BURNING POT BY DR. PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON
The last Nigerian Mohicans and
Have you read the book The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757
(1826), it is a historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper.
The Last of the Mohicans is set in 1757, during the French and
Indian War (the Seven Years' War), when France and Great Britain
battled for control of North America. During this war, both the
French and the British used Native American allies, but the French
were particularly dependent, as they were outnumbered in the
Northeast frontier areas by the more numerous British colonists.
At the time of Cooper's writing, many people believed that the
Native Americans were disappearing, and would ultimately be
assimilated or fail to survive. Especially in the East, their
numbers continued to decline. At the same time, the author was
interested in the period of the frontier of transition, when more
colonists were increasing pressure on the Native Americans. He grew
up in Cooperstown, New York, which his father had established on
what was then a western frontier of settlement; it developed after
the Revolutionary War.
Cooper set this novel during the Seven Years' War, an international
conflict between Great Britain and France, which had a front in
North America known by the Anglo-American colonists as the French
and Indian War. The conflict arrayed British colonial settlers and
minimal regular forces against royal French forces, with both sides
also relying on Native American allies. The war was fought primarily
along the frontiers of the British colonies from Virginia to Nova
In the spring of 1757, Lieutenant Colonel George Monro became
garrison commander of Fort William Henry, located on Lake George
(New York) in the Province of New York. In early August, Major
General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm and 7,000 troops besieged the fort.
On 2 August General Webb, who commanded the area from his base at
Fort Edward, sent 200 regulars and 800 Massachusetts militia to
reinforce the garrison at William Henry. In the novel, this is the
relief column with which Monro's daughters travel.
Monro sent messengers south to Fort Edward on 3 August requesting
reinforcements, but Webb refused to send any of his estimated 1,600
men north because they were all that stood between the French and
Albany. He wrote to Munro on 4 August that he should negotiate the
best terms possible; this communication was intercepted and
delivered to Montcalm. In Cooper's version, the missive was being
carried by Bumppo when he, and it, fell into French hands.
On 7 August Montcalm sent men to the fort under a truce flag to
deliver Webb's dispatch. By then the fort's walls had been breached,
many of its guns were useless, and the garrison had taken
significant casualties. After another day of bombardment by the
French, Monro raised the white flag and agreed to withdraw under
When the withdrawal began, some of Montcalm's Indian allies, angered
at the lost opportunity for loot, attacked the British column.
Cooper's account of the attack and aftermath is lurid and somewhat
inaccurate. A detailed reconstruction of the action and its
aftermath indicates that the final tally of British missing and dead
ranges from 70 to 184;more than 500 British were taken captive.
Very quickly have you The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Life and Death
of a Man of Character is an 1886 novel by the English author Thomas
Hardy. One of Hardy's Wessex novels, it is set in a fictional rural
England with Casterbridge standing in for Dorchester in Dorset where
the author spent his youth. It was first published as a weekly
serialisation from January 1886.
The novel is considered to be one of the Hardy's masterpieces,
although it has been criticised for incorporating too many
incidents: a consequence of the author trying to include something
in every weekly published installment.
At a country fair near Casterbridge in Wessex Michael Henchard, a
21-year-old hay-trusser, argues with his wife Susan. Drunk on
rum-laced furmity he auctions her off, along with their baby
daughter Elizabeth-Jane, to Richard Newson, a passing sailor, for
five guineas. Sober the next day, he is too late to recover his
family. He vows never to touch liquor again for 21 years.
In this work, itís drama galore, and reminds one of what Nigeria has
been in the last few years, one hell of a drama.
Really one needs to have read the two books I talked about above to
grasp my concluding paragraphs on a subject matter not many would
want to talk about. And what is the subject...?
Come 2019 either Atiku or Buhari would be president, whether their
official or unofficial ages both are the last Mohicans. Tinubu is a
Mohican, for all the awareness he possess, Vice President Osibanjo
is also a Mohican.
Many of the mayors of our political space are at their farewell
stage; Tony, Mr Fix-it just departed, we are Africans and itís
almost uncouth and against the culture predicting the exit of an
elder. However the truth is many of the Mohicans and Mayors that
held sway are at their terminal stage.
The IBBs, TY Danjuma, Obj, Bode George, Yahaya Kwande, Balarabe
Musa, every state, every click, profession or party has the last
Mohicans, Oshiomhole is one of the many that have just about a
decade or less...you can add to the list, it is a very long one of
men and women who are in the 60s, they have been ex-this and
ex-that, occupied choice offices, been there since Imo River.
The only fear is that; the current bunch whether
not-too-young-to-run or already running donít seem to have a grip,
and are in the troubled waters that have been set for them by the
outgoing Mohicans and Mayors of our space. The Mohicans have schemed
and plotted to stay alive and relevant all these while, but there is
always an end to all eras and the current Mohicans are at that
point, but in Rufaíiís words power wonít be given on a free. It must
be fought for, must be collected or like Henchard in the Mayor of
Casterbridge, the end will be full of complexities and like the
Mohicans when they leave, it may be with plenty void; are we
readyóOnly time will tell.