Story: Presidential Villa

Story By Abdu Rahman Muhammad

    Episode 1

    The darkest part of the night is just before the dawn….or is it that the brightest days occur before the darkest nights.

    The bride was gorgeously dressed for the party, she was wearing the point de Flandre gown. A pure white lace with graceful, rhythmic patterns of leaves, flowers, and scrolls. And the matching Honiton-lace cotton down the gown which allowed her legs and the heels she wore to be in full view. With a small orange blossom wreath placed on her hair. Her father had paid handsomely for it.
    Walking slowly amidst the crowded hall with every male dancing with his female partner. Gloria glared up at the chandeliers that hung low from the high cemented roof, and finally sat at the bar and ordered for a shot. Red wine, Tequila, or Effen were out of the option, she always took shots whenever she wanted to do something terrible and tonight it was her intent.
    Raising the small glass cup filled to the brim, Gloria toasted silently to Mr Adewale, who was standing above the hall with two black men in black suits and dark shades like blind people, standing at his back with hands interlocked behind.

    “What is she doing here? I thought we had an agreement with her.”
    Jake asked his father. Jake was his first son and in his mid thirties, he was a fine young man, people compared him to his father because of his looks but his complexion, he got from his mother.
    Jake wasn’t married and didn’t plan to be, he always thought it was hard to be shackled to another person especially a woman. Whom he feared but not physically. He lived his life to the fullest, he had so many girls and guys (gays) who also were interested in him in an exotic sort of way. But he was strictly the women type, he had principles of himself and didn’t take shit from anyone, and certainly not from women like Gloria.

    “Me too,” Mr Adewale finally replied after minutes of staring down at the exotic looking lady seated at the bar by his left. “But Gloria is not like the rest, she never negotiate.” He sighed as he looked to his son. They shared a look and back to the lady downstairs.
    He nodded. “Okay, so what do you want us to do?”
    “Nothing.”
    “Nothing?”
    “Yes, nothing,” he repeated. “She’s already in and we can’t force her out.”
    “What exactly does she have on you that’s making you play by her rules? For heavens sake you’re the President.” Jake asked with curiosity as he glanced back at the two tall guards behind them who didn’t look like humans, he always looked at them like a statue because they could stay like that the whole day without moving unless ordered to.
    “You don’t do anything, you hear me?” Mr Adewale made it very discretely clear. No harm to come to the lady.
    “Yes sir.” He obeyed.
    “Good,” he straightened and thrusted a hand in his trouser pocket. “Where is your mother?” He asked.
    “She was getting ready when I left her quarters.” He answered.
    “Alright,” he returned as if he forgot something. “And don’t let your sister out of your sight.”
    “But the securities are all over the place, she’s safe.” Jake wondered.
    “Oh, your enemies are smarter than you, they always will be. You just have to be cautious.” He warned. He had always told him that since he was a little boy. “Don’t let her out of your sight.” He repeated and walked away with the two guards accompanying him. They took every step, every inch, everywhere he went or entered. They were the most trusted of his guards, they would die before they would say his name to his enemy.
    “Understood.” Jake replied, to his back. He moved his long sleeve back from his left hand a little to check the time, it was just 9pm, the wedding party had soon to start any minute from now.
    Jake quickly attacked his bow tie like it offended him, he was suddenly not interested in fashion anymore. He removed the tie and threw it in a bin close to the door, and then unbuttoned his shirt from the top which choked him a bit.

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    Meanwhile, Henrietta (Bisi) his sister, the bride. She kept on hugging and greeting the guest and well wishers down the hall with her gown packed in her hands. Mahmoud, the groom. Followed behind her as he shook his friends, family members and some people he hadn’t even seen before. It’s marriage, unexpected and un invited guests will always come. It’s like a small tradition in Nigeria, and I’m certain Africa as a whole. You don’t need to invite them before they come, they know you have an occasion a month to.
    But this was different, it’s strictly by invitation, those he didn’t know were some of his friends friends and so on. You can’t barge into a President daughter’s wedding without being invited, it doesn’t happen anywhere in the world.

    Still exchanging pleasantries, they finally got to the front, the wall was decorated with yellow and white clothing and balloons hung over all four corners, with lovely brown bougainvillea. It was sweet, and romantic from the view.

    He was also wearing a suit, he had wore a traditional blue colored see through attire (agbada) and a long cap on their traditional Union last week at his parents house. And today he’s wearing a suit for the party, his bow tie was light blue with dark suit, long trousers, and a very black shiny shoes that reflected from the lights that flashed on it. They both looked lovely.

    Mahmoud had asked Jake to be his best man, but now he couldn’t find him anywhere, he kept on stretching every second as if something was not right or he wasn’t comfortable in his seat.
    “What’s the matter? You’ve been looking all over, what’s wrong?” She whispered to him.

    “I can’t find your brother,” he answered still stretching his neck side to side. “He said he would be here.”
    “I told you to give that best man thing to one of your friends and you still went along to give Jake,” Henrietta scoffed. “Someone who’s never serious for once.” She muttered to herself.
    “Wait here.” Mr Adewale ordered his two escorts and they each stood by the side of the door, glaring at the stairs for who is coming. Or maybe the roof or the walls. No, probably they sleep behind those shades, no one knows if they actually see in those.
    Mr Adewale sang some love songs before he started praising his wife in Yoruba. Victoria “Bimpe” was sitting in front of the large mirror that looked like it would swallow her, beside her were the two makeup artists she hired, they seemed to be doing their job perfectly because she looked stunning and younger. Something he also paid handsomely for.
    “Give us a moment please.” She said and the artists left their tools on the mirror and retreated the room. He watched as they closed the door gently, then he stood behind her with his hands on her shoulders. He looked worried even with the fake smile he had on his aging handsome face. She thought.

    “Is everything alright.”
    “Of course, everything is perfect,” he added. “Everything is just how you planned it.”
    “Is he here yet?” She asked.
    “Sola,” he moved away from the mirror to the bed. “I don’t think he will come.”
    “But why? I thought the both of you are good with each other.” She was concerned.
    “My dear, you know how this thing is. I disapproved his proposal, and definitely he wasn’t happy about it.” Mr Adewale sounded calm now, as he touched his phone’s screen gently with his middle finger.
    “I know he will still come,” she stood up to meet him. “I’m sure of it, let’s just wait a little.”
    “Bimpe! we have waited enough. The bride and her husband are even getting tired, and so are the people downstairs!” His voice rose to a near shout. You could hear them talking but the door wouldn’t allow you to hear exactly what they are saying, all the guards heard were thick mumbled voices from inside. “I shouldn’t have approved to this wedding in the first place.”
    “No! Don’t say such a thing,” she sat closer and reached for his right hand. “They both love and care for each other, and that is all that matters.” She tried to calm him.
    “But the family name matters too Bimpe” he said but this time in low tone.
    “Yes it does. But they are not children anymore, they made a decision for themselves and a right one,” she added. “All we have to do is support them.”
    “I’m sure Sola also didn’t approve in the first place, even though he later changed his mind. I just wondered how Bisi fell in love with his son, when she knew___”
    “I’m sorry sir, the Vice President is here.” One of the guard said as he opened the door a crack.
    “Alright, thank you.” Mr Adewale said and sighed deeply.
    “I told you he will be here, he could never miss his son’s wedding party,” Victoria had a smile. “I’ll finish up here and meet you two later.”
    “Alright, and you look beautiful by the way.” He pecked her and left. Her makeup artists retuned aftermath and continued to work their magic on her.

    Episode 2

    “Bring him to my office.” He whispered to one of his guards and he nodded.
    The guard opened the door and the vice and his wife walked in accompanied by his escorts. “Ah, Kemi,” Mr Adewale extended his hands. “I’m happy you’re here, welcome.” He embraced her briefly and asked a guard to take her to his wife.
    “Sola.” He extended his right hand and they shook. Their hands bounced with slow motion in the air.
    “Mr President.” Sola said.
    “Oh please, quit the formalities. We are a family now.” Even as both of them hate the sound of Mr Adewale’s last sentence, they couldn’t do anything about it. At least not anymore.
    “Wait outside.” Sola said to his guard and he went out and closed the door behind him.
    “A drink?” Mr Adewale said as he walked to his dark brown table. He took a stylish glass of wine which always sat on his desk, and removed two glass cups from his desk’s drawer to pour some wine in them. Sola walked to him as he offered him a glass, then they both sat on each end of the desk. They were both dressed in attires

    Sola was wearing an (agbada) a big long loose-fitting gown that covered from his neck down to his knees. Sitting quietly for a moment, they glanced at each other from where they sat. Mr Adewale and Sola were best of friends but things changed when Sola became his Vice, and to his surprise, Sola never wanted to heed his authority. He always had another agenda of his own, a chapter, a dark page, no one knew about. Mr Adewale always wished he could read minds so as to read Sola’s mind for a minute and he knew what he would find would be devastating and shocking.

    “I didn’t see Taye, is she here?” Mr Adewale brought a topic.
    “She’s downstairs, we came together.” Sola answered with a strong tone.
    “Oh that’s nice, it’s been long I saw her.” Mr Adewale conceded with a laugh. Later on he sipped from his cup.
    “So, how’s the bridge construction for the six states going?” Sola brought up his own topic, his was more serious. They were not going to sit there and talk about his only daughter. He thought.
    “It’s going well. As a matter of fact, It’s going very well. You know I was right about giving the contract to Alhaji Bala.” Mr Adewale said. Alhaji Bala was the minister of works.
    “Yes,” Sola swallowed a wine down the knot that formed in his throat. “It was a good idea.” He added.
    “Wow, I can’t believe this,” Mr Adewale stood from his chair and descended to the window with his glass cup in one hand.
    “What.” Sola turned to where Mr Adewale stood.
    “That we would be in laws in the future.” Mr Adewale said looking out the window.
    “I guess sometimes a man has to surrender to fate.” Sola replied.
    “Right.” Mr Adewale drank from his cup again and peered through the window.
    *******
    Jake was still standing above the crowded hall, it was getting more crowded and he was finding it difficult to locate his sister with his eyes. Although she and her husband looked safe and sound. He quickly spin his head to his right as he heard a pair of heels walking up to him from behind.
    “Hey you.” Taye said with a hug. Taye and Jake grew and played together, she was 16 when she started having feelings for him. He knew but never took it serious till date, she always talked about marriage whenever they meet and it always made him uncomfortable. She realized he was not into the marriage thingy at the moment, so she left him alone, In fact she had joined his league of “singles who mingle”.

    Now they are just friends with benefits. Tonight she’s wearing a tight red armless gown that only stopped at her lap, half of her lap down the rest of her body was visible. And a silver purse with red six inch Modato heels, even though she wasn’t a short person.

    “Hi,” Jake returned with a kiss on her lips that was painted with red glossy lipstick. “How’re you?” He asked.
    “I’m fine. What’re you doing up here by yourself? Don’t tell me you have already spotted someone for tonight.” She joked.
    “No! No, I’m looking out for my sister.” He answered with his eyes fixed on Henrietta.
    “Oh not this again,” she complained with her hand on his shoulder. “Bisi is a big girl now and she doesn’t need any watching.”
    “She will always need our protection, she’s the baby of the house. And I got the order directly from my dad, so I have to obey.” He looked serious now.
    “There are securities everywhere, SSS, you name them.” She said.
    “So I told the President, but it’s like he’s still not satisfied with all the securities he has,” Jake added. “I’m sure if he could have a thousand more, he would want them.”
    “You’re so funny,” she busted in laughter. “I know right, the house is too noisy with them around, you can’t have privacy, you can’t even sneak out without them knowing and telling. So boring.” She finished.
    “Are you here with someone?” He asked looking back.
    “Nope, father has warned about hanging out with Sam, so I came alone,” she placed a hand on his chest as she moved to face him.
    “Not now, I have to__”
    She silenced him with a deep kiss. “I’ll be in your room.” She whispered and he glared at her from behind as she cat walked away.
    He cleared his throat with a shake of his head to enable him to focus, but his mind was drawing him to the temptation. He was a man, he couldn’t resist, we always find it hard to. “Ten minutes and I’m back, just ten minutes,” he repeated those words as a warning to himself. “I’ll be back Bisi.” He said silently and left in a hurry.
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    **********

    Victoria couldn’t but endure the pleasure of the talkative woman, Kemi had been talking since she entered the room. Victoria was done with her makeup and her dressing, she wore a native too (a see through lace) and a head tie that was wide as a flag. “What would you like to eat? Victoria asked.
    “Anything is okay, or what do you have?” Kemi asked back.
    “Ah, we have everything,” she paused. “Hold on, Wasila!” she shouted for her maid.
    “Yes ma.” Wasila entered the room quickly and bowed as she greeted Kemi.
    “Ekale, salafia ni?”
    “Adupe ma.” Wasila answered curtseying.
    “Tell her what we have.” Victoria said.
    “Em, we have elubo with egusi, vegetable soup, goat stew, moin moin, ogi, jollof rice, fried rice___”
    “Just give me elubo with vegetable soup.” Kemi interrupted.
    “Yes ma.” Wasila said and went out.
    “Mo mbo.” Victoria quickly rushed out. Leaving Kemi sitting on the king sized bed, she then removed her shoes and laid her back on one of the soft white colored pillows.
    *******
    The President and the Vice President had a lot of discussion about a lot of things and the development of the country. They both knew it was all they could talk about that wouldn’t make the conversation boring or stepping on one’s toe.
    “I think the party has began,” Mr Adewale swallowed the last wine from his cup and walked to his desk. “We must be needed downstairs.” He said.

    “Of course.” Sola replied and drank his own wine then stood up and followed Mr Adewale down the stairs. The Vice, Sola. Was not a man of many words, although he talks when surrounded by people who loves him and his opinions. But he had never trusted the President, Mr Adewale. Who he always thought wanted to see his downfall, Mr Adewale however always thought the same too. But now that they have joined union with the two families, (the Adewales and the Solas). He thought it would end their misunderstandings and hatred. Could foes become friends? Mr Adewale thought to himself as they both entered the crowded hall, shaking and waving the families and well wishers that had come to the wedding party.
    “Thank you very much.” Mr Adewale laughed with the minister of women affairs as their hands clasped together in greeting. “Thank you for coming.” He said to the others that lined up. Even though he could barely stand because of the crowd, pushing and the press trying to capture the moment altogether.
    The SSS were doing their work of protecting him and his family, walking shoulder to shoulder with him as he shook the people his hand was able to reach. Sola did the same and sat on the front row V.I.P seat that was covered with white cloth to the ground, two glass cups, soft drinks and bottled water, with a memo that he opened and began to read the events of the evening.

    The mothers also came down stairs and they both sat close to their husbands. The Solas were by the left and the Adewales were by the right, suddenly the lights deemed and the spot light was on the bride and the groom who were sitting in front of everyone. It was dark but visible to the eyes, moreover the shots from the paparazzi’s was enough for someone to find his lost needle on the floor.

