On the 12th of June 2013, Kachifo Limited was scheduled to commence circulation of its latest publication, June 12, 1993 Annulment, by Abraham Oshoko, sequel to June 12, The Struggle for Power in Nigeria.
The cargo containing the books arrived in Nigeria on Sunday, the 9th of June, 2013, and our staff went to the airport and with our clearing agents, commenced the necessary steps and clearance required before the books would be released. This was not to be, as after the Standard Organization of Nigeria had carried out their screening procedures, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, had ensured that the cargo contained no contraband and cleared the books.
Then, just when we thought we could finally deliver the books to the waiting public, they were promptly seized by none other than the Nigerian State Security Service. Kachifo Limited staff were informed that clearance was being withheld to enable the State Security Service check the content of the book and ensure that the publication was not a “violence, anti-government book”. Annoying as this was, we have to say we did feel a little honoured that one of our publications was joining the honoured State Security Service roll. Really, doesn’t it have to be an important book to get blocked by SSS?
As part of the clarification process by the State Security Service, the book would have to pass through a panel, set up by them, to go through its contents and ensure that it did not contain anything that would potentially spark unrest upon circulation. They also stated that this was an important measure for them due to the fragile political state of the country because, according to them, “June 12 was the root of Nigeria’s current political problems” (we withhold all comment on this but would really like to know what you think).
The State Security Service then took 6 copies of the publication for review free – which were not returned even after the books had finally been cleared for release on Saturday, the 15th of July 2013. Staff of Kachifo Limited were on hand to receive them, after which the books were brought to our premises in Yaba, and circulation commenced.
The sudden anxiety displayed by the State Security Service was surprising to us at Kachifo Limited because the first part of the multi-part series which was published in 2006 and has been in circulation since then has not caused unrest of any sort.
The June 12 elections are, and will always be, a significant event in our country because the elections were a true display of fairness and democracy. It is important that such a vital part of our history be kept alive, for generations here and to come, to know and understand our past – warts and all. What a gaping hole it would leave if we tried to celebrate and recognise some events and people, but act as though other events and the people involved in them never existed. Never forget #june121993.
Post script: Please tell us what you think our our post and of the June 12 event in general in the comments section below or via Facebook or on Twitter using the hastag #june121993 and we’ll reweet/like your post. Our Twitter handle is @farafinabooks or finds us on Facebook as Farafina Kachifo.