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Salamatu Sule

Othuke Ominiabohs ‘A Conspiracy of Ravens’ is a political thriller and a work of fiction. The book exposes the present cause and developments of events that can be said to be spinoffs from the Nigerian Civil War, which now breeds militancy and insurgency in the South of the Niger Delta and the North East of Nigeria.
The novel consists of forty-five chapters with a prologue and epilogue totalling four hundred and one pages. It is set in the rich oil producing Niger Delta with coordinated actions in other areas like Abuja, Enugu, Warri and Kano.
A Conspiracy of Ravens is a serious book that thrills and poignantly raises questions about the consistent political chaos, kidnappings, environmental degradation and the attendant social depravities fuelled by corruption, both of which are internal and external. It is a story of the ‘great paradox’ tied around each of the characters in the novel.
The author tries to establish the connection between the activities of the power brokers of the Niger Delta and their use of the degradation of the Niger Delta to mobilise and arm the militants, so as to use them as a bargaining chip in the politics of Nigeria and also to enrich themselves.
The author, using a conspiracy theory, raises the possibility of the isolated incidence in the Niger Delta, the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East and the resurgence of agitation for the sove ... Read Full Review

Othuke Ominiabohs ‘A Conspiracy of Ravens’ is a political thriller and a work of fiction. The book exposes the present cause and developments of events that can be said to be spinoffs from the Nigerian Civil War, which now breeds militancy and insurgency in the South of the Niger Delta and the North East of Nigeria.
The novel consists of forty-five chapters with a prologue and epilogue totalling four hundred and one pages. It is set in the rich oil producing Niger Delta with coordinated actions in other areas like Abuja, Enugu, Warri and Kano.
A Conspiracy of Ravens is a serious book that thrills and poignantly raises questions about the consistent political chaos, kidnappings, environmental degradation and the attendant social depravities fuelled by corruption, both of which are internal and external. It is a story of the ‘great paradox’ tied around each of the characters in the novel.
The author tries to establish the connection between the activities of the power brokers of the Niger Delta and their use of the degradation of the Niger Delta to mobilise and arm the militants, so as to use them as a bargaining chip in the politics of Nigeria and also to enrich themselves.
The author, using a conspiracy theory, raises the possibility of the isolated incidence in the Niger Delta, the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East and the resurgence of agitation for the sovereign state of Biafra as a coordinated act by a particular group of people to achieve a specific aim which may be detrimental to the nation.
While we may not agree with the author’s conspiracy theory, the chain of events is hardly mere coincidence. The book brings together people of diverse backgrounds who are linked to a single objective for different reasons.
Tari Kamasuede, leader of the Niger Delta militia group is bent on liberating his people from the long-suffering caused by environmental degradation as a result of the activities of the multinational oil exploration and drilling companies and the neglect of the people by the government. The inability of the government to establish industries and provide infrastructures like roads, schools and hospitals has led to great suffering as agriculture and fishing, which by and large is the main source of livelihood, is being consistently destroyed by the activities of the oil companies. But unknown to him, Tari is just a pawn in a high class game of political chess. By the time he discovers this, the odds are against him.
“I fight for justice.” Tari rose. “And this is the only way the government will listen to us”. (ACOR: Pg. 303)
Then he remembered the phone call he had overhead in the chief’s house: “Of course Frank, we can always recruit fresh militants. There are hungry youths all over. The Niger Delta youth would carry arms for a dime. We will make an army of youth to fight in the coming war.”
Shamsudeen, the Boko Haram leader also thinks that his actions are independent in the cause and defense of his religion. Unknown to him, he is being used as a tool of distraction towards achieving the goals of his sponsors which do not tally with his own objectives.
I want the same thing as you want, but with a little modification and some sense of expediency, said the Voice. (ACOR: Pg. 23)
The Fixer thinks he has everyone under his watch and control but soon misses it when he could not stop Operation Raven from taking place and save his grandson. If only he knows the vulture is not a faithful bird after all.
“He had failed. He had tried to call off the attack on the creeks and he failed. He still couldn’t reach the Niger Delta chiefs. All attempts to reach Tari proved abortive. His pilot was unavailable”. (ACOR: Pg. 371)
The author’s build of complex characters is flawless. The crafting of Tari’s flaws and virtues as well as the quest for survival makes the book all engaging. Friends becoming enemies is another very striking aspect of A Conspiracy of Ravens.
ACOR discusses series of thematic issues; from trust to family ties, betrayal, deceit and retribution.
The chronology of events and the speed with which they occur may look coincidental, but sometimes human beings tend to miss the obvious by overlooking isolated incidences that may be the missing links in grand conspiracies.
Readers may agree that the events in this book are too striking to be ignored. Did the author score a point after all?

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