    The M.C had talked for a view minutes and invited the President to come up and speak. He did. Applauds filled the air as he walked up, just standing there with smiles written all over his face. He paused and looked at his wife and then to the bride and her groom. “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,” he boomed. “I want to thank you all for coming, and I want to thank God for this gathering, for sparing our lives to see this wonderful moment, and also to my foreign guests who came from far and near____”
    **

    The incessant mourning from inside the room was making the guard standing by the door irritated and uncomfortable. The event had started, but Jake and Taye had lost track of time. Do they even care? The guard wondered. No they don’t. He thought again. The noise died down finally, and he could hear as they both laughed drunkly together, as much as he hated it, he had to tell him the event had already started. So he opened the door a little to find Jake zipping up his trousers, the guard only showed his head in the room as the rest of his body stood outside. “They have started.” He announced.
    **

    “And finally to my son Bola, who you all call Jake. You know we Yorubas always have more than one name,” Mr Adewale joked and the room was charged with a brief laughter. “It’s true,” he continued with a cup in his hand. “I’m very happy with the man he’s turned into today___”
    Jake and Taye rushed out through the hall as they heard people clapping and laughing. They definitely knew they should be there or it was going to cause alarm. “The president is so going to kill me.” Jake confessed as he put on his left pair of shoe and went downstairs. Which was filled to brim with people, he couldn’t see Gloria, he surveyed the hall but it was just too crowded to see a single soul, he saw faces quite alright but not whom he was searching for.
    “Cheers.” The president said and Gloria quickly snatched the cup from his hand. Everybody paused in surprise, who was the drunk young lady who could barely stand on her feet? They all began to wonder and murmured to each other, the spot light was directed at her immediately.
    “A toast again people,” Gloria said with her hand raised up and the people followed. “To the President, a very good and caring man,” she looked at him. “May you live long enough to see your enemies fall.” She said and drank all of the red wine. A second was all it took for the microphone in her hand to fall and then the glass cup followed quickly to the ground also and shattered. The president moved back a bit, the crowd became silent, they all froze as Gloria began to choke and fell to the floor. They all stared in anticipation, no one drank from their cups anymore, suddenly the crowd was noisy and some wanted to see what was happening.
    The paparazzi’s were taken photo shots as usual, Mr Adewale was in the middle with Gloria, he was protected from the crowd by his SSS, they kept pushing the crowd back and they also returned. They just wanted to see what was happening at the middle that was surrounded by securities. A minute later after trying to wake her up, Gloria started shaking very fast, with white and red foam coming out of her mouth and eyes.

    “Who did this?” Mr Adewale asked with curiosity. “Talk to me Gloria, who is it?” He urged her to speak but she couldn’t. She only pointed to the crowded hall filled with people who were in shock. Then she rested her head slowly on his arms as her breath seized. She was dead.

    Episode 3

    The incident was on the news all over the country and abroad. It was in the Vanguard, Daily Trust, The Sun, and a host of other news papers the next morning, every crook and corner in Nigeria had heard the story of the attempted attack on the presidents life that failed and another person who had died in his stead.

    “The question everyone is asking right now is, who would make an attempt on the presidents life? Is he safe? Are his family? No news has come out of the presidential villa since the incident last night. As you can see people are gathered to know exactly what happened and how the late Mrs Gloria drank a cup filled with poison which was for the president. I’m Stella Ochekpe for TVC news, reporting from Abuja.”

    “God!” The First Lady exclaimed. “Who would have done such a terrible thing.” She said.
    “That poison was for me.” The President said with his jaw on his interlocked fingers.
    “Thank God you’re safe.” Jake said as he stood above his sister.
    “You useless fool, I told you to watch your sister and her husband. Didn’t I? Where were you when all this happened? What if it was her drink that was poisoned?!”
    “Calm down Wale, it wasn’t his fault,” Victoria went and sat with him. “The lady came out of the blue like she knew exactly what was in the cup. Who was she anyway? Did you by any chance recognized her?” She asked.
    “No! I didn’t. Its like you said, she just came out of the blue.” The president turned to his son and they both shared a suspicious gaze.
    “What do you plan on telling the nation now? Or you want a written speech? I can write you one.” She volunteered.
    “No, no. I’ve told Charles to talk to the press later today, I have to think about something to say by tomorrow.” He said. Charles Chukwuma was the minister of Information.
    “I want to be with my husband.” Henrietta fussed. And all eyes turned to her.
    “No, it’s best you stay here where I can protect you.” The president said.
    “I’m sure your husband is fine, he’s also with his family which is safer at the moment before this heat calms down.” Victoria added.
    *****

    While the news was still roaming around earth, the video was posted on the Internet by someone and it went viral on YouTube, Aljazeera, BBC and rest. The president got calls from presidents of other countries and governors of his own country, those who couldn’t attend and some friends in diaspora. All hoping he was safe from any danger and if they could help, everyone seemed to wish him well. Who would it be then? Everyone I know seems to be worried about my safety, but only Vice President Sola hadn’t called him. A thought crossed his mind. By the way Sola had said something like
    “I guess sometimes a man has to surrender to fate.”

    What did he meant? He didn’t know. He also didn’t look shock when everything happened, he just left as if nothing had happened, or was he angry that his plan failed? Why didn’t Gloria tell him why she was there in the first place? His head wanted to explode with these questions, then he heard a knock on the door which saved him from the paranoia growing in his head about his new in law.

    “From foes to friends.” He muttered to himself as he attended to the knock that grew insistent. “Yes?”
    “I’m sorry to disturb Mr President.” Jack said.
    “It’s alright Jack, what is it?” He wasn’t interested in his apologies.
    “You have a phone call from the President of the United States. He’s on the phone in the other room, I can transfer the call if you want.” Jack said.
    “Don’t worry Jack, I’ll take it there. Thank you.” He replied.
    “Are you alright sir?” Jack stood firm as the President looked at him.
    “I don’t know what they say when someone try to kill you on your daughter’s wedding party,” he sighed. “I’m sorry Jack, I don’t know how to answer that question.”
    “I understand sir.” Jack said in a soft tone without looking at his face. Then they walked together to the room, it was more like an office, Jack stood outside the door.
    The president sighed again as he sat down, his eyes flicked up at the plasma tv on the wall. “It’s been 18hours since the incident and still no word from President Adewale. People are beginning to run out of patience as fake stories are being posted on the Internet by random individuals all over the world. From the Presidential Villa here in Abuja, I’m Esther___” the president quickly turned the tv off, he then moved both hands across his face, he was getting fed up of everything. Straightening, he cleared his throat and pressed on a number on the telephone.
    “Hello.” He said.
    “Mr President, it’s a relief to hear your voice___” the President of the United States began.
    Meanwhile, Jake and his sister were the only ones in the sitting room. Jake kept changing the channels as each gave their own side of the story about the terrible thing that happened at the Villa last night. “A murder attempt on the presidents life.” Was written boldly below on the tv screen.
    “These people.” Jake scoffed and continued changing them.
    “Where exactly where you?”
    “I’m sorry?” He lowered the volume and turned to Henrietta.
    She sat with legs stretched as if she was tired of them, and she also bit her thumb finger slowly. “Where were you when it happened? Father said you were supposed to be watching but you weren’t, where were you?” She sounded like their mother.
    “I had to go to the toilet.” He lied. She knew.
    “Liar! I saw you and Taye kissing. I knew she would do something to distract you when she passed the crowd,” she added. “And why tell Mahmoud that you will be his best man when you know you can’t put up to the task. He kept looking for you.” She finished.
    “Look Bisi, this should be the first and last time you talk to me in that manner. What is wrong with you?! He was angry. “And besides I told your so called husband that I couldn’t do it, and he still went and said I was his best man. What else could I do?”
    “Mahmoud is not “so called” and don’t ever call him that!” She shouted at him.
    “Whatever,” he suddenly looked calm. She was now the eldest. “If you like swallow everything, at least you’re safe and sound. That’s all that matters to all of us.” He threw the remote control on the couch he stood up from, and left the sitting room.
    “Ode!” She cursed.
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    *****

    Mr Adewale was on the king sized bed when Victoria came in, he was laying on the side of the bed with a hand raised across his head, thinking. “Did you noticed that Sola hasn’t called me since last night?”
    “Is he supposed to?” Victoria returned. Sitting on a small chair in front of her large mirror, she bent to her right to remove her gold colored heel, then to the left.
    “What do you mean by that?” Mr Adewale was curios now as he sat well with his right leg folded and a hand on the bed this time.
    He had misunderstood her sentence, Victoria sighed as she removed her two earrings that shared the same color as her heels. She then turned slowly to face him from where he sat.
    “I meant, it’s Sola. We all know him. So don’t be surprised if he doesn’t call you. And if he still doesn’t by tomorrow, I suggest you call him.”

    “Ah,” he moved back a bit. The suggestion wasn’t quite right to him in every way he viewed it. “Why should I? I was the one who could’ve been poisoned,” he said after muttering inside. “Come to think of it, did you notice anything last night?”
    “Like what?” She asked, this time jumping on the bed with him after changing into her glossy color blue sleeping gown which had tiny hands that rested freely on her shoulders.
    “That he might be the one who tried to poison me. Fear and worry wasn’t on his face when people began to panic. Or what do you think?” She shook her head in disagreement. “Bami soro Bimpe.” He said as she wasn’t confirming his hypothesis.
    “Sola is many things, yes. But to try and kill you? I doubt,” she added. “And mind you it’s time you start seeing Sola as a brother, I told you before that it’s this kind of thoughts and accusations that leads people around you to hate you. You can’t keep suspecting and accusing Sola for every bad thing that happens in this country, there are others too, you know.” She finished.
    He sighed loudly and looked at the time, it was late. “Alright, if that’s what you think then I’ll stop accusing him of everything. But at least he should have called, Sola is too stubborn.” He thought out loud.
    “I wrote a speech for you few hours ago.” Victoria rolled to her side and she rested on her arm for support as she opened a drawer by the side of the bed and brought out a long C4 paper and began to read it to him. He only sat quietly and listened, glaring at her as she demonstrated with her hand. Even though he had told her not to worry about the speech, she still went and stressed herself to. It wasn’t much though as he listened but very soothing and strong words for the people to know that the President is really doing something about the situation and that investigations are ongoing and the culprit will be caught as soon as possible.
    “Ah, Bimpe. E seun gan.” He thanked her so much, and he showed it in every single way. Thankfulness is also a part and parcel of rekindling a marriage.
    “I love you too.” She returned.

    Episode 4

    The next morning, he was in his office when Jack announced to him that the crew were ready. He removed his reading glasses and kept it on his desk. He was correcting one or two grammatical errors from the speech, immediately he stood up with a sigh as he walked pass Jack. Soon they arrived at the room and Jack waited just outside the door as usual, the room was dark and the camera light flashed him from where he sat.
    “Ready sir?” The cameraman said, and he nodded. “One, two, three. Go.” the cameraman said and he began.
    “Good morning, my fellow Nigerians___”
    *****
    Mahmoud ran to his parents bedroom and switched on the tv that hung on the vast yellow colored wall with English and Nigerian paintings. Some were on the ground, by the small desk where his father always read his newspapers.
    “When will you learn to knock?” Kemi scolded.
    “I’m sorry mother, but the President is on, he’s addressing the nation.” Mahmoud announced.
    Sola shifted to the brim of the bed with shock. “What? Now? What channel?” He asked bemused.
    “All seven of them.” Mahmoud answered and quickly pressed the remote again.
    There he was, the President of Nigeria. He looked calm, strong, focused, and also good looking even though he’s clicking 57 next week. “I and my family are safe. Yes, no one knows how the poison got into my drink. But know this, no one will come after the President of the nation and goes scot free, investigations are going on and you will have feedback soon.” He paused and continued. “I’ve seen the videos on the Internet, and the stories written there. It’s all a farce, don’t let the Internet woo you into believing things that aren’t TRUE.”
    “But who would want to poison the President.” Mahmoud asked with folded hands, still watching the tv.
    “I wonder, it’s very confusing. No one was supposed to disrupt the party.” Sola muttered.
    “What do you mean?” Kemi asked from the back and he turned to her with a worried look.
    “Nothing, I’m just saying.”
    “This thing is still confusing and scary. A man like Mr Adewale is very hard to come by in this political period we are today. Especially as a President. Such kind and caring man.” Mahmoud commended.
    “Son, no matter how nice you are, there’s definitely someone out there that you don’t know of, who hates and despises you. You don’t have to be rich or poor, it’s just the way of life.” He sounded serious as they shared an understanding look.
    “I can’t wait for my wife to come later today. Or I’ll go and visit the Adewales and offer our own part of the___”
    “Wa. out of my room!” Kemi said, urging him out.
    “But mother I haven’t finish.” He said.
    “You can finish it outside,” she collected the remote from him and threw it on the table. “Next time you should learn how to knock before you barge into someone’s room.” Kemi finished and slammed the door at his face.
    Walking to the bathroom by the corner of the room, she saw the same worry on Sola’s face again. He was deep in his thoughts. “Is everything alright?” She asked standing beside the door with a hand placed on the wall. “Sola!”
    “Mm,” he jumped in shock as he came out of his thoughts. “Yes. Yes. Everything is fine.” He answered.

    *******

    The President was sitting at his desk in his office, listening to the news on the tv. “The manager remained sensitive to the plight of the workers__” he muted the sound of the tv when he heard a knock on the door. It was his daughter.
    “Morning dad,” she went in with a pretty smile, her face is like a sunbeam. But he knew she wanted something. When last did she visited him in his office? He can’t remember, she has never.
    “Good morning my dear, how was your night?” He replied quickly with his hands on some papers spread on top of his desk.
    “It was fine. Um, daddy.” She called. Her face squeezed like a toddler who is about to cry.
    “Yes my darling,” he answered. “What is troubling you?”
    “Mahmoud is coming to visit us today and I’d like to go back home with him.” She requested.
    He laughed a bit and leaned closer in his chair. “Of course sweetheart, nobody is holding you here against your will,” he added. “At first, it was for your own safety, but if you want to go back with your husband then, it’s fine. I’ll have some guards escort you back home safely.”
    “Yay! Thank you so much daddy. You’re the best.” She jumped to the other side of the desk to hug me.
    “ti o gbĂ  mi ?w?n. I’d like to get back to what I was doing, if that is all.” He requested.
    “Sure. No problem.” She walked to the other side and went for the door. She busted into her brother on the way.
    “Since when do you come to father’s office?” He looked bemused.
    “Since now.” She walked away.
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    He shook his head and walked into the vast office with red rug carpet. He noticed that the paintings on the wall was changed of recent to a milky color and his father’s photograph hung on the wall, the Vice President, Chief Justice of Nigeria, and other high officials. “I like what they have done with the place.” He commented as he spin his head from side to side.
    “I thought milk was unique. And I got tired of seeing the same old color everyday.” Mr Adewale joked and offered his son to sit. “Have a seat.”
    Jake did and they both looked serious, the matter which brought him was a serious and secret one. So they lowered their voices as they both leaned to face each other, then they spoke in hushed tones. “We found the disk under her bed.” Jake said.
    “And where is it?” Mr Adewale whispered.
    “I personally destroyed it. There’s nothing that links you to her anymore.” Jake whispered back.
    Mr Adewale sighed strongly and asked if he was sure of what he’s saying and Jake assured him that he had discreetly handled the disk of the tape Gloria had made when he was making love to her. “It’s such a sad thing she died like that.” Mr Adewale sounded guilty for a minute.
    “No! It’s best that she’s gone. Now we can focus on the other tasks at hand.” Jake said.
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    ******

    The Vice President kept pacing back and forth in front of the eight gentlemen and a woman that sat in the long curved table. Some are ministers, senators, and governors. “I ask again. Who tried to disrupt my sons wedding party!”
    “We did what you asked,” one said. “You wanted us to help you erase the President from history.”
    “Yes. But that was then. Now I have changed my mind.” Sola said.
    “I’m sorry but it can’t be undone. Do you even listen to yourself? This was the same man you wanted dead since the day he won the elections. What changed?” A Senator asked.
    “That same man has become my in law, my son is married to his daughter for christ sakes.” Sola rose his voice.
    “We are sorry, it’s such unfortunate that you let that happen. But wether you like it or not, President Adewale must go,” the man in the middle spoke. “And we will continue this agenda, with or without you.”
    “I don’t want the Presidency anymore.” He submitted.
    “You don’t. But someone does. And, let me ask you this Mr Vice President. Did you really think we were really going to give you the seat? No! You have proven weak over the past months and that showed us that you can’t keep up with the task any longer.” A woman at the extreme end by the left said.
    “At least, reconsider.” He pleaded.
    “It’s for the better-ness of the country. But if you’re so keen on sparing your enemy’s life, then you should take it up to General Tukur.” The woman said again.
    “What does the General have to do with this?” Sola was confused.
    “You think you’re the only one in this? She laughed. “No Sola, there are a lot more people who want the President dead and gone as well.” She said with a serious expression, and he sighed. What had he put himself into? He thought to himself. The matter was now out of his grasp and control, he never knew there were others who wanted the same thing he had wanted. But now that he has changed his mind about the whole coup thingy, will the others? He asked himself. He needs to confront a General he never knew had a hand in this. After pacing back and forth again one last time, he left quickly.

