The Devil Who Loved Me ~Episode 6


​In mini-campus, the gun shots were all they were talking about, though we hadn’t recorded any casualty, students exaggerated the entire incidence; some saying as many as 3 students were killed. Since it was Monday morning, I tried forgetting about everything elections and focus on my studies. I had Bot-305 from 9-11, Toun as usual was beside me gisting me on how she and Abayomi spent it. The lecturer was running late as usual when we heard beatings of drums from outside the auditorium, then some students danced into the lecture hall. At the middle of the dancing was National. He was dressed in buba and sokoto..He went to the front of the auditorium to address us.. 
“Great Nigerian students!”
 “great!”, students replied 
“I am here to give you important reasons why you should vote for me as the next SUG president of this great institution. Just like you, I am tired of the lies, corruption and incompetence that have corroded the institution known as the SUG. I am fed up of the students not having a voice to fight for them when the authorities come up with painful policies. I cannot sleep at night because of the insecurity the entire student body faces, our lecture halls are overcrowded, our library books are outdated, and we don’t have a proper school transport system”
 Students were excited; he had gotten their attention…
 “it is a shame that we don’t have a school hostel, even with the amount of money the government is pumping into the school, it’s a pity that our graduates might have to wait 3/4 yrs. before they can get their certificates..i say all these must stop!!!!!!!!” 
The students started banging the table. They were excited.. 
“I am your man, my government will serve you, we will listen to you…we are not far away from you…most especially….we are you!!!!” 
Students couldn’t take it anymore; they lifted National up high, shouting “you have won”
 I looked at this foolish students in my class, have they forgotten I was running for vice-president for Abayomi?..i mentally noted all the chief dancers in my class..
 Toun: see this people o…don’t they know my boyfriend is running again? 
Me: don’t mind them o.. I picked up my phone and dialed Abayomi’s number 
Me: boss, you have to come to mini-campus o, National is campaigning here…abeg come 
Abayomi: I am coming, call Timi, and tell him to meet me there in 15 min Okay, it’s been more than a year I had dialed those digits, I hadn’t forgotten any digit 
Me: come to mini-campus, Abayomi wants you here with him.. 
Timi: I am here. 
Me: where? 
Timi: at the back of the hall you are seated in.. 
I turned back to verify his claim…true to his word, he was there, in a white shirt and blue jeans..
 Timi: I have been following National’s train. Having a feel of him 
Me: and what do you think, Do you think we still have a chance?
 Timi: you have always have a chance 
Me: whatever mehn….hope you have propped Abayomi for the speech he must deliver..
 Timi: not at all…I have other plans.. 
National and his people were already leaving the auditorium, with a thunderous applause in their wake…. 
Timi: that’s my cue…I am next…you should be ready 
Me: next for wha….. He hung up…I saw him go to the front of the stage…Toun looked at me surprised… Timi started.. 
“Greatest Nigerian students!” 
“great!” students replied
 “greatest Gbo Gbo”
 “Gbo Gbo”, they replied
 “greatest gba gba” 
“Gba Gba” they replied 
‘Greatest shhhhhhhhhh” 
“shhhhhhhhh”… There was pin drop silence…then Timi started talking. Most students wanted to hear what Timi had to say, they knew National, they knew Abayomi…they knew Timi was associated with a candidate, they wanted to hear what he had for them.
 “I am standing here not on behalf of myself but on behalf of people who really want change in this school. I am not going to sugar-coat any words or give promises, I will tell you about this people and why they deserve a chance to serve you.”
 With the silence in the hall, you could hear if two mosquitoes were straffing.. 
“what is the biggest problem we face as a student body?…some of you say security, others say are not far from it, but we think the biggest problem we face as a student body is the right to be a student of this great institution. We are all seated in this auditorium…but how many of us have completed the payment of our fees?. Many brilliant people among us have no idea if they would be allowed to write the examinations due to non-payment of fees, the economy of Nigeria is bad, our parents are doing their best…but some of them can’t afford it because it is too expensive” 
A couple of “yes”…”beeni”..could be heard.
 “this is 2007, you are still being forced to buy books that are free online, this is 2007, the campus doesn’t have a wireless network, even schools not as prestigious as this have that!” Students started clapping
 “If with the limited resources provided to you, you guys can still excel tremendously in your various fields, imagine if you had the required resources!
