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The Campaign Trail

Francis Nji Bangsi

Publication Year: 2011

In an uncomplicated plot, The Campaign Trail takes its readers through the independence of a state in fiction, the introduction of a multiparty system, to its demise owing to poor governance and power struggle; this novel has a universal appeal to the political scientist, the literary critic, the sociologist, the anthropologist and just anyone who needs entertainment. The author blends the comic and the tragic to good effect.

Published by: African Books Collective

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Chapter One

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pp. 1-4

Kutuma was not a vast country. Its capital, Fusejo, was a semi-urban settlement with an agrarian outlook, which had gained prominence when the first colonial explorers came to settle there and to explore its mineral depots. In terms of topography, it seems as if nature...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 5-8

No condition is permanent. At last the decision was reached at the United Nations for Kutuma to become an independent state. Many forces had contributed to this. Amongst them were the traditional rulers and the elite championed by Mr Utum Tar, the mission grade...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 9-13

The delegation from the United Nations was given a triumphant welcome back home. That morning crowds gathered at the Fusejo palace to get the news and see the heroes on their return trip. There was feasting along with traditional dances. At the chief’s ceremonial...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 15-19

President Utum Tar loved power and knew all the tricks in the world to keep it. The state was his personal firm that had to be protected at all cost. Threats to political stability were like threats to the President’s own health and had to be dealt with accordingly. For this reason, he put in...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 21-24

The army, the police, the party and all the other agents of political power played their roles, each in its own sphere. Yet the mighty chief knew he was not to live like a woman. He had to be a man by Kutumian standards, implying that he needed protection from strong...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 25-26

The disruption of peace started with a rumour. In off licenses, chicken parlours, barbing studios and among the bayam-sellam market women, there was the rumour that an opposition party was soon to be launched to challenge the ruling one. The leader of this party was a subject of...

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 27-34

What the ruling party and the government thought was going to be a small family gathering turned out to be a trade fair. There was a mammoth crowd, unprecedented in any gathering in the history of Kutuma. Many people came out not because they were...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 35-37

When moments of political tension get to their peak, it is as if the world is coming to an end. Friends are turned into enemies. Families are fragmented. People are ready to take all kinds of risks even to the point of self-sacrifice. But since no condition is permanent, life...

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 39-42

After one busy day, Jampassdie retired home for a rest. Thirsty as ever for information, he took the national daily and glanced through it for news. He was fed-up with the printed lines which monotonously carried only obituaries and tenders for contracts. These empty...

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Chapter Ten

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pp. 43-46

Politics is like a game of football. When the careless player stands with his legs astride, the fast dribbler sends the ball between his legs, obtaining swift advantage. He gives the opponent an applauded nzolo as it is known in common parlance. Utum Tar was...

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Chapter Eleven

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pp. 47-53

After the war of words at the National Liberation Party think-tank meeting, Bebin Ngam did not take things lying down. He was ready to drive his point through and through. With full knowledge that Jampassdie was fast becoming another Utum Tar, he had...

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Chapter Twelve

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pp. 55-66

Campaign fever got to its peak on the last market day of Ndindi village. Jampassdie was prepared for campaigns and ready to fight against all odds. This was his political stronghold and he had decided to hold his campaign rally there. The people of Ndindi had...

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Chapter Thirteen

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pp. 67-73

As the campaign hysteria raged on, the chief executive of state, President Utum Tar, could not just sit with folded arms. He had to convene a meeting of (the Ruling Organ of) the party to map out campaign strategies. Various teams were set up and sent to...

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Chapter Fourteen

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pp. 75-84

Prior to this day, the prevailing hysteria could have made one believe that this would be a special day, unlike any others. It could be imagined that on such a day, the sun might turn red or green or any other colour. Would it be like the apocalyptic biblical...

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Chapter Fifteen

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pp. 85-90

Some people live all their life span on earth unnoticed, but when death comes they enjoy renowned honour posthumously. This was the case with Bebin Mundama. His death was a big event, especially as it had a political undertone. Members of the ruling party...

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Chapter Sixteen

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pp. 91-100

The proclamation of the much-awaited results was long overdue. A pregnancy that goes beyond its normal term becomes a cause for concern. The surgeon would need to induce contractions. But who could do this for the Kutuma democratic process when...

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Chapter Seventeen

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pp. 101-103

From weeks to months and from months to one full year, there were no official results. The electorate had given up any interest in the election. This was a trick to hang on to power a little longer. No information was filtering out of political circles about...

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Chapter Eighteen

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pp. 105-106

One evening after the citizens had retired to their homesteads, feeling hopeless, a strange news jingle sounded over the radio. Unlike the one that ushered in democracy, this one was a mixture of the news jingle and various songs in praise of the Head of State. It was easy...

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Chapter Nineteen

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pp. 107-112

The army, without its honorary head, went loose. The first sign was at Jampassdie’s house where those on duty immediately withdrew. This permitted militants and sympathisers to flow in quickly and celebrate the good news with Jampassdie. His compound was...

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Chapter Twenty

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pp. 113-116

The public came out en masse, heeding to the call for talks from the chosen one, Yumfu. All footsteps were once again in the direction of the Catholic School field. But today the actors, participants and agenda were not the same. The key players were the youths of...

Glossary of Local Words

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pp. 117

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9789956726257
Print-ISBN-13: 9789956717354

Page Count: 122
Publication Year: 2011