A Man of the People

— bedtime stories for adults —

He will run, he will, or if not, heaven will catch fire. No one will stop him; no one can be able to stop him. He hissed as he descended down the brick steps. He looked back at the building, there was a metal board placed on the front of the building with the inscription, “Where God really works.” He laughed and nodded. Frivolities, lies, this is all they do.

His aide opened the car’s door for him. He entered and the aide gave a salute. He shifted on the car’s seat as the car sped through the city’s streets. He was restless.

“Dare,” he said.    

“Yes, boss,” the aide said.

“Give me the papers the vendor dropped today.”

The aide stretched his hand and brought the papers from the dashboard. With a sign of respect, he handed it over to him. He turned the pages of the paper, the headlines were not good: The electoral commission seeks to disqualify old and challenged voters, The electoral commission declares the country a two-party system country, The electoral commission gives deadline to parties for submission of candidates’ names. He swallowed and scratched his head.

“Dare, I hope we are in?”

The aide delayed his reply. After a few minutes, he replied, “Yes, sir.”

He nodded, satisfied at least for one thing. He cleared his throat, dropped the papers and focused on the structures and the environment of the city. The city’s structures were not bad. The structures were alright for a developing city; only a madman will compare the city with places like Paris or New York. He had been to all these places and intends turning this city to those ones. “That is if there is enough money in the treasury,” he murmured.

The car sped through the city until it got to a gigantic building in the secluded part of the city; gently, the car cruised into the compound of the building. The car stopped in the garage. The aide got down and opened the door for him. He adjusted his agbada before he got down.

“Dare, go to the party’s secretariat and help me ask Bade if I am still eligible for the primary election …”

“You are eligible, sir,” the aide said.

“I did not ask you, Dare! When did you turn to the party’s president?”

“I am sorry, sir.” The aide gave a bow and left.

He hummed as he entered the new white building. It was a huge building with the Roman type of structure. The pillars were well crafted, and they were long. These were the two long pillars which held the house. He stopped halfway; he touched the pillar and cursed the builders under his breath.

“Just look at, cracks are forming on these pillars already. I thought they were strong,” he said. “If this house collapses anytime soon, I will hold those builders responsible.” He adjusted his agbada and walked into the building.

His wife sat in the sitting room watching TV. She stood up as he came in and gave him a hug. She stepped back when she noticed the frown on his face. The noise of the air conditioner dulled the sitting room. He looked at his wife, at the dancing image on the TV and the cream colored walls.

“A horse has given birth to a human, Rebecca,” he said.

She was frightened by what he said. Taking him by the hand, she led him to the sofa.  He sat down and she followed suit. She caressed his shoulders and smiled at him. She pressed his hands gently. “What is it?”

He looked at her. He imagined the young girl he had married years ago, years ago when she still had that beauty. She was the most beautiful girl in the country then. She got old fast and wrinkles took over her. How time flies.

“The prophetess said I should not contest. She said I should stay away from politics entirely. It will lead to my fall,” he said.

She squeezed his hand and let it go. She had frown on her face. “You went to the prophetess?”

“Yes.”

“But you do not need anyone to tell you to run or not …”

— bedtime stories for adults —

“Remember, you told me to seek divine help and that is exactly what I did.” He paused and stared at the frown on his wife’s face. “Moreover, without God in this election, I am nothing. How can I go into this election without God? I am doomed if I do it.”

“So the best way is to go to the prophetess? You know that woman is fake and wooden also,” Rebecca said. She hissed a loud piercing hiss. Touching her husband on the shoulder, she said, “You can consult other pastors. That prophetess is not the only pastor in the entire city. That we worship in her church and she serves as our pastor does not mean she should spoil what you have so much worked for.”

He nodded. He smiled at her and touched her nose. “You have solution to every problem,” he said. She laughed and patted him on his fat cheeks.

“I will always have, you are my husband and my one and only, my sweet pie, the sugar in my pap, the only water that tastes in my mouth.”

“Stop the teasing,” he said. He stood up and pulled at her cheeks. She laughed. “Is there any food in the house?”

“Yes. I will get it for you.”

— bedtime stories for adults —

“You can leave it for now. I need to take my bath.” With these words, he walked to his room. The prophetess’ words still rang in his head and they refused to leave his head. “The Lord says you should not go for that election. Politics is not meant for you. You should focus on your business. If you insist however, it will be your downfall,” these were her words. He shook his head and pitied himself. If he withdraws, the money he invested in this will vanish into the air and the people, so many of them who want him to be there will all be disappointed in him. He will take his wife’s advice; he will look for other pastors.

He showered before he took his phone and called one of the prominent pastors in the city. He will not leave God out of this, God has to be in this. Prophetess has chosen to thwart the will of God. He dialed the pastor’s number and waited.

“Hello, Pastor Jeremiah on the line, who is this, please?” The voice on the phone rang out loud.

“This is Ayo …”

“Mr. Ayo? You mean the CEO of Ayo Groups?”

“Yes,” he said. The conversation had begun to bore him; he needed the man’s words from God and not much talk. These buttocks licking hypocrites who claim they are the religious. The society is damned.

“Well done, sir. What may I do for you?”

— bedtime stories for adults —

“I want to meet you tomorrow in your office. Can that be possible?”

“Yes, sir. I will be available in the morning.”

“Tomorrow  then,” he said. He cut the call and threw the phone on the table. He hummed and prayed that the prophecy of this pastor would be a positive response from God. Prophetess must have seen a blur vision; certainly, she did not interpret the vision well enough.

