Friday, October 30, 2015

Desmond Elliot and the Conspiracy of Lagos


Popular Nollywood actor and promising director Desmond Elliot, who is now a politician and an elected member of the Lagos State House of Assembly is on the cover of "Conspiracy of Lagos", a sociopolitical crime thriller on the challenges, temptations and trials of living and working in Lagos, the most populated state in Nigeria. It is written by Bisi Daniels, the leading adventure novelist in Africa's most populous country..

"Conspiracy of Lagos" Chronicles the Vicious Circle of Lagos Life
“You don’t want the Hitler effect, do you?”
“No! The Bill Clinton effect,” she said, and shot him a knowing wink.
What is the Hitler effect in contrast to the Bill Clinton effect?
You have to read the "Conspiracy of Lagos" to find out.
This novel is a clear departure from Bisi Daniels' thrilling novels on Peter Abel, the daring investigative journalist whose adventures have been chronicled in his previous novels."Conspiracy of Lagos" is a romantic thriller, a political thriller and social documentary of Lagos rolled into one narrative novel.
Bisi Daniels’ novel, Conspiracy of Lagos is perhaps the first truly picaresque novel on the adventurous, dangerous and mysterious lives of those living in the mega city of Lagos, the New York of Nigeria.
It is a sociopolitical romantic thriller that keeps you reading until the last word.Reading "Conspiracy of Lagos" is like watching a movie of the agonies and ironies of Lagos as experienced by Thomas Katta, the brilliant graduate of Sociology from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), who left his humble life as a teacher in his hometown of Moso in search of better financial prospects in Lagos. But Lagos would change the life of the Johnny Just Come (JJC) as we call every newcomer in this awesome city.

Thomas Katta’s 350 mile ride from the idyllic hinterland of his hometown Moso to the boisterous city of Lagos was not a smooth one as the bus he had taken broke down thrice on the way until he finally arrived Oshodi, the most dreaded motor park in Lagos at nightfall and thus began the nightmarish journey of his worst fears of the city that never sleeps. He was nearly lynched by a ferocious mob as he was mistakenly accused of stealing his own bag as he attempted to retrieve it from the thief. He ended up in a police cell that was like being cast in hell on earth as he was left at the mercy of the huge and terrifying thug, Kenny, a ruthless criminal with an existentialist philosophy of life. Kenny who was his terror later became his boss and mentor in political thuggery and robbery.

Thomas was later released from the police cell and he found his way to the ghetto of Ajegunle to stay with Mani Datatta, his buddy from university days. Mani was a promising guitarist who played at night clubs after his day job and he made Thomas comfortable and optimistic of the future until Mani was killed in a botched bus robbery. Thomas became homeless and had to become a bus conductor on the Ojota-Yaba route and slept in the motor park until the HomeCare Agency in Ikeja got him a job as a gardener in the palatial home of Chief Sola Adekunle in Victoria Island Extension. Chief Adekunle was a leading politician who later became the National Secretary of The True Nigeria Party (TNP). But Thomas did not stay long there, because he had to flee when the pretty and sexy Mrs. Moji Adekunle, the temptress became furious when he cleverly refused to sleep with her. He was later recruited by Kenny who had been hired by Chief Adekunle to kill him for lies Mrs Moji Adekunle framed against him. Thomas soon became a political asset to Chief Adekuinle’s party as the author of The New Lagos Manifesto that was instrumental in the election of Tunji Taylor as the new Governor of Lagos. Thomas Katta had to overcome the vicissitudes of the vicious circle of survival in Lagos in the midst of criminals and by unforeseen circumstances. He was a reluctant stooge of Kenny who was later killed during a bank robbery and later favoured by Mrs. Moji Adekunle who had become repentant,

Thomas Katta’s most defining moment was when he returned the expensive wedding ring he had stolen to Mr. Ralph Mordy and broke down in repentance and then facing Mrs. Halle Mordy. He was now at the mercy of the couple he had joined Fanni to rob in Ikeja after the gruesome night of their botched heist in Ogba. Receiving the forgiveness of the Mordys marked the turning point for the redemption of Thomas Katta as they offered him a foreign scholarship to fulfill his academic ambition. And thank God for his rescue angel, Nancy Ojo whose commonsense and Christian faith reformed and transformed the life of Thomas Katta.
I have read Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel on sin and redemption, "Resurrection" and Bisi Daniels novel Conspiracy of Lagos has some precious moments of sublimity reminding me of the sober reflections invoked in Tolstoy’s last work.
The long testimonial sermon of the charismatic tall and handsome Pastor Peter Olutobi had echoes of the popular urbane and suave Lagos pastor, Paul Adefarasin.
I was wondering if a naturalistic depiction of Lagos would be realistic without the inclusion of the lingua franca of Pidgin English and the typical Yoruba lingo spoken by the Area Boys and fringe elements seen on the streets and motor parks in Lagos. It would be contradictory for them to speak good English as they were portrayed by the author of Conspiracy of Lagos. The author told me that he deliberately did not use Pidgin English and the typical Yoruba lingo, because most of his foreign readers do not understand Pidgin English or the Yoruba lingo.

"Conspiracy of Lagos" would be more appreciated when adapted for film production.

The novel is available at the following bookshops:
1. Books4Everyone, Ikeja. Lagos.
2. CSS Bookshops
3. THIS DAY Media Centres
4. Glendora Bookshops
5. Other major bookshops and hotels in Nigeria.

~ By Ekeyerengozi Michael Chima


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