“The house member was appointed to a less-lucrative committee; he plotted the removal of the speaker.” The newscaster said. Mr Adewale reduced the volume as he heard a knock on the door. “Come in.” He ordered and Busola, his secretary came into the office. She wore a long sleeve suit with a single button at the middle and a skirt that reached her knees, with a black moderate heels.
“Here sir.” She dropped a file on his desk. Then he gave her a memo that should be delivered to someone in the attendance office.
“Thank you very much Busola, please tell Peter to see me as soon as possible.” She nodded and bowed a little before leaving.
Mahmoud had arrived at the Presidential Villa with a few guards and three tinted glass vehicles. He was ready to take his wife home that afternoon. In no distant time, her luggage was loaded in the black Range Rovers that stood in the big compound. On their way, they were attacked by some gun men, the guards that followed them were gunned down quickly, in reflex, the car Henrietta and Mahmoud was in, tried to reverse backwards but they got hit by another car and theirs summersaulted.
“And after that, the situation just got even worser. A news is just reaching us right now that,” the newscaster paused when he read from the paper sitting in front of his table. He looked up as if he was afraid to read what he was staring at or maybe it was written in a language he couldn’t understand. “I have a news here that the Presidents daughters convoy was attacked this afternoon by some unknown gun men.”
Mr Adewale switched to the other channels with shocking expression, he didn’t want to believe the other story the newscaster was reporting. He wanted to be sure. “The couples was attacked by gentlemen of the road. So we heard the news. Is the President aware of it? What exactly is happening to the President thus far? People are beginning to ask questions based on the attacks on the President and his family. They are asking what next? Is it that the President and his family are no longer safe? Are the SSS doing their job at all?” The female reporter said and he quickly switched the tv off. Where would he start? He was confused and dizzy, then he shouted for someone, anyone, who was standing outside his office
Victoria was panicking, almost falling to the ground in exasperation and tears. Mr Adewale ordered some guards to take her back to her room, he needed time to think. He paced around the large sitting room, with a hand in his pocket. He knew someone was trying to send a message, for him to be careful. It didn’t scare him, he knew she wouldn’t be harmed. “She hasn’t done anything to anyone.” He thought to himself.
“What do you want to do now?” Jake asked calmly.
Mr Adewale turned to him slowly, then walked up to him. Their height almost the same. “Let’s not take a rash decision,” he added. “I need to talk to the Vice President first.”
“I called his office an hour ago, and they said he wasn’t available at the moment. So I just left an emergency message.” Jake said with his hands behind his back.
“His son was also in the vehicle.” Mr Adewale wondered where Sola had gone to that made him un available at a time like this. His suspicion was wearing off, because he thought this time, Mahmoud was also abducted. He said it was definitely not Sola behind all the attacks. Now he had to focus on another angle, so many people he remember never approved his decision last year. Who would it be now? Why can’t he, she or they, just come directly to him instead of kidnapping his only daughter? He thought to himself.
“I’ll keep trying.”
“Alright Bola.” He said and his son left him pacing around in thoughts.
Meanwhile, the Vice President just arrived in the big compound filled with soldiers as securities at every corner of the big mansion. He was at General Tukur’s residence. He came down from the car and walked straight into the two doors that were right ahead of him. He looked around once more before entering the house.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.” General Tukur said as he stretched out his hand to shake the Vice President. Sola stretched his too and their hands clasped.
“Please sit.” The General sat in his armchair.
“Thank you.” Sola said.
“I know why you’re here. So let’s cut to the chase.” The General said and impatiently drew on a cheroot.
“Okay,” Sola sat forward. “I’m no longer interested in the Presidency.” He made it quick also.
“No longer interested?” General Tukur laughed. And Sola nodded. “Did you remember you were the one who came begging to take power from your rival?” He asked, this time with a strong voice.
“Yes,” Sola exclaimed. “Now things have changed, we have literally become a family. And I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him or his family.”
The General laughed again. “Have you thought of yours safety?”
“How do you mean?” Sola looked confused.
“You haven’t heard the news?” He asked and then took the remote that sat by the left side of his cushion and switched on the tv.
“What have you done!” Sola beckoned as he glared at the tv.
“No. You did this yourself. You did by joining your blood with his.” General Tukur said and Sola was uncomfortable on his seat. The air conditioner that stood by his side couldn’t stop the heat that he had started feeling inside. “This is a warning to the both of you,” the General added. “You’re either with us or against us, remember in this game there’s no love. Either kill or be killed.”
“Your son and his wife will be released. Adewale has to surrender his seat or we will take it by force. I have a lot of people that are willing to sit there and abide by my rules and regulations.” He finished and drew hard on his cheroot.
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Back at the Presidential Villa, Mr Adewale had tried to console his wife. She cried all day as if she was told that they had been killed. But thank God they weren’t.
“Calm down Bimpe, they are fine.” He assured her.
“Really? How do you know Wale? Hmm?” She asked. He really didn’t, but he wished they were. It was a thought to keep himself calm, to console himself deep inside.
“They will be.” He rephrased.
“I just don’t get it, I don’t longer understand anything,” She started. “I’ve never seen something like this happen to a President. People talk about you on tv the way they like, insult you on the Internet and rally against you and all you do is nothing. What kind of President are you? People only understand violence these days. You’re too soft on them.” She said angrily.
“Violence doesn’t solve anything Bimpe. And I’m handling it.”
“You’ve been Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jnr, and even Abraham Lincoln. It’s time to be people like General Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Who ruled with iron fists to put the nation together. With things happening like this, things might get out of your control. And I’m sure you don’t want what happened to Rwanda to happen to your country.” She warned.
“God forbid Bimpe, don’t talk like that.” He drew her into his arms. His eyes flicked up as if he could see God. He believed everything would be fine soon, and he also knew she said all those things out of the pain and anger she’s feeling.
Just then the door opened and Kemi walked in with a little pace. The reddish color of her eyes showed that she had been crying too. Immediately they hugged each other with Victoria. Mr Adewale cleared his throat and walked out of the room, giving them some privacy. He turned and looked at Jack who was waiting for him by the door. “The Vice President is here sir.” He announced.
“Finally.” Mr Adewale rolled his eyes and walked quickly to the sitting room where he found Sola pacing from the wall to the cushions. “I have tried calling you all day today Sola.” He walked and sat down, Sola also sat down at the other side. No time for handshakes or greetings or even asking what he would take. The matter at hand was far too important than any unimportant questions of what he would like to eat or drink.
The Vice President thought of a way to tell him that he was somewhat involved in everything that had been happening for the past few months. He tried to, but he couldn’t find the right words or where to start. What would happen next? How would the President see him? What would happen to his position? He had come too far to lose everything now. He thought of these and decided to keep it to himself. So he pretended as if he didn’t know anything, although he was trying to solve everything before it got out of hand. But by the look of things, it already has. He still believed something could be worked out between the General and the others. Because he knew Mr Adewale was a dead man walking if they decide to strike with a full force.
To be continued