutions, which is why it should be translated into our many vernacular languages so that those languages might not be displaced by pidgin and die premature death.