    Episode 5

    “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.”
    “But General___”
    “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.

    Episode 6

    The President was talking based on the sudden kidnap of his daughter and his son in law. The Vice President was also sited in the midst of the few officials, and many journalists. “By then everything will be sorted out.” Mr Adewale finished and a flurry of hands went up, then he pointed to one of them and a woman (journalist) stood up.
    “Mr President, what is the present report on the rescue mission of your daughter and her husband? She sat down after that.
    “Um, thank you, what’s your name again? He asked and she told him. “You see Miss Eridiong, the securities are doing their jobs well but it’s easy for an enemy to penetrate when there’s someone within the government that is working for or with them___”
    He had finished answering few of the questions he could at the time. “What did you think you were doing? Telling the whole public that there’s a leak in the Villa? Are you trying to tempt whoever is doing this?” Victoria attacked him from the hall.
    “You think I wanted to say that? It’ll make us look weak and make them say I can’t do my job,” he added. “But they wanted a headline and I had to give it to them.” He shouted. She knew he wasn’t thinking right, she also noticed that pressure was weighing him down than the usual. Which would he deal with first? The bombings in Maiduguri or the Fulani herdsmen who slaughtered a lot of people three days ago in Borno and Adamawa? It was too much to take at the time. He needed time to clear his head, he hasn’t been able to sleep at nights also. she noticed.
    The next morning, he had his doctor over to check his B.P in his office. The door was locked and he ordered the guard outside to stop anyone from entering. “You’re alright sir.” The doctor said, removing the stethoscope from both ears and unfolding the sphygmomanometer from Mr Adewale’s left arm.
    They were sitting close to each other. Mr Adewale looked straight to the doctor and noticed he was not able to stare back at him. “What is it Usman?” He asked calmly. “I know when something is wrong,” he said. “I haven’t been able to sleep for the past two days now and the drugs don’t seem to be working for me. So you can’t tell me that I’m fine.” He urged him to tell him the truth.
    “Your B.P level is higher than the usual sir. I’m sorry. You may need a cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan. Because if you’re not admitted by tomorrow, you will be in shock and unable to___”
    “So what do you suggest we do?” Mr Adewale interrupted.
    “Um, for a start, I’ll place you on a two weeks diet. And secondly you need a lot of rest, we can admit you here at home if that’s what you’d like.” The doctor suggested.
    “Anything you say Usman.” He trusted him with his life, him and Doctor Usman went a long way back. They had been friends since before he even thought of becoming a politician.
    “That’s what we will do,” Doctor Usman said. “I suggest you have enough meetings today and some media talks you have tonight. So that by 10pm we can place you under two intravenous fluids.” He finished and the President nodded. It was fair to him.
    In the evening, the President was in a meeting with some joint chiefs. Both military and the elders of Benue State, concerning the brutal killing of innocent civilians. “It has affected so many people and made almost twenty percent of them homeless___” suddenly the elder’s voice grew distant. The President sat in his chair with his eyes closed. He wasn’t paying attention to the meeting. He had started feeling drowsy and having headaches, which made his head spin. Suddenly he started to sweat profusely like someone who descended from a mountain. “Mr President,” the chief of the army staff said. “Sir?”
    Mr Adewale jumped as he touched him by the arm. They all looked bemused, he looked totally lost and out of time. Was he even listening to what they had been saying? They murmured to themselves. “They were able to avoid a major disaster at the event ___” the chief of staff tried to continue.
    “I’m sorry,” Mr Adewale started. “It’s been a hell of a day, I think we should call off this meeting till some other time.” He said slowly standing up.
    “But Mr President, this matter needs to be handled quickly. The earlier the better sir.” Someone challenged.
    “Yes, I know Elder Dike. Talk to General Chima about it. He will tell you the steps to take towards bringing peace back to your state,” he added. “Thank you all for coming gentlemen, and save journey to your destinations.” Mr Adewale finished and almost fell down when he slammed the door behind. Jack got a hold of him quickly. “Go fetch the doctor,” he said panting. “Now!”
    It was merely 10pm when the doctor drove into the Villa. The equipments he needed was supplied and in no time he put the IV in the President. His breath had began to slow down some minutes later, and the sweating too. “No one needs to know.” He had warned the doctor, his wife and Jack his bodyguard. They were his three most trusted people in the mansion then. His son Jake (Bola) was another subject entirely, he is wise but stupid. wise when it came to money issues and stupid when it came to keeping secrets especially from women. They were his weakness.
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    “He needs a lot of rest,” the doctor said. “I’ll be back in the morning to check on him.”
    “You should stay with him Incase.” The First Lady suggested.
    “That would draw suspicion, the vultures (journalists) are already circling around. And he told me not to stay the night.” The doctor said.
    “Alright, thank you so much doctor Usman.” Victoria said in appreciation and he left quickly. Jack closed the door, no one was going in or out of the room unless the first lady’s say so. He was very loyal to the one he served.

    *******

    “It is high time you stopped drinking.” Taye warned. Sitting beside Bola who was drunk that night, they sat together on the couch. He was in the Vice President’s house.
    “What exactly did you say was in this food?” He asked.
    “A clove of garlic was used for the recipe.” She laughed. “Mother made them.”
    “Your mother cooks?” He sounded surprised.
    “Yes,” she sat back. “With the way things are happening now, she said its best you do things like this on your own. You don’t know who wants you dead.” She finished and he laughed.
    “Speaking of which. Have you heard anything about your brother?” She shook her head.
    “Have you?” She returned.
    “No.” He shook his head too and suddenly looked sad. He had missed his sister, even though they fought and argued. Not having her around was what he couldn’t take. “I hate him!” He roared.
    “Hate who?”
    “The President. My father,” he added. “I just hate that he’s not doing anything about all of this, he’s too soft.”
    “Don’t say that,” she moved closer with her left hand crossed over his shoulder. “I’m sure he’s doing everything he can to make sure your sister and my brother come back home safely. Even my father had been going up and down all day. I’m very sure they are fine wherever they are and they will come back in one piece.” She said.
    “I hope.” He didn’t seem touched by her sense of reasoning with their parents.

    Episode 7

    The next morning, the news on the release of the President’s daughter and her husband was all over the country and abroad. Henrietta looked as if she wasn’t abducted at all, she looked just the way she had left three days ago. She wasn’t beaten nor her husband. “How is he?” She sat closed to her father.
    “The doctor said he will be fine, he just needs to rest.” Her mother answered with her hand on Mr Adewale’s Palm.
    “Is that Bisi?” He tried to sit up and they helped him.
    “The doctor said you need to rest.” Victoria reminded.
    “I’m fine Bimpe.”
    “You’re not Wale,” she persisted. “Why are u so stubborn? It’s not a do or die affair u know.” She said and he turned to her.
    “I’ll die before I hand this presidency over to the wrong people,” He touched the bed with his index finger. “Or better yet, I’ll hand it over to Sola before things go south, at least I know the people are in good hands.”
    “No daddy, don’t say such,” Henrietta shook her head. “You will not die, you will live to see your enemies fall. All of them.”
    “Amin!” Victoria rubbed her palms together.
    “How’s Mahmoud?” He asked.
    “He’s fine too. He’s even in the sitting room.” Henrietta answered and rested her head on his shoulder with their hands clasping tightly together.

    *******

    The Vice President was surprised when he heard his son and his wife had been released. Not long enough, he got a call from General Tukur that he had decided to let Mahmoud and Henrietta go because they heard that the President was sick. And he would be an un godly man if he didn’t let a daughter to at least say goodbye to her dying father. Sola was flabbergasted, how come they knew what was going on inside the presidential villa and he didn’t. Then his eyes grew distant as he thought of the day the President was speaking on live television and said that the villa had spies. The walls definitely had ears and eyes. Sola thought. “I started this mess, and I’m going to clean it up. The best way I can.” He muttered as he walked into the house.
    ******
    Doctor Usman was over at the mansion again to check on his long time friend. Mr Adewale, the president. “Can I trust you Usman.” Mr Adewale held his hand tightly as he was removing the IV from his hand.
    “Of course sir.” Usman answered after thinking for a while. “What do you want me to do?”
    “There’s a spy inside the villa or spies. Because I’m sure whatever happens inside here is being leaked to some group outside,” he began and the doctor listened attentively to what he was asked of.
    Some minutes later, the doctor went out of the room with a shake of his head. He looked at Jack and said loudly for any ears that was listening to hear. “His condition has worsen, I’m afraid that he has less than 48hours to live.” Jack only stood like a statue still but then he bowed his head as if he was touched by the news. “I’ll be leaving, I’ll be back again to check on him.”
    “Yes sir.” Jack nodded and followed the doctor behind.
    A security guard who over heard what they had discussed, went close to the door and opened it with a master key. He watched Mr Adewale lying flat on the bed from where he stood. He removed his shades and dialed on his mobile phone. “It’s me,” he said. “The doctor just left. probably he has just a day left. Yes sir, okay I’ll be there.” He finished and closed the door gently after giving Mr Adewale a last look. He had locked the door again as he had seen it when Jack banged his head on the wooden door. He fell to the floor fainted, a line of blood drew from his hair down to his jaw
    “That’s one.” Jack said as he opened the door for Mr Adewale and he came out.
    “Good job, cuff him inside.” He ordered and walked off. Jack held him by the leg and dragged him inside the room and closed the door.
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    ******
    Sola was surprised when he saw the President in his house without giving word of his visit. “Mr President.” He said.
    “Sola.” He returned.
    “I was about to come to the villa to see how you were feeling. I heard you were___” he paused and looked at him from head to toe, Mr Adewale didn’t look weak or sick like he had heard.
    “Dying,” He completed the sentence for him. “You know Sola, the world is full of surprises, disappointments and also betrayals. The last one, I hate the most.” He said.
    “I don’t_ I don’t understand what you mean” Sola looked back at Jack who stood like Iroko tree behind him.
    “Oh come on Sola,” Mr Adewale slapped the air dismissively with one hand. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. When the hate doesn’t work, then they start telling lies”
    Sola still couldn’t fathom his phrases. Is he directing them at him? Or is he talking about something else entirely? Sola thought inside. After being persuaded by the President, he decided to come clean about everything. “But I assure you that everything is being handled with utmost discretion.” The Vice President said.
    “You bemuse me Sola,” The President rested his head on the chair and said. “I can’t believe you would do this to me, after trying to take you not as my vice, but as a brother. This means my accusations against you were all true.”
    “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t know what came over me__”
    “My daughter and your son’s abduction, was that you?” Mr Adewale asked and Sola said no. “What about the death of Gloria?” He asked again.
    “Also no, I had nothing to do with that too.” He declined.
    “Alright,” he swallowed. “Who is behind all this?” He asked with a glare at him.
    “They are a lot of people, dignitaries, who want to see you fall.”
    “I know,” Mr Adewale nodded. “But who’s the source of it all?” He asked again.
    Sola suddenly became uncomfortable, like his seat was pinching him as he reacts clumsily. He then glanced at Jack once and twice and then surveyed the living room for a minute. “Sir,” he lowered his voice as he leaned closer on his chair.
    “You can say whatever you want to say. He’s a trusted guard.” Mr Adewale glanced at Jack and back to Sola.
    “Okay,” Sola cleared his throat and still kept quiet.
    “Will you say something! I don’t have all day.” The President shouted, prompting Sola to spill out the name that he was finding hard to call out.
    “General Tukur.” He announced.
    “What?! General Tukur?” The President shifted to the brim of his chair with shocked expression.
    “Yes sir, he’s the master mind of all this.” Sola answered and watched The President muttered to himself. “There’s something you should know, follow me.” He said and Sola did, accompanied by Jack.

