THE CANDIDATE – EPISODE 4 ‘COMMANDER IN CHIEF’

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Every election ever held in Nigeria since Democracy took over has been a show; every contestant knows the results at least six months before Election Day.

Pastor Usikalo tossed and turned in his bed as he begged sleep to come. Ever since Toyin Adesoya visited him in his Lagos office two weeks ago, he had struggled to stay calm knowing how inquisitive she can be. Segun will ruin this for all of us if he can’t hide his fear. We are all in this together He thought.

He had become more of an Abuja citizen since he had his big break in Government and had become part of the law makers; God was truly on his side or at least that is what he preached in church. He had conveniently skipped the part of his achievements which involved a certain Shaman in Ogun State. He also had his ambitions to someday rise to be the president but he had been disappointed a few weeks back when he was told by Baba Idris that he had helped him enough. He was told that the rest of the journey was no longer in the shaman’s hands.

Today however, Pastor Usikalo was in dire need of sleep because he was to travel with Mr President. “That man sure travels a lot” Emem Usikalo would often say to her husband when the talk of a trip came up but she couldn’t complain; she was very close to the seat of power and she was loving it.
“Do have a safe trip love” Emem said to her husband as he donned his usual black caftan and hat. “You look great”
“Thank you dear” he replied sluggishly. The truth is that Pastor Usikalo had always been a person who loved to explore colours but ever since some knowledge was shared with him by Baba Idris, he realized that all he could wear’ if he wanted to achieve in his field was black, white, or red and since his Commander in Chief was already a lover of white, he went the black way.

“Colours say a lot about us as human beings and the colours we wear, combined with our strong intent, will work together to manifest our desires” Baba Idris had told him some years back “Surely you notice how powerful and influential people such as celebrities, Pastors and Politicians usually show up in Black, white, or red… It’s not coincidence”
Pastor Usikalo had managed, with the help of secrets he learned from Baba Idris, to build himself into a quiet force in Nigeria. He was an educator, a Preacher and now a top official in Government. He was living the life even though he had to enter places backwards, he had to let go of certain foods and drinks which he used to enjoy; not mentioning other sacrifices he had to make.

Every election ever held in Nigeria since Democracy took over has been a show; every contestant knows the results at least six months before Election Day.

“How is your daughter’s health?” Mr President asked halfway into the flight. They had exchanged pleasantries and talked of only economic matters before now.
“She is getting better Sir” he replied. “Thank you”
“And how is your wife coping with everything?” The Commander in Chief asked again; this time with a little more seriousness in his tone.
Pastor Usikalo took a deep breath ad answered “She is confused even though she tries to hide it” he said “She doesn’t know about any of this and the fact that the girl is almost always falling ill is troubling her”
“Don’t worry!” Mr President said confidently “The illness won’t kill her; you know how these things work”
“I know Sir” Pastor Usikalo said “It’s my wife I am worried about”
“Yes she is a strong woman” Mr President responded “But you know what you have to do with her when the time comes”

Doctor Segun Adesoya was already used to white shirts and black suits so when he was told by Baba Idris that in the coming years he would have to make a fashion change, he wasn’t bothered. That, for him was one of the easier tasks he had to perform.
As Segun sat in his office that morning, he thought about the words of Baba Idris:
“Every election ever held in Nigeria since Democracy took over has been a show; every contestant knows the results at least six months before Election Day. Segun the thing is this; we have found a way, with the Mystic arts to control almost every situation while keeping the masses oblivious and if you say you want to be President of Nigeria, you are no longer in the masses… But that is beside the point for now; let us talk about the One Hundred Million Naira you have spent already”

Segun at this point was not surprised that Baba Idris knew about the fact that he had spent a lot of money chasing his ambition – and hiding secrets. Segun remembered the first time he thought about being president. He was already an accomplished doctor and had recently received the Chieftaincy title in his village; he was at the peak of his life but this satisfaction was quickly threatened.

It was about six months ago when Segun experienced a tragedy that would change the way he looked at life. The worst part about it all is that he had to go through it alone. It was a usual day in the emergency room. A child of about ten years old was admitted for having swallowed a bone and Dr Segun was in charge of the surgery; for him it was a minor task and within three hours, he was done. Segun took his wife and two children out that weekend to celebrate as the appreciation bonus from the child’s parents was more than generous. However, that same child died in his sleep about two weeks later and it was devastating to everyone who heard it. It was even more devastating to Segun who was shattered when he saw the autopsy reports – he couldn’t let anyone else know what he had done because if it got out, that would not only be the end of his medical practice and reputation, but perhaps the end of his life as well.

“Baba it was such a difficult time” Segun started, his eyes becoming teary. He narrated the story about the yen year old to the shaman who listened carefully; like someone who knew the end of the story but was eager to see that the storyteller wouldn’t lie.
“I wanted to do the right thing Baba” Segun said remorsefully “Tayo’s parents had the right to know the truth; I had the money to fight it in court and defend myself; but when I saw the child’s surname in the autopsy report, I knew it would be the end of me”
Baba Idris had a look on his face which let Segun know that he felt sorry. He looked at Segun as he tried to continue his story without breaking down.

“Go ahead” the Shaman pressed.
“I did something really horrible Baba” Segun said “And only the commander in chief can grant me pardon and immunity”

Pastor Usikalo often thought about Mr President’s strength. The Man had such a resolve and nothing ever moved him. He had received criticism from the whole world but he stayed calm and smiling all the time; nothing seemed to ever faze him. Pastor Usikalo hoped to be that strong someday.
He glided through his trip and enjoyed presidential access to all the places they visited. He watched the President in meetings with other world leaders and of course he was exceptional all the way. However, for the first time he saw the President look troubled a s he stared out the windows of the Boeing.

“Is there something troubling you sir?” the pastor asked.
“There is a mystery I haven’t solved yet” the President answered; his gaze still in the cloud.
“Mystery?” the Pastor asked, obviously perplexed.
“Remember my sister’s grandson who died a few months back?” the president asked as he turned to the pastor.
Of course pastor Usikalo remembered. He was in charge of keeping it out of the media “Sir I remember Tayo and I am sorry” he responded

“Ah come on” Mr President spoke “it wasn’t your fault. The autopsy reports say he choked on regurgitated food while asleep”
Pastor Usikalo had read the reports so he couldn’t understand why the President said there was a mystery. The president could see the confusion in the Pastor’s expression so he continued talking.

“I later sent for the Doctor who conducted the autopsy and he no longer worked there” the President took a deep breath. “He retired and left the country just like that”

Pastor Usikalo’s eyes widened unknowingly. He had never heard this side of the story. He didn’t know how to respond.
Mr President was obviously upset now “If I find out that there was foul play, I will come down hard on whoever was involved”
Segun sat in his office as he began to tremble with fear as he further recalled that night at the shaman’s shrine. He remembers feeling scared an d helpless as he relayed his dilemma to Baba Idris “If the President finds out that I bribed the doctor in charge to change the autopsy report and after settled him to leave the country and go off the radar, he’ll have my head” Segun breathed slowly as he felt tears dripping down his cheek. He looked up at Baba Idris and said; “You see why I have to be Commander in Chief. My crime can only be pardoned by the Commander in Chief.

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