His nineteenth century cousin was paddled ashore by slaves, and twisted the arms of tribal chiefs to sign away their territorial rights in the oil rich Niger Delta. Sixty years later, his grandfather helped craft Nigeria's constitution and negotiate its independence, the first of its kind in Africa. Four decades later, journalist Peter Cunliffe-Jones arrived as a journalist in the capital, Lagos, just as military rule ended, to face the country his family had a hand in shaping. Part family memoir, part history, My Nigeria is a piercing look at the colonial legacy in an emerging power in Africa. Marshalling his deep kwledge of the ecomic, political, and historic forces, Cunliffe-Jones surveys the country's colonial past and explains why British rule led to collapse at independence. He also takes an unflinching look at the complicated country today: from email hoaxes and political corruption to the vast natural resources that make it one of the most powerful African nations; from life in Lagos's virtually unkwn and exclusive neighborhoods to the violent conflicts between the numerous tribes that make up this populous African nation. As Nigeria celebrates its five decades of independence, this is a timely and personal look at a captivating country that is still due to achieve its great potential.
PETER CUNLIFFE-JONES has been Foreign Correspondent for over 20 years for The Economist, The Independent and the Paris-based Agence France Presse news agency where he is now a Senior Editor. Since 1990 he has reported from western Europe, the Balkans, West Africa and East Asia. He is today the agency's head of English-language multimedia news. From 1998- 2003 he was AFP Bureau Chief in Lagos, Nigeria.