CORA’s BookTrek 8.0 features “No Good Deed” on October 18

The next book on the line for discussion at CORA’s periodic BookTrek is No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: The Contentious Search for Peace in The Niger Delta.

The event takes place at 4 pm on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, at the Roving Heights Bookstore in the Landmark Towers in Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos. 

It will feature readings by some of the authors themselves as well as a cross generation of Nigerian aesthetes. 

Written by Jide Ajide, John Ashima and Oluwole Agunbiade, three former employees of Chevron, the American oil giant, No Good Deed examines the often-fraught relationship between host communities and the oil companies who extract crude from the bowels of the Niger Delta.

The widely held perception is that the relationship is often tempestuous, but the part of this book’s real revelation is that there is more than occasional cordial, engagements among the key stakeholders in the region. 

The principal stakeholders within the scope of No Good Deed are the international Oil Companies (IOCs), the Niger Delta oil producing communities, the governments of the states constituting the Niger Delta region, the Federal Government of Nigeria and its principal agency for oil production – the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), oil industry-focused Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Environmentalists. 

No Good Deed details the historical deterioration of relations among the stakeholders, right from the inception of oil prospecting in Nigeria at the beginning of the 20th Century till date (2022). To unravel the complexity, depth and spectrum of grievances and misgivings among the stakeholders, the authors held face-to-face interviews with over 30 key stakeholders, extensively reviewed secondary sources of data (published academic works, newspapers and news magazines, government and interest groups reports) on the Niger Delta imbroglios and, finally, drew on their participant-observer experiences spanning 36 years. 

The authors’ perspectives are presented as “case studies” in the form of first-hand narratives that speak directly to issues discussed in the book. 

The outcome is a 13-chapter book that covers the pristine innocence of the Niger Delta prior to oil exploration; the giddy naivety of expectations roused by impudent promises at the dawn of oil production; the shocking descent into disconsolate distrust; and the bloody reprisals for dashed dreams and perceived duplicity.

The book ends with the scrutiny of the Petroleum Industry Act, a reform legislation, which replaces the existing myriad of legislative and administrative instruments governing the petroleum industry “with one omnibus legislation that establishes clear rules, procedures and institutions for the administration of the petroleum industry in Nigeria”. This new law, enacted in September 2021 is the plank upon which prospects for a lasting peace in the Niger Delta is currently anchored.  

The CORA BookTrek is a periodic author-audience interface, featuring readings, reviews and discussions of select books of searching historical and contemporary insight into the African condition.

It is part of CORA’s extension services, aimed at deepening Literary Appreciation and Audience Engagement with the published text.

The BookTrek is a front in the campaign for Literacy, geared towards boosting citizens’ EDUCATION, ENLIGHTENMENT and EMPOWERMENT, to achieve CORA’s fundamental mission of building HUMAN CAPITAL capacity of the nation and the continent.

CORA has hosted BookTreks  around nine books in 2023, including Vincent Maduka’s REEL LIFE: My Years Managing Public Service Television; Simon Kolawole’s Fellow Nigerians: It’s All Politics; Ben Egbuna’s Destiny Fulfilled (Posthumous); Musikilu Mojeed’s The Letterman: Inside the ‘Secret’ Letters of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and Uche Nwokedi’s  A Shred of Fear; Wole Soyinka’s Selected Poems, 1965-2022; Stella Damasus’s Mama, It’s a Girl and  Nora Sanya’s Dear Mother.


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