    Episode 8

    “So they are people who give the president a route to take and when he fails to listen, they try to take him out?What a dismal country!” Henrietta said.
    “Greed and mismanagement are the root causes of a broken country.” Her mother said. Sitting on top of the white sheeted king sized bed.
    “But mummy,” Henrietta shifted close and glanced at the clock that hung on the wall, showing that it was quarter to 5pm. “Does daddy know who exactly is behind all this?”
    Victoria sighed and looked down at her painted fingers that matched together with what she was wearing. “I don’t know. He hasn’t told me anything about it and I don’t want to force myself into it. But I’m sure we will soon find out,” she added. “So for now, be careful with the Solas.” She whispered and Henrietta sat back.
    “Careful? What do you mean mummy, or have you forgotten that I’m married to their son.”
    “I only said be careful, not stop being married to their son. Be careful was all I said.” Victoria said.
    “Yes I know, but you generalized.” She replied.
    “Bisi! No wonder your brother is always__”
    “I’m only trying to understand what you meant by (be careful) and you’re bringing Jake into this.”
    “Yes, I have to. Because I want you to learn from him.”
    “Learn what?” She challenged. “Apart from sleeping with every girl he sets his eyes on, including Taye, one of the people you are warning me to be careful of.” Henrietta knew she had crossed the line she wasn’t supposed to, she had exposed her brother.
    “Wait, Bola is sleeping with Taye. Sola’s daughter?” She asked.
    “I didn’t want to say it in the first place but you forced me to. And yes it’s the same Taye that you know. So I’m way better than my so called brother.” She said and Victoria shook her head and legs.
    “Both of you will not kill me.”
    “Mummy, please don’t tell him I told you.”
    “Kini.” Victoria said. “You already did and my ears have heard. He will come back and meet me.”
    “Ah, I said you shouldn’t tell him anything now. He’s a man, let him live his life the way he wants.”
    “Come and leave my room.” She chased her out and locked the door.
    “Mummy now, okay I’m sorry. Please open the door.” Henrietta knocked on the door. Victoria went back to sit on the bed, as the knock continued. She was only hearing thick voice from the inside, not sure of what her daughter was saying. That was not a concern, she placed her right palm on her cheek and thought of what was happening to her family. Her husband trying to be killed by his own officials and her son who refused to get a life for himself. What will she do if something happened to Wale. She thought and sighed deeply.
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    ******

    Jack unlocked the door and pushed it backward. The president and Sola entered the room and saw a guard who was cuffed to the window. He was sitting on the green rug carpet, while his hand hung up to the window. He was still sleeping when they entered and they sat on different chairs close to him. “Wake him up.” The President ordered and Jack came forward after locking the door behind him again.
    “Hey, open your eyes.” Jack slapped him softly two or three times before he gained consciousness. He jumped as his eyes opened wide.
    “You are handcuffed to the window, there’s nowhere to run to.” Mr Adewale rested his hands on his laps. “What’s your name?” He asked.
    “Stan.” He answered.
    “Stan? Just stan?” He asked again and the guard in his mid thirties nodded. The side of his head still had blood from the collision he had with the door when Jack slammed his head to it. “Alright, now listen here Stan. I want you to tell me everything you know, and I promise you immunity if you help me take down who you’re working for.” Mr Adewale said with seriousness and Stan laughed drunkly at them. “Is it that funny.”
    “You don’t know what or who I’m working for is capable of.” Stan said.
    “Well, please, enlighten us.” Sola joined and also leaned closer.
    Mr Adewale had enough of his foolish talks about the so called people he works for. “Listen to this!” He switched on the tv and they all watched the news and saw “Zamfara Massacre” written on it.
    “Armed bandits killed 36 in Birani village of Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State yesterday.” The reporter said. “Zamfara is an abattoir – 36 human beings butchered in hours. Zamfara State Government is evil – it watches us die like sacrificial lambs. The Federal Government is a disgrace – it values not the lives of its citizens. The media are biased against us – because we are not worth their attention.” An anonymous person ha
    Sola sighed sympathetically and Stan put his head down. Mr Adewale dropped the remote control and said. “When two elephants fight, it is the grass, which in this case, suffer,” he added. “We are suppose to be protecting the people like we swore to, before given our respective offices. Not cause havoc against each other inside the government again, while the real enemies are out there parading the states and killing whoever they like!” They could hear it from the sound of his voice that he was hurting inside.
    Stan thought for some minutes before he took a step that he knew he wouldn’t go back from. He took a very bold step as he decided to help the president to bring the people involved to justice. But the bigger fish was Gen Tukur, they all knew. And confronting him would never be an easy task, so they needed a plan. They needed to hear a confession from his own mouth. So they made Stan wear a wire in his suit the next day, when he was ready to meet the general at the place they arranged. He was not followed by anyone but he was monitored from the Villa with a CCTV. Albeit, The President made Jack to follow him in an un recognize vehicle so as to keep an eye on him Incase something went wrong.
    Stan met with the General, he was acting his part nicely but the General wasn’t saying anything pertaining to what they wanted to hear. He was talking of another thing entirely. It wasn’t the confession they needed. “Do you think he knows? Or has Stan told him what’s happening?” Mr Adewale asked.
    “The general is a very wise man, I’ll give him that. But I don’t think he suspects anything,” he added. “I mean, the guard seem to be playing the part nicely, so no cause for alarm.”
    “So why is he telling him about when he was in the army?”
    “I’m guessing that’s his mood today.” Sola glanced at the President who looked gross as someone who saw a dish, a food, he found disgusting.

    Episode 9

    “This is the only way we can think of, Kemi.” Sola pleaded.
    “Excuse me? Do you even hear yourself?” She said. “Okay since that’s the only way you can think of. I can think of so many ways to get him to confess whatever you want him to.”
    “I’m listening.” He replied.
    “Abduct him on the road, like he did to our son and his wife__”
    Sola laughed as he shook his head of disapproval. “You can’t just abduct a six star general like he’s some kind of school boy on his way home. Do you know the type of convoy he goes around with?”
    “Then the President should give the authority for his arrest. He has the power to do that. As long as the General is a very bad person to the country.” She suggested.
    “It doesn’t work like that honey, it’s hard. I can’t go into details now, but what I’ll tell you is, no matter what we say about him and there’s no evidence. It’s thrash, nothing. Not even the Chief Justice can do anything about it.” Sola said and Kemi sighed and sat slowly on the cushion.
    “I’m just not comfortable with this your plan.” She complained.
    “You will be fine, eyes and ears will be all around you during the whole time.” He encouraged.
    “Are you sure?” She looked at him and he nodded. “But I can’t tell if he still sees me the way he did years back.” She said.
    “The General is an old hag who likes any woman he sets his eyes on, he even goes to clubs with young women and take them home after. Besides you and him go a way back, I’m sure the feeling is still there in his heart. You’re the only person that can get close to him without him noticing anything.” Sola urged her to accept that she will do it and after thinking, she did.

    ******

    The President didn’t like the idea sola had brought of using his wife as bait to get General Tukur to say everything he’s refusing to spit out to anyone. “I’m sure about this, he always loved Kemi even after she became my wife.” Sola explained to the president.
    “Will she be safe?” Victoria had asked.
    “I thought of that too and Sola has made sure that she will be. Jack and some of my best securities will be keeping an eye on her through the whole time.” Mr Adewale said.
    “No! Jack should stay behind. You need Jack close to you, especially in times like this.” Victoria wasn’t liking the idea of Jack going out of the Villa.
    “Don’t worry about me. Kemi needs his protection more than I do. Incase something goes wrong which I pray it doesn’t. And I have GOD, who has been protecting me the whole time. And by his grace, we are going to see this through.” He said. And she finally agreed to the plan. Kemi was taken to the generals house that night, the guards let them in after realizing she was the Vice Presidents wife. Jack drove her inside the big mansion.
    “Wait here.”
    “No, I should go in with you.” Jack challenged.
    “I’ll be fine. Just stay put soldier. That’s an order.” He nodded then she went out as a soldier in uniform opened the door. Jack sighed frustratedly.
    “This was not the plan.” He said and remembered what his father always told him. (Women are always survivors, they can win a war without guns or any sort of weapons). Then he shook his head, as if he disagreed with the voice inside. “This is different, General Tukur is one of the most dangerous men of this nation. He’s like a tiger that can’t be tamed.” He muttered glancing at each of the guards that were pacing back and forth the building. He was counting them.
    “Kemi. What a lovely surprise!” He said as he descended from the stairs.
    “General.” She called with a fake smile.
    “Oh Kemi, must you always call me that. I have told you several times that for you, I’ll always make an exception.” He took the last step and walked close. “Have a seat.” He pointed to the couch and she moved back and sat on it. “So. What brings you to my house?” He was always a straight forward man.
    “Can’t you ask how I am? Or even offer me a drink?”
    “Kemi! Anyone that comes to my house seem to be wanting something these days. It can either be questions or answers,” he added. “So which one are you here for?”
    “I thought you had changed from this your paranoia of seeing everyone the same. You never always had a good manner of approach. Maybe I should leave.” He held her arm and sighed.
    “I’m very sorry, forgive my manners,” he looked back. “What would you like to drink?” He asked and she turned and smiled at him.
    She quickly stood up to check if he had gone upstairs and began to move around like she was looking for something in his sitting room. She checked the back of the tv, the sofa was also not left out, then she climbed one of the arm chairs and began to touch the ceilings. Looking for which one was opened.
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    “No, no, no,” Jack panicked in the car as he watched her from his iPad. “It’s too early.” He said.
    Back at the Villa, the president and his vice were also watching from a computer. “What is she doing?” Victoria asked.
    “She’s looking for a place to put it.” Mr Adewale answered.
    “Put what?” She asked again.
    “The chip.”
    “The chip? What is that for?”
    “A chip is like a mic, we will be able to hear everything he says and record it.” Sola explained with a hand on the desk, close to the computer operator.
    “What! Is that what you sent her there to do? What if she fails? He’s going to kill her if he finds out.”
    “Woman stop it! Mr Adewale yelled. “You should leave if you can’t watch. I’m telling you everything will go as planned.” He said.
    Sola turned back and faced the computer with a sigh. “I hope.” He said silently. The First Lady’s words had began to make sense, it had began to make them withdraw from the whole plan.
    *******
    “Is everything okay.” A sergeant knocked on the glass window.
    “Uhm, yes. Everything is fine.” Jack answered bringing down the windshield as he placed the iPad on the passenger seat.
    “You look familiar!” The sergeant busted.
    “No. I don’t think we have met before.” Jack tried to maintain his cover.
    “Yes, we haven’t,” the sergeant said and he exhaled. “But I’ve read about you. Aren’t you the president’s personal escort? You are always on the news with him.”
    “Oh, yes. Absolutely. I’m the one.” He nodded gently.
    “Wow! It’s so good to meet you sir.” He pushed his riffle back and shook Jack with a bow.
    “Same here. Same here.” Jack replied.
    “I’m sorry, but if you don’t mind.” The sergeant said as he removed his smartphone from his right pocket.
    “Of course.” He said and they took a photo.
    “Thank you very much sir,” he nodded again. “So,” the sergeant brought forward his gun and placed his right palm on it. “What’re you doing here at this time of the night? Do you drive the VP’s wife now?”
    Jack knew he was trying to be fishy so he had to play along. “Actually, yes. She insisted that I must be the one to drive her here. She was at the Villa and requested for me, the president had to think a lot before approving her request.”
    “One of those days right?” He asked.
    “One of those days.” Jack returned.
    “I should return to my post. It’s so very nice to meet you.” The sergeant shook him again.
    “Thank you,” he drew him back. “And please, no need telling the other guys it’s me. Before they all want to take pictures, you know. It might be somehow__”
    “Say no more sir. I understand.” He cut his words and then finally, he walked off.
    “Jesus!” Jack exclaimed as he wined up his windshield. The president and the vice asked what was the matter from a live feed. He took the iPad and looked at them. “I think I’ve been made.”
    “What does that mean?” Sola asked.
    “It means he’s not safe there anymore, his cover is blown. And it’s just a matter of time before they know what he’s doing there. she must hurry.” Mr Adewale explained.
    “But she’s all alone in there.” Panic covered Solas voice.
    “I’m aware of that sir. That’s why I’m here. To protect her.” He said and lost the feed. “Someone must have cut all the connections of this house.” He muttered as the iPad wasn’t showing the video of Kemi nor the president and his vice anymore. Suddenly, it became static.

    Episode 10

    Kemi jumped down from the cushion as she heard footsteps coming towards the sitting room. “Sorry for keeping you waiting,” the general stood with a cup of wine in his hand, he studied her carefully as she trembled gently in front of him. “Are you alright?”
    “Of course. Never been better.” Kemi smiled anxiously and quickly collected the drink from his hand. He also noticed she was sweating. He then looked down and saw she had removed her heels. “Fine wine.” She rose the glass to him, and sighed deeply and moved her eyes to the tv. She hadn’t even placed the chip anywhere yet and the tension that was charging in the room was unbearable.

    ****

    “I have to go in.” Jack said.
    “No Jack, your order is to get her into the house safely and not get detected.” Mr Adewale said to the mic.
    “What if she is in trouble sir?”
    “We would know already, just give her time. Let’s see if she’ll pull through.”
    “With all due respect Mr President, waiting is not my thing sir.” Jack said.
    “I know Jack, waiting is always the hardest part. But easy does it, they say.” Mr Adewale replied and glanced at Sola.
    Jack finally repaired the iPad and he could see what was happening inside the mansion. “Oh God!” He exclaimed.
    “What is it? What happened?” Solar asked.
    “Can you see anything?” Jack asked.
    “No, we’re still blind here.” The computer operator answered and Jack sighed.
    “What’re you seeing Jack?” Mr Adewale asked and he said nothing. “Well, what’s she doing now?” He asked.
    “Oh nothing sir, everything is going according to plan.” Jack said as he continued watching them having sex. “This is going to take longer than I thought.” He said to himself.
    *****

    Kemi rushed out of the house and almost startled Jack as she banged on the window to open the door for her. “Drive!” She said as she entered with rush.
    “What about the chip?”
    “I put it inside one of his suits, now just drive. Get me out of here!” She said.
    “Yes ma’am.” He ignited the car and drove outside the mansion with speed.
    On their way, Kemi looked to the window and back at Jack as he couldn’t stop looking at her even though he was driving. “What is it?” She asked.
    “Are you okay?”
    “Yes,” she said and her eyes glanced at the iPad, she could see general Tukur’s residence and his bedroom too. “How__”
    “Your secret’s safe with me.” He assured her and she sighed, putting her head gently on the windshield again.
    ****

    They got back to the Villa an hour later, it was very late by then. The president and his vice cheered on the success. But the look on her face was on jack’s face too. Disappointment, that she did what she did for the country, so they could bring the enemies to their knees. But no one would understand that. Including her husband.
    *******

    Jake had finished taking his bath the next morning when he heard a knock on his door. “Mum! Come in.” He said. She hadn’t been to his room ever since he turned twenty, some years back. He wondered what brought her now.
    “So, I hear you and Taye are sleeping together.” Her voice shattered the quiet morning.
    “Bisi, that stupid snitch!” He muttered inside.
    “No need trying to know how I knew. I’ve got eyes and ears everywhere.” She tried to take away his suspicion on his sister for being the one who told her.
    He leaned on his reading table with a smile on his face. “Really?”
    “And why’re you smilling? This isn’t funny___”
    “Yes it is, mum.” He interrupted.
    “Aren’t you afraid I’m going to tell your father.” She said with wonderment.
    “Oh, my father, yes. What do you think he will do about it? I mean, I got the habit from him, didn’t I?” He asked again.
    “What’re you talking about bola? Since when did you start being rude to me, or talking about your father in this manner.”
    Jake walked to his book shelf and brought out a video cassette and put it on his bed. “There, maybe when you know the truth, you will start treating me differently. You know it’s not everything I do, that is completely my fault.” He said and walked out, leaving her sited on the bed. She looked to the door and saw he was gone, then she slide her hand to the cassette and carried it.
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    He bumped into his sister and her husband on his way. They were sitting close together with hands clasping tight. “There you are,” Jake walked up to them.
    “Hi Jake, how’s it going?” Mahmoud greeted.
    “I know what you did Bisi!” He said.
    She put her legs down from the couch and sat well. “What did I do?” She asked.
    “I know you told mum that I’m sleeping with Taye. How could you!” He scolded.
    “Wait a minute,” Mahmoud took to his feet. “You’re sleeping with my sister?” He asked.
    “You should sit back down, this is a family issue.” Jake pointed to the couch.
    “My sister is involved, so it is my issue too__”
    “I’m so sorry Bola, i said it out of anger. I didn’t mean to tell her.” Bisi said from where she sat and they both looked at her.
    “Don’t apologize, it’s good you told the First Lady about it because he deserves to be talked some sense into. Hey listen! Mahmoud snapped his fingers. “Whatever you think you’re doing with my sister has to stop today, I’m warning you. Taye has a brighter future than you could ever imagine, don’t stain it like you stained yours.” Mahmoud warned with candor.
    Jake refused to comply with Mahmoud’s terms and it got ugly, very fast. “Can we all calm down, certainly there’s a better way to settle this.” Henrietta walked up to them.
    “Would you shut up!”
    “Come on Bola, you’re taking this too far!” She rose her voice and Jake slapped her in reflex. She fell to the ground and hit her head on the floor, he didn’t know what came over him. He tried to reach for her and Mahmoud attacked him from behind.
    “How dare you!” Mahmoud threw the first punch and Jake returned. Then the fight began in the sitting room.
    “Help! Mum! Someone help!” Henrietta shouted.
    The fathers were informed about the predicament, they all sat in the sitting room. “Thank you Wasila, you can go.” Henrietta said after she placed a bandage on her upper left eye. Then she glanced at everyone sitting quietly in the room.
    “Who want to go first?” The president asked gently. Even though Sola told him Mahmoud had never lost his temper to that extent. He still wanted to hear the real story, what happened from the start.
    “I overreacted. I’m sorry.” Jake said.
    “You overreacted, you’re sorry,” his father imitated him. “That’s not good enough.”
    “What do you want me to say!”
    Mr Adewale stood up from his chair. “I want you to explain exactly what happened, and don’t you dare raise your voice at me boy!” His voice sounded like thunder.
    “Take it easy dear.” Victoria held his hand.
    He nodded his head and sat quietly, and sighed deeply before he said another word. “I am trying to put the country back together. But I can’t do that, because my family is at war with each other. How do you want me to stop the crisis happening outside this Villa if you’re busying fighting and punching each other like wrestlers.” The president finished.
    “I got angry because Bisi__”
    “I shouted and insulted him and he has warned me not to ever do that again.” Henrietta interrupted.
    “Was that why he slapped you? Just like that?” Victoria asked.
    “Yes mum. And I think I deserved it,” she said and everyone looked at her. “I’ve learnt not to disrespect my elders, no matter what. And Mahmoud was only trying to protect me, and that was why he punched Bola in the face.” She said quietly.
    Mr Adewale glanced at his wife and cleared his throat. “Well, I don’t want to ever hear anything like this ever happen again. Is that clear.” He warned.
    “Yes Mr President, I promise it won’t happen again,” Mahmoud added. “I’m sorry I punched you Jake.” He apologized.
    “You punched me four times!” Jake said.
    “Oh stop complaining, it’s not like he removed one of your eyes. You only have a broken nose, so you’ll live.” Bisi scoffed and he smiled.