 Students were on their feet..clapping in unision
 “ imagine if you didn’t have to worry about excessive school fees only about your studies and exams!” 
“solidarity forever….” Hymns started in the background 
“imagine if everybody was free to roam the streets of Ago-iwoye, ijebu-oru and ijebu-igbo anytime, because the school has its own police station, roaming the streets …providing security”..
 I didn’t know what Timi had smoked to the lecture hall…but he was on fire
 “lemme tell you about somebody, when we were in 100L, during Chemistry practical exams, we had limited amount of Petri-dishes and conical-flasks…the department said there was nothing they could do about it until they got resources from the school, so the exams was to be post-poned.., an anonymous student went to Lagos that very afternoon and by the next day, brought this items for the chemistry-lab. This is not hear say…this student gave me the items to deliver myself”
 Many students remembered the episode but when the items were brought in, they had imagined the school had rescued them. Of cuz I remembered the episode… 
“National and his colleagues held this mic some minutes ago to address you, what they didn’t know was that this wonderful mic that we use today without saying “testing testing 123” like before was provided by a student anonymously, when the department started dragging their feet on getting a new one” 
Astonishing looks spread across the hall 
“though this person would like to remain anonymous…I refuse to let it remain so!” 
The students started clamouring “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
 “I present to you a girl, who has never waited for people to hand her things, but have instead provided things for people…for the hungry…she gave food…for the distressed, she gave a listening ear…and for the dancers…if you were with us on Saturday she gave music!” 
People started laughting.. “and most especially…her most important gift…was her love. She is running as the vice-president for Abayomi… I present to you Ms Tana Dike!” 
The applause was so loud, i didn’t hear on time that my name was being chanted…
 “Tana!….Tana!….Tana!….all eyes were on me…
Timi stretched his hand beckoning on me to come to the front. Even Toun was cheering me up .. When I got to where he was, I know a reasonable person was supposed to say “thank you”, but I didn’t…instead I hugged him.. i hugged Timi.. Abayomi didn’t need to utter a word when he breezed into the hall, he got cheers and a lot of unknown handshakes. He came beside me, grinning sheepishly.. 
Abayomi: what are all these about 
Me: ask your campaign manager…he swept everybody off their feet 
Abayomi: including you? 
Me: yes.. 
He stupidly winked at me. Dr Nnamdi, the lecturer taking Bot 305 came into the auditorium, bringing to an end a very eventful morning. 
After lectures I proceeded to the kakadu, Oru, to have a meeting with Abayomi as regards the incidence that happened during the rally on Saturday. He was seated with a bottle of dry gin and a bottle of coke 
Me: drinking so early..what is happening boss? 
Abayomi: we have to sort out our security
 Me: yes I agree..
 Abayomi: what do you want to drink? 
Me: Schweppes lemon.. 
Abayomi: I heard it ain’t good for your health or so 
Me: I don’t have balls mahn….plus I think it’s just rumor’s. No medical fact. 
Abayomi: I think we should take uche’s offer.. 
Me: I am not comfortable with it 
Abayomi: I listen to your fears regularly and you know it, but I think this risk is worth it, we have just five weeks before the election…we need the money and the security 
Me: but the monopoly is what I don’t like, what of other people that would want to start up their own game centres or cd stands? 
Abayomi: how many game centres do you want in a campus sef?..this is a campus o.. 
Me: Abayomi, you have the right to accept their offer without asking for my attention, what is it you want? 
Abayomi: I want us to reach an agreement together
 Me: you won’t get that. I am sorry.. 
Abayomi: Uche gave me till this afternoon, or they would shift camp to National’s.. 
Me: do what you have to to..i won’t support it..
 Abayomi: please na.. 
Me: don’t beg me jor..i might not agree with you. But you know I will have your back. Abayomi sipped his drink cooly, looked at me for a while then picked up his phone..
 Abayomi( on phone):
 uche how far? …..mehn…I dey o.. ….yes I just finished talking to my people now… …….no deal bro…the monopoly thing is the sticky part.. …..yes I am sure ……I am sorry bro.. …no problem…National is all yours… ….i will take my chance bro… He hung up.. 
Though I felt bad I had put Abayomi in a tight position…he reminded me why he was my best friend.
 To be continued