A sneak peek at what I’ve been doing

Posted on January 14, 2011

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Well, this is a tiny sneak peek at what exactly I’ve been doing for the past month or two. I’m going to be excerpting a little bit of the book (not all of it, but just enough to hopefully interest people into buying it) as I put the finishing touches to the whole thing. Don’t worry, I won’t turn into a massive shill for the book – though given recent events in the Sudan, including the massive spectre of oil revenue which looms large over the next few months (already Sudan have passed the necessary 60% turnout to validate their vote which ends tomorrow, and the result has been known already for months, simply because it’s common sense) I’d have good reason for explaining how timely this is.

Rather I’m showing you this because I’m excited that I’ve done almost all of it (though the great thing is that I can really rewrite all the way up to deciding to release it out on the world) and because I’m doing the less strenuous bits, like putting some pretty graphical representations of certain key figures that help to demonstrate the point. Here’s a taster of the copy:

The Port Harcourt Military Hospital is a crumbling, fading old building that often suffers terrible power cuts that mean patients are treated at night by the dim glow of candlelight. It sits on the old Aba Road in Port Harcourt, a tarmac road that fades into dusty pavements and low-slung buildings at its edges. Originally called the Delta Clinic, the hospital was built as part of a joint venture by Shell and BP to provide medical care in luscious grounds for its expatriate and local workers that manned the oil rigs the company sprung up all over the Niger Delta.

During the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70) the Delta Clinic was requisitioned by the military along with other key buildings in Port Harcourt and became its triage facility for wounded soldiers in the fight against fellow Nigerians. Since falling into the hands of the military, the once-new hospital has barely seen a lick of paint, never mind a new accident and emergency unit.

It seems likely that members of Nigeria’s Joint Task Force, a specialist military hit squad that has been tasked by President Goodluck Jonathan to take the fight to separatist fighters of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), would be taken to the Military Hospital for treatment to their wounds sustained by the brutal guerrilla fighting on the Niger Delta.

And a pretty picture showing just how horrific the life expectancy gap between the first and third worlds is:

I’ll keep you updated (and normal service will continue on the blog). If you’re interested in this, send me an email or simply subscribe – the big button’s there on the right – and I’ll let you know when you can buy it. Should be cheap: I want people to read it, not look at it, look at the price, then close their browser.

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