    Episode 11

    “The attacks on the villages has stopped over the past month as military has taken over the entire communities that are being disturbed by terrorists. And ladies and gentlemen, this happened under the reign and command of the President, Mr Adewale Adebayo.” The chief of army staff said to the broadcaster.
    “One step at a time, and the country will get there. We will rise again, he said. Okay viewers, this is all we can take from the studio here in Abuja. Do join us tomorrow for more enlightenment on the happenings in and out of the country, till then, bye for now.” The female broadcaster said and Mr Adewale reduced the volume with a smile, he was happy with the progress he was seeing and hearing since last month. Just immediately someone knocked on his office door and he put down his legs from the table and rearranged some things before telling who it was to come in.
    “I’m sorry to disturb you Mr President.”
    “Oh no, Mike. It’s alright. What is it?” He said.
    He rushed to the security room with him, where they watched General Tukur day and night. “I’m guessing he’s going to meet someone this evening.” Mike said and the president looked down at him.
    “Call the Vice President’s office, tell him to be here as soon as he can. I’ll be back in a few minutes, let me know when he reaches his destination.” He gave an order and went out quickly.
    Some minutes passed and he came back to the room. Sola was there also, they all sat on a chair in front of the big screen as they watched the General’s car parked in some fancy environment. He was meeting one of his co-operators.
    “Are you sure it’s safe to talk here?” He asked.
    “Yes. It’s very safe. It’ll take two hours for any car to pass here. And the next building is like 100kms away__”
    “Alright, where are we on the attack?” The general asked. Then Mr Adewale and Sola glanced at each other.
    “Everything is working as planned. The bomb will be set to detonate by 4pm. The exact time his plane will take off.”
    “Good. The president won’t know what’s coming.” General Tukur said.
    Mike muted the sound and swung his seat back as he looked at the president. “They are going to blow up your plane.” He said, as though the president didn’t hear it himself.
    “We have to stop it from happening. You need to cancel your trip to France.” Sola panicked.
    “First things first, did you get the recording?” Mr Adewale asked and Mike nodded and handed the disk to him.
    “Alright, nobody should know about this. Okay.” He made it perfectly clear.

    ******

    Night fell when general Tukur got to his abode. He was so tired after the two hours thirty minutes drive. So he removed his suit and threw it on one of the cushions and he heard something fell to the ground. He was certain it fell out from his suit. “I don’t put pen in my side pocket. What else could it be.” He said to himself as he searched for it. Without any fuss, he found the little black object and took it off the ground, a little glance at it with his glasses was all it took for him to know what it was. “Samuel, stop the attack. No one should make a move on the president tomorrow. Stop the attack!” He said over the phone and put it inside a glass jar and covered the top.
    *****

    “This is not good. This is certainly not good,” Mike stammered as he picked up his phone and called the President. “Yes, hello sir. I’m so so sorry for calling you at this hour, I know you must have been asleep by now__
    “right, get to the point”

    “Sorry. The general knows. Yes sir he knows that we have been listening to his conversations all along, he found the chip.”

    “Okay Mike, don’t panic. Just go home and we will figure something out tomorrow.” Mr Adewale said over the phone.
    “Ok_okay sir. Goodnight.” He aborted the call after that and packed out of the room.
    ******

    Mr Adewale was sitting in his office the next morning when Jack opened the door a crack. “The president is on line two.” He announced.
    “Thank you Jack,” he said and picked up the phone and dialed on it. “Mr President, I’m sorry for the recent changes__” he started.
    “No Sir. We can always schedule for another time. The people of France look forward to seeing you next month__ the president of France said.
    *****

    General Tukur had summoned his guards, he was sited on his couch, glaring at them one after the other. “Kemi. You just stepped on the lion’s tale.” He said looking at the chip.
    “Someone was with her.” A guard said.
    “Who?” He jumped quickly.
    “The presidents escort. This man here.” The guard showed him a picture he took with Jack Mathew.
    The general collected the phone and glared at it more with surprise. “This was who brought her here that same night?” He asked and the guard nodded. “Why didn’t you say anything since then?”
    “I’m sorry general, I didn’t know what brought them that night and he seemed like a gentleman.” He explained.
    “You’re still breathing only because I can’t find a replacement for you.” General Tukur threatened.
    “I’m sorry sir. It won’t happen again.” He pleaded.
    “It has already happened you dumbhead. Our cover has been blown, they now know my agenda, my next move.” He said.
    “So what do we do now?” One asked.
    “Now,” the general stood up and walked to the door and back. “Now we attack, full force. But first, I’d like a word with him.” He touched Jack’s picture on the phone.
    ********
    “You asked for me sir.” Peter said, standing by the door.
    Mr Adewale removed his glasses as he finished writing on a paper. “Yes Peter, please come in.”
    “Thank you sir.” He said and entered.
    “I want you to arrange a meeting for me with the Chief Justice tomorrow morning by 10am.” He ordered.
    “Sure sir. Is there a problem?” He asked.
    Mr Adewale laughed at the question and shifted close. “Let’s just say, some bad people are getting locked away for a very very long time.” He said and Peter nodded quickly and left. Mr Adewale brought out the disk and put it inside his small desk drawer and locked it with a key he only had then switched off the lights and went out.
    He found the room dark like there was no electricity in the Villa. Then he heard someone sobbing, he quickly switched the lights back on and saw Victoria on the edge of the bed, crying. He wondered what made her cry at such hour and why, so he walked slowly and sat next to her. He tried to reach for her hands but she resisted. Something is wrong somewhere. He thought to himself and asked what was wrong.
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    “You lied to me.” She started.
    “I lied to you?” He asked.
    “Yes. You lied to me.” She repeated.
    “Since when did I start lying to you. Remember we agreed on telling each other the truth no matter the cost.”
    “Oh, so you remember! And yet you broke that vow,” she stared angrily at him.
    “Okay, you’re scaring me Bimpe. What is this all about?” He asked.
    “It’s about Gloria__”
    “Oh God.” He interrupted.
    “Remember I asked if you knew her. And what did you tell me. You plainly denied ever seeing her, just because she was dead. I know you were happy about that too, because your secret will be buried with her forever.”
    “What’re you talking about Bimpe!”
    “This,” she carried the remote control angrily. “I’m talking about this.” She played him a video on the tv and he shook his head in shame as he put his head down. “You didn’t only lied to me, you broke your marriage vows.”
    “Let me explain.” He said.
    “What more is there to say? I’m sure you killed her also!”
    He quickly placed a hand on her mouth for her to be quiet. “Hey, hey! Will you keep it down. I didn’t kill anyone okay. Please, just hear me out.”
    An hour later, she was calm, the temperature was also bearable after he explained everything that transpired between him and Gloria. “I met her on my trip to Turkey. She was a stewardess on the plane I took__” he had narrated.
    “How many times?” She asked looking down.
    “I promise it wasn’t my doing. I didn’t want to fall for her temptations.”
    “You did anyways,” she repeated. “How many times was it?”
    “Once!” He jumped. “It was just once. I wanted to tell you.”
    “Did you use a protection?” She asked.
    He sighed, he didn’t like the turn the questions were taking. “No.” He answered slowly.
    “What! You didn’t use a condom! How sure are you that she wasn’t pregnant.”
    “Please lower your voice,” he said sweating. “She wasn’t, okay. It was the leverage she had on me,”
    “What leverage?”
    “That she was pregnant and she threatened to tell the world if I didn’t comply with her demands.”
    “So how did you know she wasn’t?”
    “I had her tested unknowingly and the result showed negative.” He said.

    Episode 12

    “You told me you destroyed it. How did your mum got it then!”
    “Dad I’m sorry, I didn’t know what I was thinking.” Jake said.
    His father paced back and forth with confused look on his face. “You’re such a__” the knock on the door didn’t let him finish his sentence.
    “Sorry for the interruption Mr President,” the guard pleaded and he shook his head to state the matter. “The Chief Justice is here.” He announced.
    “Alright, thank you Andrew. Tell him I’ll be right down,” he said and the guard closed the door, then he turned to his son as if to say something, but nothing could come out at the moment. “We’re not done!” He said and slammed the door behind.
    Jake scratched his head, almost removing the hair from its scalp. “What have I done.” He muttered those words continually.
    Mr Adewale came down the stairs with smiles as the Chief Justice looked up to him. “Israel,” he stretched his hands. “It’s so good to see you in person. I never thought you would have the time to come at short notice.” He said.
    “Oh come on,” the Chief Justice slapped the air with one hand. “The president asked to see me, how could I say no to that. Besides, I wanted to know what was so important that I had to come myself. Your secretary sounded so urgent on the phone.” He replied and Mr Adewale was all smiles again.
    “He did exactly what I told him.” He said.
    “Okay, I’m here. Talk to me.” He moved closer a bit. “What is going on?” The Chief Justice whispered.
    Mr Adewale took a brief survey of the entire sitting room, then strolled to him and said. “It’s a matter of life and death. And Tukur is involved.”
    “Involved, how?” He glanced back to a chair as Mr Adewale offered him to sit.
    Meanwhile, Victoria’s phone rang, she took it and looked at it and it was her friend, Kemi. She sounded worried. “Calm down, tell me what the problem is. Or is it my daughter?”
    “No, it’s not her.” Kemi answered over the phone.
    “Mahmoud and Taye, are they alright?” She asked again.
    “Yes, yes.” Kemi said and Victoria sighed loudly of relief. “It’s not about them, it’s about me.”
    “Are you having problems with your husband or what exactly?” She wanted her to be specific.
    “Also no. Listen Bimpe, I need to see you. There’s somethings that happened a week ago and I can’t get it out of my mind. Please, can you come?”
    “Sure, sure. I’ll be there soon. I’ll just take permission from Wale first and I’ll be on my way.” She said and aborted the call, she had a worried look on her face.
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    “As I’m saying__”
    “I’m sorry for the interruption,” Victoria said.
    “Not at all Madam.” The Chief Justice assured her.
    “I want to visit the Solas, Kemi just called me some moments ago__”
    “Just don’t be late.” Mr Adewale said with a smile. “I know when the two of you get together, it’s like when two magnets meet. Very hard to separate.” He joked and they laughed.
    Watching her leave the sitting room, the Chief Justice turned to Mr Adewale. He had heard everything from him, and he knew action was to be taken against the General. “Do you have the CD here with you?” He asked.
    “Of course, it’s in my office. I just have to go and get it,” he stood up and looked up the stairs and called for their maid, Wasila. And as always, she answered quickly. Then he ordered her to get the Chief Justice some soft drinks as he go and get the CD from his office. It was a minute walk. “Sit back and relax, I’ll be with you shortly.” He chuckled as he went out of the house.
    “Let me do it sir.” Wasila offered.
    “No, no. I can open and pour the drink myself. Thank you very much.” He replied.
    “You’re welcome sir.” She curtseyed and went back inside.
    Mr Adewale had just reached his office door, and he still had a smile on his face. He was so happy that everything would finally come to an end. Once General Tukur is put behind bars for his mischievous acts. “Morning David, how’re you? Thank you.” He exchanged pleasantries with the guard by the door before he jumped inside. Getting into his office, he went straight to his desk and opened the drawer with the key in his hand. And to his dismay, the CD he kept hidden inside was gone, the drawer was empty. How come? He thought. How did this happened!” He shouted and the guard ran inside to see the President with a shock expression.
    “Is everything alright sir?” He asked and Mr Adewale danced on his leather chair with his hands and head on the table.
    He rose up his head and saw him still standing by the door side. Then cleared his throat and the expression on his face. “Yes, everything is fine. Where’s Peter?” He asked.
    “He isn’t here yet sir. And I’m not sure he’ll be coming today.”
    Mr Adewale sighed, still moving from left to right on his chair. “That’s unusual of him. It’s alright. You can go.” He dismissed him.

