In April 1967, a young British engineer arrives in Nigeria to take up his new job. The country is seven years into a volatile independence and Ken Ryeland struggles to come to terms with the culture shock and the endemic tribalism that pervades every level of society. On being transferred to Enugu, capital of the troubled Eastern Region, he is further challenged when the Regional Military Government rebels against the Federal Military Government in Lagos. An act of secession quickly follows and the short-lived Republic of Biafra is born. Almost immediately the new republic is plunged into a bloody and bitter war of survival with the Lagos Government and Ryeland finds himself trapped in the rebel enclave as Federal troops close in for the kill.
The Up-Country Man is a personal account of the events leading to secession and conditions inside Biafra during the early days of the Nigerian civil war.