Dr Mo Ibrahim has gratefully received copies of “The False Truth”, a political thriller dedicated to him by the author, Bisi Daniels. Accepting copies of the novel sent by the Publishers, Austin & Macauley, in London on behalf of the author, Dr Ibrahim expressed appreciation and thanked the author for the honour.
Dr Ibrahim, a communications entrepreneur and billionaire, set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2006 to promote good governance and great leadership in Africa. In 2007 he initiated the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which awards $5 million over ten years, and a $200,000 annual payment for life to African heads of state who deliver security, health, education and economic development to their constituents and democratically transfer power to their successors.
Daniels said: “I got Dr. Ibrahim’s approval in 2007, when I completed the manuscript, to dedicate the novel to him for his innovative efforts at promoting good governance in Africa. I am happy he now has copies of the novel.”
According to the Publishers, “With uprising sweeping away African dictators, this revelation of the complicated motives and actions that perpetuate the sit-tight syndrome in a continent, plagued by bad leadership, couldn’t have been at a better time. Bisi Daniels delivers a compelling and atmospheric story… one that will engross the reader with the turn of every page.”
In the novel, Mubonde is one of Africa’s most successful democracies. A toast of the West, it is considered the beacon of the rest of the continent still plagued by poor leadership. The economy is booming, local employment is healthy, the crime rate has plummeted, Mubondian currency is on par with the Euro, and international corporations are competing for stake in the boom. The sense of national pride is more spirited than at any other time in Mubonde’s history. Credit for the new, prosperous Mubonde is given to the country’s popular president, Robert Suweri, a selfless and visionary leader.
Peter Abel, an acclaimed investigative reporter for The Zodiac, the country’s most prestigious newspaper, is so taken with Suweri that he gives up exposing corruption in high places to become press secretary for Robert Suweri. Even the most profound arguments against the move from Abel’s long-time editor, Chief Benson, fails to dissuade him.
He is soon to know that Mubonde is not immune to the sit-tight syndrome of governance. Trouble begins for Abel when a protestor accuses the president of trying to subvert the constitution and accuses Abel of selling out. When the protestor, after being beaten and jailed, turns up dead, Abel’s investigative-reporter instincts take over. He feels compelled to look into the man’s death. But he can’t find the body, and when he is ordered to concoct a press release about the prisoner dying accidentally while in custody, he knows something is very wrong. But he has no proof.
Abel’s journalistic instincts are piqued when he discovers that the pressure group intent on extending the president’s term is not a grassroots movement gaining momentum among Mubondians, but a group with a plot orchestrated and funded by a powerful cabal with global connections. It wishes to seize control of the Mubondian government and literally enslave Suweri to do its bidding. They include the First Lady, the overall security boss called Songa, national chairman of the ruling party, a former CIA agent, lobbyists in the US and Europe, and some US Congressmen. The cabal resorts to all manner of violence to pump fear into Suweri to make him dependent on them – bomb attacks on his convoy, assassination of top politicians, false security reports, and false media reports printed by them.
Seeing Abel as a threat, the cabal cuts his direct contact with the president and so the only report Suweri gets is through them. Then, one after another, the cabal begins to kill Abel’s collaborators, including a lady who doesn’t want to see the president brought down by unscrupulous and dishonest aides. Isolated, shadowed everywhere he goes, and his office and homes bugged, Abel does not have to be told he is on the death list.
He fakes his own death as a cover for a desperate trip to Washington, D.C., where the answers lie buried. He will survive only if he can prove his case. He finds support from a Georgetown University professor, who speaks out against the prevalence of “sit tight” African leaders.
When Abel learns that the president is travelling to the New York City to address the United Nations General Assembly, he goes there. With some craftiness and good fortune, he manages to enter Songa’s hotel room and locate his notebook computer.
As Abel retrieves vital information on the plans of the cabal from the laptop, one of Songa’s guards catches him in the room. The men fight viciously, and in an act of self-defense, Abel kills the guard. He is then forced even deeper into hiding. When Abel confirms that the president will be killed during his visit to the US, Abel calls in the FBI, who later arrests him for the murder in the hotel.
Abel escapes from the custody of the FBI, and with continued support from Professor Bitallo’s associates, he arranges to crash an elegant party at the Mobudean Embassy, called Victoria House, Washington D.C., where he is convinced the cabal plans to assassinate President Suweri. He spots Songa placing a suspicious substance in the president’s drink “for reneging on a tacit approval to remain in office.” Songa chooses the US of all places to cover his tracks and to punish the US for disappointing him.
Abel immediately intercedes—a startling sight for many people who up to that point believed he was dead. Once the president’s safety is secured, Abel writes an exposé about the cabal, and Benson publishes it on the front page of The Zodiac.
President Suweri returns to Mubonde with Abel. He immediately broadcasts a speech emphasizing the need for true democracy throughout Africa and the ways in which Mubonde will be in the vanguard.
Six months later, the nation’s political parties endorse their respective presidential candidates. The candidate representing Suweri’s party offers Abel a ministerial position, but he decides to return to the newsroom. Dangerous as life can be undercover, Peter Abel fears that without it, his heart will stop beating and his blood freeze. The adrenalin rush keeps him feeling alive
Daniels, until recently the Chairman of the Editorial Board of THISDAY Newspaper, has written many books, including seven novels (three of them published in London), a textbook, two inspirational books, plays and children’s books. He presently works with an oil firm in Lagos. Daniels’ popular titles include: The Governor’s Wife, The Girl from Nigeria: Harvest of Beauty; and Conspiracy of Lagos.