    Episode 13

    The First Lady had just entered the Vice Presidents residence, and to her surprise, Kemi approached her with a hug. “It’s alright. I’m here now. Please stop all this crying, you’re making me emotional too.” Victoria said with one leg outside the car.
    “I’m sorry,” Kemi released her, wiped her eyes with a white handkerchief and faked a smile. “I’m so happy you’re here.”
    The First Lady finally came down from the tinted cruiser. “Let’s go in, you’ve spoiled your make up with all the tears. And not to talk of the guards who are watching.” She said and walked side by side with her into the house.
    Back in the villa, the president was looking for Jack everywhere. “Is something wrong?” Jack ran into the sitting room.
    “Where have you been Jack? You were supposed to be here by 6am.”
    “I’m sorry sir, the traffic this morning is___”
    “You know what,” he interrupted. “Tell me on the way.” He walked passed him.
    “Uhm, where are we going sir?”
    “We’re going to visit a friend who happens to be a rat. Do you know I had the Chief Justice here and to my surprise,” he paused again. “Let’s just go.” He said and Jack followed him out of the sitting room and into a car and drove out of the villa. They didn’t take any entourage so as not to bring up any suspicion.
    ******
    Henrietta heard a knock on the door, she was in her former room, packing some things she needed before going back to her husband’s house. He was coming later in the night to pick her up. “Yes?” She looked to the door that was wide open and saw her brother, standing with his head down. “What is it.” She said.
    “Can we talk?” He asked, coming inside.
    “What do you want? And I didn’t ask you to come in!” She blurted.
    “Come on guddy,” he reached for her hands. And she tried to resist.
    “Don’t call me that, I’m not your guddy anymore, in fact, I’m not anyone’s guddy,” she said and they stood quietly for a minute.
    “Are you kidding? You will always be our guddy, you’re the baby of the house and we all love you,” he drew her to the bed and they sat. “Okay listen, I’m very sorry I slapped you, I promise it’s going to be the first and last time.” He said and she bent her head to the side a little.
    “I forgive you Jake. I mean, what do I do with you if I don’t. Unfortunately, you’re the only big brother I have and always will have,” she said and he rose his brows curiously. “Fine! The only sibling, I know it’s what you want to hear.” She said and they laughed a bit then come the silence again.
    “Thank you very much.” He said.
    “But, before I do. Remember you owe Mahmoud an apology too.” She said and he sat back down.
    “Seriously, your husband punched me on the face and you still want me to apologize to him?”
    “You punched him too remember, you punched each other. So you both need to straighten your relationship with one another. Besides, you know Mahmoud, he doesn’t have a problem.”
    “Okay okay, fine. I’ll apologize to him. If it’ll make you happy.” They both shared a smile and he touched her cheek passionately.
    Just as he was about to jump off the bed, she drew him back again. “Before you go,” she said and he groaned with his head high up the roof. “What are your intentions towards Taye?”
    “How do you mean?” He asked.
    “I mean, are you just friends with benefits. Is that all you two are? Or do you plan to, I don’t know, maybe, marry her?” Bisi said.
    “You know what you’re right!” He looked to the left and right then added. “You see why I envy you. You’re too smart for your age. Wow! I mean, nobody has ever given me such advice.”
    “Oh, it was just a question. But you’re welcome.” She replied.
    “You must be feeling good about yourself right now, aren’t you?”
    “I always feel good about myself.” She said pompously.
    “Thank you so much again guddy, I’ll call her and ask her to meet me tonight.” He said.
    “Wait, you’re not going to propose to her tonight, are you.” She said with wonderment.
    “Nah! We’re just going to have a chat like normal adults.” He said and she nodded in understanding.
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    ********

    Jack kicked the red door open with one leg. Such power! Then they bashed in together with the president. They found Peter packing, he was about to leave his apartment, the state, or even the country. He never expected them to be at his place that early. “Going somewhere Peter?” Mr Adewale asked, entering the room.
    “Mr president, how did you know where I live?” Peter asked back. Was that the answer to the question. No. Mr Adewale thought to himself and looked at him again, he was acting suspicious.
    “No one is impossible for a man in my position to find,” the president sat on a table chair closed to the bed. “But I’m not here to chit chat with you Peter, so I’ll get to the point. Where’s the disk?” His face looked more serious now as if something had irritated him.
    “What disk?” Peter asked and Mr Adewale looked away and back.
    “You can play the long game if you want to. But I want you to know that I don’t have all day. And that is why I brought Jack with me,” he said and Jack moved closer with his broad chest, looking down at Peter.
    “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
    “Yes you do Peter, yes you do. You were the only person that knew about the disk and that is why it wasn’t hard to know who took it,” the president rubbed his hands on his face, he was tired of talking. “You know what, I’ll let you and Jack talk.”
    *******

    “Thank you.” The First Lady said as Kemi offered her a small mug of hot coffee. “So, who else knows about this?” She asked and sipped from the cup.
    “No one,” Kemi sat on the bed. “Except Jack, he was there, he saw everything. But he told me my secret was safe with him.”
    “And he meant it,” Victoria interrupted and sipped the coffee again.
    Kemi tried to understand why she was so sure about him keeping the secret to himself. “How are you so sure?” She asked.
    “Oh, come on. You’re not the only one with skeletons in the closet,” Victoria said and Kemi sighed questioningly. “Not like I did what you did, no. It was a long time ago, when Wale was still a governor__” she began.
    ******

    While at peters place, things were getting heated up, his room was torn upside down, he had suffered some broken nose and mouth from Jack’s beating. “Okay, okay. Okay!” He rose his palm to Jack for him to stop approaching him by the corner he was sitting. “I was contacted some days before I gave you the disk, I didn’t know what to do,” he said and spitted out blood on the floor.
    “Who contacted you?” Mr Adewale seemed interested as he rests his elbows on his lap, leaning closer.
    “Some dude, who claimed he works for General Tukur. Look I was doing this to save you and my mum.” He pointed at them.
    “I don’t follow.” Mr Adewale said.
    “When I got a call, I was threatened to give them the disk or the kill muscles here,” he eyed up at Jack. “And you and my mum, they even send me some photos of my mum when I didn’t want to believe. They have ,your photo too.” Peter handed over his phone to Jack and he saw the picture he took with one of the guards on the night he drove the Vice President’s wife there.
    “You should have come to me first, Peter!” Mr Adewale scolded.
    “I didn’t have much choice, alright. I panicked, yes I panicked and I thought I was saving you both and my mum. I don’t want any harm to come to her.” He said.
    “Where are you going now? Why’re you packing?” He asked.
    “He said I should leave after everything is done, so no one catches me and try to make me tell them the truth. I was supposed to meet them at this location by 5am tomorrow morning, and they demanded I come alone.” He answered.
    “Wait, where’s the disk?”
    “I don’t have it.”
    “What do you mean you don’t have it Peter! Where did the disk go!” Mr Adewale shouted.
    “Someone in a black car collected it from me this morning.”
    “Oh my god! Peter, do you have the idea of what you did? I’ll tell you, you just have the only proof I have that will get Tukur and his men arrested. Now we have nothing! I have nothing against him! What were you thinking?” Mr Adewale scratched his head with confusion and looked at them. “What were you packing for? Where were you planning to go?

    Episode 14

    Kemi’s eyes followed Victoria from side to side as she kept touching and admiring some of her jewels. “But to be honest with you, I never tried that again.” Victoria said, sniffing a perfume she took from the table.
    “Okay, so what do I do. Because seriously I’m feeling haunted.”
    “Haunted how?” Victoria glanced back. “If it’s about what you did, then don’t. I mean, you did it for the country right. And most of all, you did it to put a very bad man in a place that he belongs. So literally, it isn’t your fault, none of it would have happened if wale and your husband hadn’t given me stone ears.”
    “So, I shouldn’t tell him what happened?” Kemi asked.
    “Yes,” Victoria walked to her. “Because nothing happened, Jack is going to keep his mouth shut, you are too,” she sniffed the liquid green perfume in her hand. “I’m taking this home with me.”

    ******

    Mahmoud had arrived at the villa to take his wife home that evening. The house was empty, it echoed back as he called her name. Sitting on a chair, he heard footsteps, he looked up and saw his wife and Wasila descending down together. “Whoa!” He laughed briefly. “Where are you taking all of this?” He glanced at the clothes, story books, towels, and even toys that Wasila was holding.
    “I’m taking them home with me.” She shrugged.
    He laughed again. “But you don’t need all this.” He said.
    “I know I don’t, but she does.” She replied with a soft tap on her flat tummy.
    “Right,” he cocked his head and added. “But these are your stuff and they’re a little old for this generation, don’t you think. We can buy new ones.”
    “Yes, and add them to this one.” She had a smiled
    “Alright, if you insist.” He never won an argument over her.
    ****

    Peter was used as bait for the people that would come and pick him up that morning. He stood by the road and just as expected, a black Mercedes pulled over close to him and he entered.
    “Stay as far away as possible, I hope Peter knows what he’s supposed to do.” Mr Adewale said from the backseat.
    “He does sir,” Jack replied looking at the side mirror. “I kind of threatened him.” He added and they laughed.
    Just as they were busy talking, the car came to a halt in a corner, it was a quiet place. “Okay, that’s it! I’ve had it with this dude, he’s playing us.” One said angrily as he went out of the car.
    “You should stay in the car sir,” Jack glanced back with a cock of his AK47.
    “Like that’s going to happen.” He said and went out. And they walked slowly to the place and squatted next to a dumpster. Jack walked up to the one in the lookout and knocked him out, the next one was pointing a gun at Peter and Jack loved as Peter shivered. Just then he held the man’s arm and gave him a blow to the face and he lied down flat.
    “You should see how scared you looked, you can get yourself into trouble but won’t be able to save yourself. I hope you didn’t pee in your body.” Jack mocked him as he picked the two men’s guns. “It’s clear.” He said and the president came out from hiding.
    “Are you okay Peter, I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to mislead them.”
    “I’m fine sir.” Peter wiped the hot sweat on his forehead with a glance at Jack who had smiles all over.
    They finished there and went back to the villa to strategize their next plan, they also took the men along with them. One was tied up and the other was made to call his boss. Miraculously, they found out he was related to Gen Tukur himself. It made things much easier for them. It was finally time to capture General Tukur.
    The plan was for the man to call his uncle and tell him to meet him somewhere off the grid because he was being followed. “How about that boy” Gen Tukur asked.
    “He’s taken cared of, there’s nothing to worry about.” He answered.
    “Good. Alright, I’ll meet you tomorrow morning. Just stay out of sight of the police.” Gen Tukur ended the call after, he couldn’t wait for the next day.
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    *****

    The general went to meet him at the place he was told to. Not knowing it was surrounded by the police and soldiers. “I came alone because I didn’t want to raise any suspicion.” He said approaching his nephew and hugged him.
    “That’s good. So, why did you suggest I meet you here?”
    “I want you to stop all the evil plans you have against the president and this nation.” Those words weren’t exactly what Tukur was expecting.
    “Excuse me!” They definitely hit him by surprise. “What’re you talking about?”
    “I’m saying, if you stop all these, then the authority doesn’t need to arrest you.”
    “No! How dare you say this to me. After everything I did for you. I’ll not stop until I see Adewale dead and this country crawling on its knees.” He said.
    “You really won’t stop, will you?”
    “That’ll be over my dead body or when I’m behind bars.” He said.
    “Okay. I tried my best to convince you to see the bright side but the hate you have for your own country has consumed you whole.”
    “And where are you going?” He asked as the man passed him.
    “He’s standing by the side to enjoy the view of you getting arrested.” The President interrupted, coming behind a pillar with Jack.
    “What is this!” Tukur turned to his nephew.
    “I’m sorry, I have no choice. But this is the end.” His nephew replied.
    “I’ll kill you!” Tukur shouted and shot him. Jack pushed the president back and the gun fight began.
    The uniform men standing outside the uncompleted building rushed in when they heard multiple gunshots. They went in with full force and neutralized the situation but Tukur had disappeared.
    “Where’s he?” The president asked.
    “He must have escaped through the back.”
    “Well find him!” He yelled at the officers and they scattered around the building in search of the General but he was far gone. “How’s he?” Mr Adewale looked down to jack.
    “No pulse sir, he’s dead.” Jack confirmed as he touched Tukur’s nephew’s neck.
    “Goddamn it!” The president said in a rare moment of candor.
    General Tukur had escaped from their grasp and is nowhere to be found. The president kept it within a small circle because he knew the nation would be in panic if they were to be told someone so dangerous was in the wind. Mr Adewale hated himself for letting Tukur slip out of his hands like that, he knew he had only one shot and he had taken it. Now it’s Tukur’s turn and he knows he will strike back. Hard.
    ******
    “How can you let such a thing happen? I thought you said you had everything under control.”
    “I did.” Mr Adewale answered quietly.
    “Then how come he escaped? They were police men all over the place, how did he manage to escape?” Victoria asked.
    “Listen that shouldn’t be our worry right now, what we should be thinking of is how to find him.”
    “I am worried. In fact, I’m very worried because it’s only God that knows what he’s going to do next_”
    “Just calm down Bimpe.”
    “How can I calm down when I don’t even know where my son is and it’s the middle of the night. How am I sure he’s safe?”
    “Call him Bimpe. And besides, he’s an adult and he can take care of himself.”
    “I can’t even believe you’re saying that to me.”
    Mr Adewale stood up gently from the couch and headed inside, he was tired of her talks. He just wanted to focus on what to do next. Yes, he was also scared, but he didn’t have the leverage to show that to anyone. Especially not his wife who is already on panic mode.

    Episode 15

    “You know it’s always good to be far away from everyone,” Taye said drunkly, sipping from her glass cup.
    “I know right,” Jake cleared his throat and shifted forward. “Listen Taye, there’s something I want to talk to you about.”
    “I’m all ears.” She cheered with the air.
    “Okay, it’s about us,” he began. “Hey, are you even listening?” He tapped her face as she was dozing off. She was drunk and later fell in a deep slumber. He then booked a room in a nearby hotel for the both of them.

    *****

    Sola’s house was charged up with tension also, his wife was also on panic mode. What exactly is she afraid of. He tried to figure out. “He would never suspect you put it there.” He had said to her.
    “But I was the last person he saw that day.” She had replied.
    “Wait, how are you so sure you were the last person he saw? I thought all you did was hide the chip and get out.” Curiosity colored his voice.
    “Yes. Yes that’s correct.” She swallowed. She gasped as he left her.
    Four weeks later, they didn’t hear anything from the General and they all assumed he had left the country or in a hide out from the authorities. “Mahmoud!” Henrietta shouted his name.
    “I’m in here baby.” He answered, frying some chips.
    “What’re you doing?” She asked as she stepped into the vast kitchen that was facing the sitting room.
    “I’m making breakfast as you requested, you said you wanted to eat fried chips with eggs right.” He smiled.
    “No, I don’t want fried chips anymore,” she put up a moody face and he sighed.
    “Wow, and I’ve finished almost everything. But are you sure__”
    “Shh.”
    “What is it__”
    “Shh,” she shushed him again. “I thought I heard something from the back.”
    “Are you sure? Must be one of the guards then.” He said and she placed her hand on his mouth. They became silent to the extent that they could hear a dog barking from a far distance. Just then they heard a thud, as if someone or something had fell to the ground. “I think there’s someone in the house.” She whispered to him, he could see fear in her eyes.
    “That can’t be. Someone in the house this early, if it’s not the guards then who?” He asked and she shook her head. “Okay I’ll go check, wait here,” he walked a bit and saw one of the guards lying face down by the glass door. He quickly turned to her. “Bisi, call__” a bullet came from the window pane and hit him.
    Henrietta had started screaming but no one would hear, they were far from people, their neighbors were kilometers away. And the guards had all been shot dead, she was sure it was a sniper. “Mahmoud,” she called squatting under the kitchen table. She couldn’t see him move so she wasn’t sure if he was still alive. “Baby,” she cried quietly and glanced at her cell phone that was on the cushion, which she wouldn’t get to without being spotted by the sniper.
    *****

