Title: Lord Of The Creeks
Publisher: Author House, Bloomington, Indiana, USA, 2015;
Author: Tony Nwaka
Reviewer: Bayo Ogunmupe
LORD of the Creeks is a novel showcasing the dilemma of living in penury admist the oil rich region of Nigeria’s Niger Delta. It is a thrilling short novel. Robert Edward, a businessman working in a multinational oil corporation namely Adilax in the crisis ridden Niger Delta region. With only three days left in a deferred retirement situation, sitting in a hotel, he grapples with ways to attain his objective.
With Princess Alero missing and others in trouble with the police, Robert the protagonist soon finds himself embroiled in intense negotiations with conflicting groups. Lords of the Creek is synonymous with what has been going on in the Niger Delta since crude oil was discovered there in 1958. The Niger Delta is the hotbed of intrigue, dissension and violence because of its oil wealth. In this social thriller, a Nigerian businessman is drawn into an age-old conflict as he attempts to rescue an abducted princess and elude those hunting him for his munificence.
An entrancing novel in thirteen chapters. The author showcases the unwholesome tradition of dissent of the minorities of the Niger Delta region of Southern Nigeria. A very imaginative book but I do not see how a student of a foreign language can outsmart the owners of English as their mother tongue. For Christians, Jesus has paid the price for our sins, but nowhere was it written that Jesus had paid the price for our ignorance. Thus, ignorance and lack of creativity are the reasons for our backwardness. That inability to concede wisdom to one another is exemplified by dissension shown here.
Moreover, Briggs smiled as they meandered through the Creeks, leaving faint images of the skyline behind him. He was born and bred in the Creeks: the swampy vegetation of the Niger Delta region of Southern Nigeria. He was on speedboat trying to see the inner reaches of the rivulets of the Creeks, an experience which was always pleasurable to him. Briggs regretted that the new generation of Delta youths preferred to hustle in the city rather than living in the serenity of the Creeks. Briggs attributed the new culture to the degradation of the region by multinational oil companies. Fishing which had sustained the economy of this people was increasingly becoming difficult in the polluted waters of the region.
With yet another glimpse into the workings of administration in this region, you sight the pilot vehicle of the police commissioner visiting a governor. Police commissioner, Alhaji Isah Dogo took a detour from the Port Harcourt dual carriageway. The car taxied towards the parking lot of the sprawling white mansion of the Delta State Government House, in the capital city of Asaba. The police commissioner’s car drove further up, pulling over in front of the Governor’s office.
The above scene can be captured in the Lords of the Creek in several places as a mark of the book’s devotion to showing off to the world the problems of the Niger Delta region. In the main, this book is about dying fishes, echological disasters and dead rivers which the discovery and harvesting of crude oil has brought to the people of the Delta. It showcases the pauperization of these people because of the excavation of oil, depriving the people of arable land. This has sentenced the people to drinking imported cooking oil, water and vegetables. The book is meant to arouse sympathy for the people and instigate concerted action on oil spillage and its cleaning. This 208 page novel written by Tony Nwaka is a testimonial of the evils oil has brought to Eastern Nigeria. Nwaka succeeds in b ringing out the plight of his people as regards their neglect and impoverishment. Nwaka is a public servant. He studied History and International Relations at the University of Lagos. He has worked in several companies in the Niger Delta and he currently lives in Asaba, Delta State of Nigeria.