‘This is quite simply a dynamite book, striking first of all for the sheer depth of research that has
gone into it. It is remarkable, too, in the way that it is able to fit this material into a bigger picture,
created not only by a thorough familiarity with Nigerian history and politics, but also by an
awareness especially of the spiritual dimensions of Nigerian life, and the ways in which these
feed through into crime as well as virtually every other aspect of Nigerian affairs.’ – Christopher
Clapham, University of Cambridge Nigeria and Nigerians have acquired a widespread
reputation for involvement in drug-trafficking, fraud, cyber-crime and other types of criminal
activity. Even South Africa has not been immune: in 1992 the National Intelligence Agency admitted
to a parliamentary committee that it had fallen victim to a million-dollar Nigerian scam.
Successful Nigerian criminal networks have a global reach, interacting with their Italian, Latin
American and Russian counterparts. Yet in 1944, a British colonial official wrote that ‘the number
of persistent and professional criminals is not great’ in Nigeria and that ‘crime as a career has so
far made little appeal to the young Nigerian.’
This last book by a celebrated African historian traces the origins of Nigerian organised crime
to the last years of colonial rule, when nationalist politicians acquired power at regional level. In need of funds for campaigning,
they offered government contracts to foreign businesses in return for kickbacks, in a pattern that recurs to this day.
Political corruption encouraged a wider disrespect for the law that spread throughout Nigerian society.
When the country’s oil boom came to an end in the early 1980s, young Nigerian college graduates headed abroad,
eager to make money by any means. Nigerian crime went global at the very moment new criminal markets were emerging all over the world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen Ellis, who died suddenly in 2015, was Desmond Tutu Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the VU University, Amsterdam, and a senior researcher at the
African Studies Centre, Leiden. He wrote ground-breaking books on the ANC, the Liberian Civil War, religion and politics in Africa, and the history of Madagascar.
|Parameters of Book:
|mobi file ISBN:|
|Colour:||Black and White|
|Rights:||Southern African Rights from C. Hurst & Co., UK|
|Publication Date:||May 2016