    Back at the hotel, the duo had done what they did best. But Jake wanted to take their relationship forward, he wanted to change its status from “singles who mingle” to “in a relationship” or “married” or something that fits his imagination. “Morning.” Taye interrupted his thoughts.
    “Hey, you’re awake. Finally,” he said and she groaned. “I told you not to drink too much.”
    “Yes, you did and I’m sorry.” She apologized.
    “It’s alright, I want our relationship to move forward__” he paused as they heard a knock on the door.
    “Did you ordered for something?” She asked and he disapproved.
    “Who’s it?” He asked and the knock stopped. Then it came back again which startled them. “Who’s it?!” Jake asked as he threaded with caution. He reached the door and looked to the bed, Taye had entered the bathroom. “Who’s it?” He asked again.
    “Room service.” A voice said from the other side.
    He began to unlock the door. “But we didn’t order for any__” the person pushed the door at his face, breaking his nose. Then the man with a black hat that was covering almost half of his face jumped on him with a knife Jake hadn’t seen before. “Help! Taye!” Jake shouted, stopping the man from stabbing him on his chest. He kept on pushing the knife to jake’s chest and Taye came out of the bathroom. As expected, she shouted in fear, shaking from side to side.
    Quickly a wave hit her and she found herself carrying a lamp and hitting the unknown man in his back, he slapped her and she fell down. Jake was barely on his feet when the man came back, they started to struggle, breaking glasses. Taye came from his back and choked him with jake’s belt. Soon they all fell to the floor, the man began gasping for air, he was going to lose the fight, two against one wasn’t a good odd for him. In a minute time, he stopped struggling and they released him. “Is he dead?” She asked.
    “He should be.” He answered panting.
    ******
    Back at the couples residence, there was silence longer than Henrietta expected. Was the shooter gone? Is her husband still alive? He was far from her, he was lying right where the window was, so she knew the only thing she could do was go for the phone. She quietly lied flat on the floor and began to crawl to the chair where the phone was. “Hello,” she whispered as she quickly dialed on it. “Hello, please help. There’s someone in the house.” She said.
    An hour later, the securities and the police where all over the presidents daughter’s house. The shooter was gone when they arrived. Mahmoud was alive but in a critical condition, and was being taken to the hospital by the ambulance which was escorted by his 2months old pregnant wife.
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    *****

    “I can’t believe this!” Mr Adewale paced angrily with hands on his waists. “My family? He’s coming after my family? How dare him!” He shouted.
    “You need to take things easy sir.” Jack suggested.
    “What was that?” Mr Adewale walked to him. “Take things easy? I just got a call from a hotel saying my son and Taye was attacked and now my daughter and her husband! First he runs like a coward and now he’s attacking my family from the shadows!” Mr Adewale scolded at Jack as if he was the enemy.
    Jack took him to the hospital where Mahmoud and his daughter were taken to. He opened the front door and 5 of his top secret service guards walked down the hall with him. “How’s he?” He asked as he reached where Mahmoud’s parents were standing.
    “He’s in surgery. He was shot just below the heart, but the doctor said he will make it,” sola said and added. “Whoever the sniper was, he knew what he was doing. And has a significant order.”
    “Which is?” Mr Adewale asked.
    “To kill.” Sola answered and the president looked to his guards and back at him. “We need to talk.” Sola said.
    “Damn right, we do.” The president opened a blue door and entered an empty room with sola and closed the door.
    “None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for you and your selfish interests!”

    “I know and I don’t know how many times I have to apologize for what I tried to do to you,” sola began. “But I wanted to fix things and you took matters into your own hands.”
    “What’re you talking about?”
    “If only you had waited for the right moment, strategize before going with his nephew to take him down. I mean, how did that end up?”
    “What exactly are you saying?” Mr Adewale interlocked his fingers, sola wasn’t still making sane to him.
    “What I’m saying is, if you want to catch someone like Tukur, you have to use everything you got. Otherwise when he gets away, which he has__”
    “Summarize.” Mr Adewale said.
    “If he can kill his nephew to escape getting caught, then there’s nothing or no one he can’t kill. He’s out there right now, fierce and angry that we tried to take him down. Only God knows what he’s planning to do next.” Sola finished.
    “Well he won’t be planning for long.”
    “How so?”
    “He came after my family, those I love dearly. So I’ll make sure he gets what he deserves. Hell, I’ll hunt him down myself if I have to.” Mr Adewale said with rage in his eyes.
    Sola scoffed and moved up to him. “You need to be careful. We need to be careful. Because anything we do now affects our families, those we care deeply about,” sola said and they both looked out to the door and saw their wives. “We need a plan, something that could lure him out.” Sola said.
    “You’re right,” Mr Adewale agreed. “But first we need to find the sniper, he’s our ticket to finding Tukur.”

    Episode 16(Final)

    “Why’re we under the same roof?” Jake asked.
    “It’s for your own protection.” Jack answered.
    “Seriously? Our protection? It’s been a month. You can’t tell me this is all because of one man__”
    “Not just any man, he’s a six star general who’s__”
    “Oh save the crap story for your children,” Jake looked at him. “Do you even have children Jack?” He asked.
    “I can’t disclose my personal life with anyone in and out of this building_”
    “Oh great!” Jake interrupted and sat on a chair.

    ******

    Victoria quickly approached her husband as he was coming to the sitting room. “What’s this wale? We have been in doors for weeks, we can’t continue to live like this. The public will get suspicious.”
    “I don’t care if they get suspicious, listen, I need you all to be here, just for a little time while I deal with the task at hand.” He said.
    “But our freedom__”
    “There is no freedom!” His voice almost rose to a near shout and everyone looked at them. “There is no freedom with Tukur being out there on a vendetta against all of us.” He whispered and she nodded in understanding.
    “Alright,” she cleared her throat. “I’ll try and keep Bola and Bisi from eating each other alive and Taye from crying all the time.” She said.
    “Thanks, and trust me, they’re safer here. Taye is here at her parents request.” He replied.
    “What about Mahmoud’s shooter? He’s still out there?” She asked quietly.
    “Yes, but I promise we will get him soon enough,” Mr Adewale answered and signaled to Jack. “I love you, but I have to go.” He whispered as Jack approached.
    “I know, I love you too. Be careful out there.” She whispered back and he walked away. “Protect him.” She said to Jack.
    “With my life.” He replied and left.
    The president had an idea of using Peter as a bait but it wasn’t going as they expected. There they are, sitting quietly with eyes fixed on Peter who was sitting on a wooden chair, looking up at them. “There’s someone out there that’s killing people, and you want me to lure him out?”
    “Yes, it’ll be simple.” Jack answered.
    “Simple? How sure are you he won’t kill me the first chance he gets!” Panic rose in peters voice.
    “He won’t.” Jack assured.
    “Really? Why don’t any of you do it then!” He pointed at the two of them. “No offense sir.”
    “None taken.” Mr Adewale shrugged. He understood his fear. He imagined how he was also in the same state some weeks back when he learnt his family had been attacked. His eyes and ears grew distant for a minute, he could hear Peter and Jack arguing. “It’s okay if you can’t do it. I won’t hold it against you.” He broke the argument.
    “But sir.”
    “It’s alright Jack, every life matters. So we can’t force anyone to do this. It’s risky and I can’t guarantee that persons safety, so the person will have to come at his own free will.”
    “Do you have someone in mind?” Jack asked as he opened the door for him.
    “No.” He answered and they left peters apartment.
    ******

    Mr Adewale snuck into the house, in hopes of not waking anybody. It was late when he got back, he had been working days and nights since the incidents. “Freeze!” A voice said from the dark.
    Startled, he stopped vehemently and looked to the chairs, it was dark but he was sure who it was. “I believe I live here.” He said.
    “Walk towards me with your hands up.” The person said and he did as he was told. “And stop.”
    He sighed and put down his hands. “Why’re you not in bed sweetie?” He asked and Henrietta switched the lights on.
    “I couldn’t sleep.” She sniffed.
    “Have you been crying?” He sat close to her.
    “I can’t help it,” she started. “There’s someone out there who only wants to kill us.” She began to cry silently.
    “It’s alright,” he took her in his arms. “Everything will be back to normal soon. I have every police and soldiers looking for him everywhere in the country.”
    “I hope they kill him when they find him.” She said and he smiled a bit.
    “Guess what.” He said.
    “I’m not in the mood dad.” She replied.
    “Okay. I went to the hospital today.” He announced and she sat up.
    “How’s Mahmoud?” She asked quickly.
    “Mahmoud is fine, as a matter of fact, the doctor said you can come and see him tomorrow if you’d like.”
    “Of course, he’s my husband. If only those animals hadn’t stopped me everytime I tried to go out.” She said with anger and he chuckled.
    “Don’t hate them, they’re just doing their job. But, tomorrow, you will be free as a bird because you’re going to see your husband.”
    “Yeah, with 20guards taking every step with me.”
    “Well.” He stressed the word.
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    *******

    Mr Adewale was sitting in his office when he heard a knock. “Come in.” He said and Peter entered.
    “Good morning sir,” Peter greeted as he closed the door.
    “Morning, sit down.” He offered and Peter did. “So, what can I do for you?” He leaned closer.
    “I’ve thought about what you said, I actually wanted to sleep on it so as to know if I was making the right decision or not, despite the fact that__”
    “Peter,” he snapped. “Just get to the point will you, as you can see I’m very busy.”
    “Right,” Peter surveyed the table. “I will be the bait.” He said boldly.
    “What.” Mr Adewale removed his reading glasses.
    “Yes, if it’ll catch the man that shot your daughter’s husband. Then I’ll be happy to help.” He put up a smile.
    Peter was being prepared to be a bait that morning, Jack wired him up so they could hear everything happening in the background and also a Bluetooth, that would make them communicate with him. “Okay, i will talk you through it.” Jack said.
    “Am I the only one who’s nervous and scared?” Peter asked.
    “I’m scared too.”
    “Really?” Peter asked and Jack nodded.
    “I’m scared you might end up dead.” Jack busted into laughter as he saw peter tremble. “I was just joking.” He said.
    “Very funny.”
    “Come on, you’ll be fine. Just do whatever I tell you and everything will go as planned.”
    “I hope.” Peter didn’t seem convinced with jack’s motivational words.
    ********

    Henrietta reached the hospital, accompanied by some security personnels in and out of the hospital. “Oh baby.” She rushed and almost lied on top of him.
    “Easy, easy. The chest.”
    “Oh I’m so sorry,” she rose up and sat on the bed. She was just too happy to see him. “I was so worried, I thought I’d lost u.”
    “I’m alright,” he said kissing her right hand. “How’re you guys?” He asked.
    “We are fine now that you’ve opened your eyes.” She said, rubbing her left hand on her stomach.
    “How long have I been here?” He asked.
    “10days.” She answered.
    “Mum__”
    “They’re coming later to see you, everyone is, I just couldn’t wait for them.” She said and he smiled.
    “Yeah. I’m happy to see you and him.” He touched her stomach.
    “She’s a girl.” She protested.
    “Oh no, definitely a boy. Girls are too fragile.”
    “Seriously?” She rose her brows. “It’s a girl and that’s the end of discussion.”
    “Alright, if you say so,” he surrendered and faced the other side. “It’s a boy.” He whispered and she pinched his hand.
    “Ow!” He said and they both laughed a bit. “I guess the shooter is not yet to be found.” He looked at the guard standing outside the ward room.
    She glanced at the security man and back at him with a sigh. “Yes, but not to worry. He will be in custody soon. You just focus on getting better and leaving here.” She rubbed her hand on his up and down.
    Peter sat in the car with Jack in front of a hotel they suspected the shooter was staying. Soon they saw a man leaving the building and striding towards a parked car like he had a purpose. “Where’s he going?” Peter asked curiously.
    “Out. It’s time for you to go__”
    “Wait, wait. Go where?” Peter interrupted quickly.
    “Inside the hotel, you’re going to his room.” Jack answered.
    Peter and Jack ducked down as the car passed them by, he had started to panic. “But that was not part of the plan. You never mentioned the part where I go inside his hotel room!”
    “I must have forgot to mention that part,” Jack said. “Now you know, so you better get going before he comes back.”
    “I am going nowhere,” Peter clad well in his seat. “I want to speak with the president, he needs to know__”
    “There’s no time for that.”
    “Why do I feel you have an agenda of your own, hmm?”
    “Listen, just go. We will talk about the recent change of plan later, but you have to go now before he comes back.” Jack said.
    “Okay, but what am I looking for?”
    “Just get inside his room first and I’ll talk you through it,” Jack put a small mic in his ear. “Use your ID, the person there will give you the keys.”
    Peter opened the door as if to go out and then sat back in again. “What if something goes wrong?”
    “Just say “moi moi” and we will come and get you.” Jack answered.
    “Moi moi, you have to be kidding me,” Peter laughed dryly and added. “So of all the things you can come up with, you chose moi moi.”
    “What’s wrong with “moi moi”?”
    “I__,” Peter sighed of exhaustion. “I don’t have time for this.” He said and finally went out of the car.
    “Great and remember, that black van over there is filled with police men, Incase something__well__” Jack stammered.
    “I hate you.” Peter said and walked through the entrance door.

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    *******

    The president and his vice with their families were in the hospital later that afternoon. “I hope the nurses are taking good care of you?” Kemi had asked her son.
    “How’s the operation going?” Sola whispered to the president.
    “No updates yet. Hopefully soon.” The president sighed and they walked closer to their families.
    “Is everything okay?” Victoria whispered.
    “Yes, everything is fine.” Mr Adewale faked a smile.
    ******
    Down at the hotel, things were getting jinxed. “What’s happening in there Peter?” Jack asked.
    “I don’t know, it’s like some kind of robbery.” He answered.
    “Robbery? Could this day get any worse,” Jack thought out loud. “Wait, what is this?”
    “What’s what? What’s going on?”
    “He’s coming back.” Jack said.
    “Who’s coming back?” Peter asked.
    “The shooter. I don’t get this__”
    “If he’s coming back now, then it means this is not a robbery.” Peter analyzed.
    “It’s a massacre,” Jack muttered to himself, everything had began to make sense now. “Peter, I want you to go back upstairs and stay in his room and lock the doors, I’m coming.” Jack dashed out of his car and banged on the back of the van twice and the police men came out. “The objective is to infiltrate the hotel, take out any obstacles but we need the shooter alive, if possible. Good luck.” Jack finished and they stormed the building.
    “Go!” He shouted accompanied by several officers, they ran in formation with their Ak47’s and shotguns hot. They blasted into the hotel with Jack leading them. A gunman was taken out quickly, weapons started firing and the men grunted as they fell to the ground. Another shot was fired and they quickly dispatched.
    Gun fires ricochet at the surrounding and Jack went up the stairs, leaving the officers exchanging bullets with the criminals. He reached a hallway and swept the area then preceeded down the hall. “Where are you Peter?” He asked surveying the rooms one after the other.
    “I’m in room 301, I believe he’s inside as well.”
    “Yes, I figured. He isn’t downstairs with the rest.”
    “What is happening downstairs?” Peter asked with curiosity.
    “You don’t want to know.” Jack reached the room and took a deep breath then he ventured inside, gunfire blasted unexpectedly at him and he took cover by the wall outside the room. “Where exactly are you Peter? Are you anywhere near him?”
    “No. He doesn’t even knows I’m in here,” Peter whispered. “I’m in the bathroom, get me out of here!”
    “Here we go.” Jack said to himself and entered with his gun ablaze, they opened fire at each other and for some reason the man dashed out through the window. “Peter, are you okay?” Jack repeated those words when he opened the bathroom door. Peter was trembling as with palsy. Hot sweat broke from every pore of his 5’9 body. “Peter.” He tapped his cheek twice.
    “Yes, yes. Go!” He finally responded.
    Jack also flew out the window and began running after the man he believed to be the shooter. The chase was on. They ran for minutes, through every house, every corner and every street. Soon they reached a construction site and the man was nowhere to be found. It was as if he had disappeared but Jack knew he was lurking somewhere. He took a step closer to the crane and got pushed to it. It was the shooter, he was choking Jack. He had his elbow pressed hard on jack’s neck with the other hand pinning jack’s hand on the side of the crane. Making it impossible for him to breath or try and get away from his grasp.
    Luckily Jack thought fast and kicked him in the gut, which enabled the man to leave him. Coughing hard and gasping for air, he saw the man took out a knife, the same knife Jake had explained to them he saw when a man attacked them in their hotel room. Jack knew he was a military man because only a military person could have access to such a weapon. He was sure the man was very good at combat also, he might be good but Jack was taller and he wasn’t backing down. And the fight began, Jack was able to throw a few punches but the man had the advantage, he cut a part of jack’s body bit by bit at every chance he got. They fought as though they were sworn enemies. They were. One is loyal to the Satan himself.
    ******
    “Are you out of your mind? What if something bad had happened! Do you know he’s my secretary? And you decided to gamble with his life without my authority!” The president yelled.
    “I’m sorry__”
    “Keep your apologies to yourself! I gave you one order, and you went and did another thing entirely, on your own. What if someone got killed in the process of you trying to be a hero!”
    The president was not happy with Jack even though he had won the fight against the shooter and brought him back alive together with Peter. It still didn’t impress his boss. “Dismissed.” The president said quietly and Jack left his sight.
    Night fell and it was time to sleep, he entered the room and sat quietly on the bed. “I heard Jack caught the man who tried to kill my daughter and her husband.” Victoria said from where she sat.
    “He did.” He answered with a low tone.
    “But you’re not happy,” she concluded and he sighed. “Why’re you not happy?” She sat close.
    “I don’t know,” he glanced at her. “Maybe it’s because the risk he took was too expensive.”
    “He’s trained for that, and I’m sure that was why you sent him out there. Right?” She asked and he nodded in agreement. “So what are you upset about?”
    “He’s too valuable to be taking such risks. I guess I’m angry that he could have been killed together with Peter,” he rubbed his hands on his face. “I wouldn’t know what to do if anything had happened to any one of them, he’s the best I’ve got and the most trusted.”
    “Hey,” she put her hand across his shoulders. “At least the mission was successful and most of all, he brought back a very important tool.” She said.
    “That’s right,” he swallowed. “And he’s going to tell me what I want to know, wether he likes it or not.” He said with a serious gaze.
    “Yes, and all these will be behind us. Forever.” She added and laid her head on his left shoulder with their hand clasping together.

