OVER A YEAR HAS ELAPSED since the world watched in awe as the Jamaican police and armed forces made a military style incursion into Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston in an attempt to arrest and extradite Michael Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke the leader of the notorious Shower Posse.
A State of Emergency was declared when Coke’s supporters threw up blockades, razed several police stations and offered armed resistance. The month long man hunt for man the people in “The Garden” call ‘The President’ left at least 74 Jamaicans dead and culminated in Coke’s arrest when on his way to surrender at the American Embassy.
The extradition Of ‘Dudus’ Coke to the US , where he was wanted on charges relating to narcotics, arms and ammunition trafficking was initially resisted by Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, on the grounds that they had used warrantless wire tapping to gather evidence on Coke. But in reality, it highlighted the relationship that has long existed between the highest politicians in the land and the dons who comtrol the constituencies they represent.
The dust might have settled but right now I’m fired up to read K.C Samuels’ recently published ‘Jamaica’s First President Dudus 1992-2010, His Rise, His Reign, His Demise’. It’s a full-length, non-fictional account of the ‘Dudus’ saga and all its intricacies. Published by Pageturner Publishing this 306-page investigative volume aims to chronicle Coke’s life and his role in the epidemic-like level of lawlessness that has plagued Jamaica.
The author’s primary focus is ‘the mother of all garrisons’ – Tivoli Gardens – the power base of successive Jamaica Labour Party Prime Ministers from Edward Seaga onwards and in his preface to the book Samuels declares “The famous and great are many and interesting in their own right, but the infamous seem to possess a different sort of power; they are colourful, dangerously intriguing, and more interesting than we are at times willing to admit.”
Michael Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke is, without doubt, infamous. He is the son of a once dangerous and ruthless JLP enforcer and drug lord, Lester Lloyd Coke aka Jim Brown Coke. ‘Dudus’ grew up wealthy, going to school with children of the country’s political elite but at the age of 22, following the death of his father while in the Kingston Penitentiary and the murder of his older brother, Jah T, he took charge of the Shower Posse, who were known to shower bullets like rain! ‘Dudus’ took over where his father left off, but he also he became “The President” in the community of Tivoli Gardens, distributing money to the area’s poor, creating employment and setting up community centers.
While obviously excited about this book, Pageturner’s Karl Larmond believes, “The watchword or keyword here should be understanding, not sensationalism, but understanding this project and what it is really all about, understanding what happened, how it happened and why it happened, and not from the regular sources of information that we have all become accustomed to, and may even have issues with, but from an independent source, whose only agenda is the freedom of information.”
Seek this book out! I will.