Activist who laid down his life for his people

This is a thinly veiled story about the life and times of Ken Saro Wiwa.

This is a thinly veiled story about the life and times of Ken Saro Wiwa.

Saro Wiwa was an activist in the Niger Delta who campaigned against the degradation of the delta by the oil companies.

He was against the environmental damage that occurred when the old companies harvested oil beneath the ground and left the earth and rivers polluted.

He was executed by Nigerian strongman Sani Obacha on trumped-up charges when he refused to be silenced.

Eclipse tells of the greed that results from oil exploration and the machinations of various players who are bent on enriching themselves. They bend the law, pay militias to get rid of rivals, despoil the livelihood of villagers and openly rig elections to keep themselves in power.

The corruption is fuelled by fear that paralyses the nation, breeds tyrants, anarchy and chaos. Family life is destroyed, crime escalates and poverty abounds.

The tyrant in Eclipse has a private zoo where he interrogates all the people he suspects of plotting against him. This has echoes of Uganda's Idi Amin, who threw people into crocodile pits.

The ruler's sidekick is a murderous psychopath who enjoys killing everyone before destroying their village. The two plot to get rid of the activist who is trying to stir the people into action. The book is a telling indictment of the African tyrants who feed off their people.