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    ******
    The morning sun was shining so bright and so was the president. He had taken enough rest and was ready to talk to the man in his captive. “You should let me talk to him sir.” Jack approached.
    “We don’t have time for that Jack, we need to catch Tukur today no matter what.” Mr Adewale said.
    “Yes sir, I’m aware of that. But he’s military, and he won’t break easy.” Jack replied.
    “Watch me.” He said and ordered the guard by the door to open it and he went in. “Where’s your boss?”
    “I’m not telling you anything.” He said and Mr Adewale brought out a hammer. Where’d he get a hammer? Jack thought to himself.
    “You will tell me everything that I need to know, you can go to hell for all I care,” Mr Adewale said and told Jack to hold out the man’s hand and he hit it with the hammer. “He came after my family!” Mr Adewale shouted, the rage in his eyes shook Jack. He had never seen anyone with such rage before. “Hold out the other hand.” He said.
    “Sir__”
    “Just do it!” He towered angrily and Jack did as he was told and BAM, another strike to the man’s left hand. Jack was sure he broke all the 27bones in his hand.
    Mr Adewale could see his hands shaking, he never thought he could have the mind to do what he did. But for some reason he didn’t blame himself. Part of the things you do for family. He had told himself. That made him calm as he kept repeating it in his head and thinking of the bigger picture.
    They had gotten the information they needed from the man. They got ready to go, bullet proof vests on, mics, loaded guns and many officers to go with. The president had requested that he go with them, even though Jack tried to persuade him not to. Police cars sped on the road with their emergency lights flashing, their sirens piercing through the quiet night. It looks more beautiful at night.
    “I have to be honest, I’m grateful for what you did the other day,” the president broke the silence as they rode together with the other police vehicles. “And I also owe you an apology__”
    “There’s no need__”
    “Let me finish,” the president interrupted back. “You’ve done so much for me and my family,” his voice was calm. “You even did things above your payroll, all in the name of serving me. So thank you and I’m sorry for yelling at you.”
    “You’re welcome sir.” Jack said and they shared an understanding gaze.
    The president then sat quietly, looking outside the window. “Do you think I’m taking this personal?” He turned to Jack.
    “No sir, I don’t.” Jack answered with a glance at his side mirror and the president scoffed.
    “Come on, you know you can always say your mind, right.”
    “Yes sir I do.”
    “So__” the president shrugged.
    “Some men don’t deserve to be walking the earth. So whichever decision you make sir, I’m with you.” Gauging his expression, the president softened thoughtfully. His jaw tightened and then he looked away to the window as they passed the streets.
    They got information that the general was being guarded by military personnel. Even though they knew what he was doing to the country, they were still ready to protect and die for him. Truly, the world has degenerated into chaos.
    “What is it?” The president asked after minutes of sitting quietly in the passengers seat.
    “What about the vp sir?”
    “What about him?” The president returned.
    “What do you plan to do with him when all of this is over. I mean, he was behind some of the things that happened, and that makes him an accomplice.” Jack said with seriousness.
    “I know what you’re driving at Jack. But I’ve given it a lot of thoughts and decide not to implicate him in any way. Nor am I going to have him removed from his office.”
    “Because Henrietta is married to his son.”
    Jack said and the president nodded. “Yes Jack. And they’re expecting a child. I don’t want anything that’ll disturb or break her heart.”
    “I understand sir.” Jack sighed quietly.
    “Let’s see this through first Jack, then we can have time to talk of what to do about some individuals in the villa,” he added. “Maybe I can close my eyes at nights without feeling haunted by anyone named Tukur or his counterparts.”
    “Brace yourself Mr president, we are here.” Jack said, parking beside the road.
    Bullets flew around at them as they bursted a door open. “What’s happening there, I heard gunshots.” The president said to his mic.
    “We’re taking heavy fire sir, these guys are using automatic weapons.”
    The president hit the dashboard hard with his palm. “What’s the situation?”
    “We’ve lost six officers Mr president. Unfortunately, our weapons are no match for theirs. This is a suicide mission sir.” Jack reported and the president looked at the soldier man he was sitting across with in the van.

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    ********

    Meanwhile, Mahmoud was discharged from the hospital that evening and the welcome home celebration came as a surprise to him. He was taken to the villa, his parents were also there. “Welcome back, man.” Jake shook his hand with a tap on his shoulder.
    “Why didn’t you tell me about this?” Mahmoud whispered to his wife who was walking side by side with him.
    “That would have ruined the surprise.” She whispered back with a chuckle.
    The First Lady had gone round the villa in search of her husband but he was nowhere to be found. He wasn’t answering his phone either and it made her worry. “Andrew, where’s my husband?” She asked, walking towards the guard.
    “I don’t know ma’am. Last time I saw him, he was with Jack__”
    “Did you say Jack?” She quickly interrupted and he said yes. “And where is Jack now?” She asked again.
    “I haven’t seen him either, I’m guessing__”
    She ran back to the sitting room, and busted into the family that were busy gisting and laughing in celebration of Mahmoud’s successful recovery. “What is it mum?” Henrietta jumped.
    “Oh it’s nothing,” she lied. “We are so happy you’re back. We give God all the glory.” She briefly hugged Mahmoud and then signaled to his father and he quickly followed her. “Keep enjoying yourselves,” she said with a fake smile and turned back at sola. He could see the smile was gone in an instant. “I can’t find my husband.”
    “What do you mean you can’t find him, I thought he was inside his office with Jack.” Sola said bewildered.
    “I thought so too, and now they’re both nowhere to be found.”
    Sola sighed loudly with a hand on his waist. “Have you tried calling him?” He asked.
    “He left his phone in the room.”
    “Okay, what about Jack?”
    “He’s not picking up.” She said and they shared a suspicious gaze. “I hope he didn’t sneak out the back and followed Jack.” She thought out loud.
    “Followed Jack? To where?”
    “He didn’t tell you?” She asked and he shook his head, gesturing no. “They have found General Tukur’s whereabout and they’re going to take him down tonight. Wale had told me everything and I told him to leave the work to those who are trained for it. But it’s obvious now that he didn’t take heed, now I fear the worst.” She placed both hands on her head.
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    ********

    At the scene, the president was tired of sitting in the van while his men where taken out without even having to step into the building. It wasn’t going as he had planned. “Where are you going sir?” The soldier held him by his hand.
    “I’m going out there!” He blurted.
    “No sir you can’t. You’re not wearing a vest__”
    “Give me one then!”
    “There’s none left.”
    The man said and the president groaned angrily. “I’m sorry sir but my instruction is to get you back home safely Incase things don’t turn out well.” The man said and they could hear several gunshots with his men shouting.
    “He’s not going to to get away with this, not this time.”
    “We can send in an air strike__”
    “Are you out of your mind! Your brothers are in there, and most of all Jack.”
    “I apologize sir, but this is war. And there are casualties, sometimes beyond one’s imagination.”
    This touched the president’s heart as he sat quietly, looking at the soldier, he looked calm. “How many of you are left?”
    “Just the five squad in the black suv__”
    “They’re the best right?”
    “Affirmative sir.”
    “Good, they’re going in with me.” The president went to the five men who he found nothing in their eyes as he looked into them.
    “I can’t let you go in there sir.” The soldier said and the president looked him in the eyes and saw he was being serious.
    “Alright, alright.” He surrendered and gave the five men an order to help Jack in taking down the general’s guards.
    He then went back into the van with the soldier and sat there feeling helpless. “We have breached the door sir, we’re going in now.” Jack reported and they heard another series of gunfire deep inside the building this time.
    “Just keep trying.” The vice had said, pacing with the First Lady.
    “Is there something wrong?” Henrietta asked as she walked close with folded hands.
    “No dear, it’s nothing. Go back to the sitting room and we will be there soon.”
    “Why do I feel you’re not telling me the truth.” She said as she saw worry in her mother’s eyes. “Where’s dad?” She asked and they glared at each other.
    Jack and the few men that were left were winning the battle, they had gotten control of the first floor and the second floor but he hasn’t seen the general yet. Hopefully he was in the third floor.
    “The situation is critical sir. We’re running out of ammo,” Jack reported and checked his gun then leaned weakly against the wall. “I’m out of ammo.” He said quietly, he knew this was the end.
    “You can’t go in there sir.” The soldier man tried to stop him again.
    “You just head what he said. He’s out of ammo__”
    “Yes, but there’s nothing we can do from here__”
    “Of course there is,” the president interrupted back. There’s ammo left in this van, I can take it to them__”
    “Never!”
    “Fine, you take it to them then.”
    “But I can’t leave you here.”
    “Take me with you, cover me while I hold onto the ammo.”
    The soldier sighed deeply, no matter how hard he tried to stop him, the president had seemed to have gotten what he always wanted in the first place. To be in the fight, even though he had never held a gun before, let alone how to use it. And after several minutes wasted and thoughts bashed, the man had no choice but to do what the president had suggested.
    “Careful.” The soldier whispered as they jumped down from the van. His hand was tightly on the president’s shoulder. “Come on.” He said and they headed to the building, ducking their heads. They entered the building with him still holding the ammo bag to his chest.
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    Dead bodies everywhere they stepped, both with uniforms. They couldn’t know which was theirs as the two teams of inform men killed their own in support of a criminal. What a world!
    “Jack!” The president called and he turned with a shock expression.
    “Sir, what’re you doing here!” Jack queried.
    “I came with more ammo.”
    “I made it clear to you to stay in the van and stop him from going out!” Jack was worried that now he didn’t have to worry about himself or his partners but the president too.
    “I’m sorry sir, he forced me__” a bullet whizzed pass the president’s ear and buried itself inside the soldier’s neck. He fell to the ground as someone who was pushed hard. Jack quickly drew the president to him and held him there. They couldn’t help but watch as the soldier gagged and gasped for air with blood gushing out like a water coming out of a tap. Soon, the struggle stopped and he died, it was a terrible death.
    “Stay down, I’m getting you out of here.” Jack shouted and stood up from where they hid, he took a few shots and the president saw General Tukur running out the back, and he quickly followed him. Leaving Jack there, bullets flew around the surrounding as he kept running. “No!” Jack shouted and wasted all his eight rounds and ran after him.
    “Stop!” The president ordered, panting as he ran after Tukur. In an instant he found himself closer and the he grabbed Tukur from the back and they fell to the ground. Tukur tried to use his gun but the president kicked it away and they started rolling side to side. The president sat on Tukur and began punching him hard, he didn’t care if his knuckles were hurting. He kept punching and punching and punching, breaking Tukur’s mouth, nose, cheek, his upper eye too.
    “You came after my family!” The president shouted still punching him as if he had a vendetta against him. And he sure did. General Tukur pushed him off of him and crawled to where his gun was and the president tried to stop him but Tukur still picked it.
    “No!” Jack ran as fast as he could. Jack was a step closer when he heard a gunshot. He paused vehemently. Who fired the weapon? He didn’t know as both of them didn’t move. And as he rode his gun at Tukur, the president collapsed. He had been shot. “Mr President!” Jack called as he carried his head on his arms. Tukur tried to shoot Jack also but he was out of bullets and he just threw the gun away and laid there. Just immediately reinforcement arrived.
    General Tukur was handcuffed and taken away. “We did it Jack! We did it!” The president managed.
    “Sir.” Jack glared down at him with a worried hot sick gaze. The president’s stomach was bleeding.
    His hands finds Jack’s and fumbled at it weakly, Jack also clasped his hand tightly in his own.
    “We need paramedics in here! Now!” Jack shouted.
    He was being rushed into the nearest emergency clinic. White lights everywhere he looked, then he looked to his legs and saw his family racing with the doctors. “How could you let this happen.”
    There was so many shouts and they suddenly became whispers as his eyes began to close. Just then the doctors stopped his family from entering the theatre. “Oh lord please, lord please, save my father!” Bisi cried out.
    “How could you let this happen Jack? I trusted you to keep him safe at all times. How did you allow this to happen!” The First Lady yelled at him, he only stood with his head down.
    “He did his best mum. Please calm down.” Jake said with a hand on her shoulder.
    Mahmoud had embraced his wife tightly as she was panicking too much. “He was willing to sacrifice his life for us, and now maybe he won’t get the chance to see his first grandchild.” She cried again.
    “Hey, the president will recover from this. Stop thinking that far. Just keep praying for him inside and everything will be fine.” Mahmoud consoled.
    Taye rushed in but Jake quickly approached her. “You people need to stop all this crying and worrying. He’s not going to die.” He said with confidence.
    “And how do you know that, because you’re God?” Taye asked.
    He laughed a bit and added. “A lot of people get shot everyday and not all of them dies. Besides,” he thrusted his hands in his pockets. “I know my father, he’s a very very strong man.” He said.
    A month later, the threat passed and the president could walk, talk and do things on his own. Everybody was happy he was back on his feet again, the country was forever grateful for what he did. Jake later proposed to Taye and she agreed to marry him, while Henrietta was put to bed and she delivered a baby girl who was named after her mother. Sola and Adewale were best friends again, like old times.
    THE END

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