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Soldiers of Fortune: A History of Nigeria (1983-1993)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  19 reviews
‘This book is the story of Nigeria’s political journey between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1993. This is the story of how things fell apart.’

The years between 1983 and 1993 were momentous for Nigeria. Military rule was a time of increased violence, rampant corruption, coups, coup plotting and coup baiting. It moulded the conditions and character of Nigeria today, forc
Published September 2nd 2013 by Cassava Republic Press
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Imade (Bridge Four)
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book reminds me so much of 'This House has fallen' by Karl Maeir, because they are both full of thoroughly researched knowledge where every opinion, fact, myth and event is blended into one. But also because they're both so thoughtful. It could have been a cold recitation of hard facts but it wasn't just about the who, what, when and where. As a reader you feel immersed in the story and the richness, diversity and complexity of it all. In the history of Nigeria he shows us, things are hardl ...more
Ayo Philip
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to be embarrassingly honest: I didn't know so much about the Babangida administration before I read this book.

The author uncovers not only the actions taken during the Babangida administration, but the motives behind them. Actions that led to the formation of the untouchable "IBB Boys" which birthed to high service & indiscipline within the military, the killing of IBB's close friend Mammam Vatsa (to whom Babangida was best man), the failed Orkar coup of 1990, the mysterious letter bomb t
Tosin Adeoti
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
My review of Max Siollun’s “Soldiers of Fortune: Nigerian Politics from Buhari to Babangida”. Max considers himself a lawyer and historian with extensive knowledge of Nigerian military history.

The book details the political and military rule of Nigerian between 1983 and 1993. The background for the book is the civilian rule of Shehu Shagari and thus became a primer for the narration of the coups which brought in Muhammadu Buhari and Ibrahim Babangida. The drama known as the June 12 election enjo
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
IBB so played with Nigeria that he overplayed himself and ran to his palace in Minna to hide.
Afolabi Adekaiyaoja
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Thorough academic insight into the Buhari (less so) and Babangida (more so) regimes. Might have benefited from more analysis of the Shagari regime but still does a good job.

Less of a page turner than the former book in the military history series but still gripping and provides very good points for discussion
Abdulfattah Popoola
Excellent insights into what happened during the Nigerian coup years. I am glad the book provided another perspective into the events leading to and the aftermath of the June 12 annulled elections. Great book and gripping insights.
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nigeria
A military coup is not a benign political intervention; it is an act of mutiny against the armed forces and of treason against the nation. It involves the declaration of war by a section of the military against the rest of its country. It is a regression from the lofty claims of equality offered by democracy and the return of an old, simple rule: They who kill best, rule.

Brigadier Sani Abacha captured that idea in his speech announcing the third successful pronunciamento in Nigerian history. He
Adebayo Adegbembo
Interesting read like its predecessor 'Oil, Politcs and Violence'. Hard to read without muttering curses at the principals of Nigeria's ills as we know them today. Reading about how the army turned on itself including brilliant minds among them from one coup to another made me sad. A part of me couldn't help the thought of karma given most of the coups were championed by the very soldiers who were the principal actors in the Igbo pogrom, counter-coup of 1966 and the civil war. Still, it hurt to ...more
Olanrewaju Olamide
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are some books that give you so much information after you finish reading them. This is one of those books. I really loved this book as it has filled me in on a lot of information about Nigeria's past, an area where I was clearly lacking.

However, I'm not giving it the full five stars because the books was mostly about Babangida's regime. Although it covered Buhari's regime, it mainly focuses on Babangida's regime. This is even more so as the book ends when Babangida leaves office.

Now, I'l
Abdulrazaq Balogun
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An enthusiastic Nigeria would want to know how did we get to this level of poverty, stunted development across all developmental section, tribal bigotry.

It's imperative for any young Nigeria to know the details of the journey so far if you don't know where we are coming from how will you know where we are heading towards, How come Military retirees are been recycled in today's politics and the source of Godfatherism in Nigeria Politics, There are clear indicator as to why June 12 was annulled if
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant...just brilliant!! Captivating from start to finish. I really enjoyed this book as it got me hooked till the very end. I learnt so much about Nigerian governance under the military. I recommend this for every Nigerian youth. Will definitely be getting Nigeria’s Soldiers of Fortune right away!!!
Bondi Bilala
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compelling account of military rule in Nigeria. So well researched and sheds light on the issues that have plagued the country for four decades.
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very expository book, inner wrangling in the military government and explains to a large extent the background behind the state of affairs in Nigeria today.
Essien Allan
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Most authoritative account of the years of the Nigerian Military in power.
The references are incredible
Tunde Ajao
Wonderful book, Siollum explains the thinking behind the soldiers and their philosophy. The role of the business oriented civilians and the intelligentsia in creating an environment for coups. It shows how the young inexperience officers of the first Nigerian coup had open a can of worms.

Except for IBB, it shows that none of the previous leaders wanted to rule Nigeria or had the experience or knowledge to rule. IBB processed the necessary experience, intelligence and cunning to rule. Whether yo
Olatokunbo Ishmael
Great history of how Nigeria got to its present state

Max takes the reader back in time as though they witnessed the shenanigans of Nigerian's 'past' military and political leaders first hand. Many of whom are still featuring in Nigeria's political theatre in 2015. This is a must read as the nation embarks on Buhari Leadership 2.0
Babajide Ajayi
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A good book that details the history of Nigerian politics in the period between 1983 and 1993.
It reviews the events of the period and with hindsight can articulate the damaging role this period played in the life of the Nigerian society and how that continues to affect the country today.
Very good read.
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a well-researched and gripping read. Nigeria's history really is stranger than's beyond tragic that so many of the problems these military regimes claimed to want to fix are still plaguing us today. ...more
Ogba Kenneth
Apr 08, 2018 is currently reading it
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