The pastor’s words were more suitable and more pleasing than that of the prophetess. The pastor’s words gave him the go-ahead-nod that he needed. The pastor had told him, “You are destined to win this election; in fact, no one suits the post of the president more than you. You will win easily. Your opponent will fear you and he will be confused. I see a man leading the sheep in this country to a land of milk and honey. Rejoice for you will be the president.” After these words, the pastor laughed, stood up and he began to clap and dance. He sang and danced. He joined in the dancing and singing and he became fulfilled.

The primary election of his party came. He contested with a man whose reputation as a dedicated civil servant shook the entire party. People considered the man humble, kind and intelligent. He had solution to every problem; he talked less and thought more; he had given much to the party. The man was a worthy opponent for him.

For him, he was known as a successful business man, a philanthropist and a good public speaker. He was new to the party, but his philanthropy and his good speaking skills had endeared him to the party members. The party members wanted a contestant who could be able to win the presidential race even with the candidate of the other party in place. The voting began.

After the voting, results of the election came. At the early stage, the opponent led. He was restless on his seat as they announced the results. He held on tight to the seat; he shifted often and his eyes looked about the whole place. The opponent was still leading when they called half of the results. He concluded that he had lost and he blamed the prophetess for this.

— bedtime stories for adults —

Miracle happened. He won the primary election. The other half of the results was that of those who voted for him. He was delighted. He went around patting people on their back, smiling at them and shaking hands with them as they congratulated him. The pastor’s words were sincere; the prophetess’ words were lies.

He went around celebrating with his many supporters. They hailed him and called him by his title, the father of the fatherless. He started his campaign and he campaigned more among the poor who he was popular with. They loved him. People loved him, from the old to the young, the strong to the weak and from the educated to the uneducated, they all loved him. They believed he was the long sought savior and that he had great vision for the country. He was a serious threat to the other party.

On his way home on one occasion after a tiring campaign, he conversed with his aide. He was comfortable with the way things were going; things moved on so swiftly and smoothly.

“Dare, are you sure the people will vote for us?” he said.

“Yes, sir. They love you sir.”

He nodded, but he was still not sure. “Let us hope they do not betray me. And my opponent, how do you see him?”

His aide laughed. “Your opponent is not much of a threat. Who knows him? What is his name? People do not know him, sir. They do not like him. They see him as another fortunate man who is only interested in the wealth of the country.”

His aide’s statement made him laugh. He liked his aide; he just had the right words at the right time. An intelligent young man whose words and behavior could calm down a fire. He got his aide from one of his friends who recommended his aide to him. Then, his aide was an unemployed young graduate with a wife and young siblings and a sick mother. He had pity on him and employed him. He reaped the benefits in the election time.

The frightening sound of a gunshot jerked up the people in the car. He looked around and turned to the faces of the people with him in the car. The aide as well as the driver was shocked as he was.

“Did you hear that?” he said; he was surprised and afraid.

“Yes.” Both men in the car nodded.

The gunshot came again, this time it was loud. It came again. It came again, this time it hit the back of the car. His heart jumped. The gunshots no longer came in slow repeated motion; they now came repeatedly with no delay. The bullets hit the car like drops of a stormy rain. The windows of the car were tinted, so he could not see where the bullets came from. He lay down on the seat of the car and closed his eyes. He was going to die and he knew it. The driver could no longer drive; the people shooting had shot at the tires. They rained bullets on the car for some minutes. The rattling of the guns outside the car was different from the calm moment in the car.

— bedtime stories for adults —

After a while, the bullets no longer hit the car. He got up, he was not harmed, and a single bullet did not touch him. He looked at his driver and his aide, both men were dead. His aide was shot on the head and his driver was shot on the chest, they lay motionless on their seats. He got up and staggered out of the car. The prophetess’ words had begun to haunt him. The two poor men with families were dead, caused by his stubbornness. When he came out, he looked at the body of the car, it was riddled with bullets. He hissed. Tears began to go down his cheeks, he wiped them off. He took handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the phlegm in his nose. He began to hear the throaty sobs that came from him. The anger and sorrow in him could not let him leave the bodies of his trusted men in the car.

The weeks after this incident, his name went down among the masses. The government with the press circulated made up stories that he orchestrated the assassination attempt on him to draw the sympathy of the masses. And this orchestrated assassination attempt resulted in the death of two young men with promising future. People began to loathe him. He did what he could to disperse the made up stories. Police invited him for investigation, the press used cartoon to ridicule him and his respect among the masses began to dwindle.

He was sad; he lost appetite, and he lost the strength he had for the election. He had lost the two people he trusted most in his world of politics. The government and the press have turned the hearts of the people who loved him from him. He became confused. His campaign managers came to him and gave good strategies that he could use to get back the love, but he was tired of it all.

Few days to the Election Day, a lot of policemen came to his house. They came with soldiers; their presence in his house seemed as if there was an ongoing war. He was aghast, and so were the people in the house. A policeman on suit came up to him. Saluting him, the policeman said, “I am Beko. We are from the State Security Service. We received information that you want to overthrow the government. There is evidence that proves this that is in this house.” He pointed to the building. “So step aside with your family, friends and workers and let us search the building.”

— bedtime stories for adults —

He was too surprised to say anything. He gave a nod and the security men swung into action. They went into his house and searched every room, cupboard, wardrobe, seat, locker and anywhere else that could contain the evidence they needed.

After a while, the policeman who seemed to be the one in charge came out with some files. He showed the files to his fellow security men before he took them to the owner of the house.

“These files will prove that you are guilty in the law court,” the policeman said to him. “They expose your tactics and plans that you want to use to overthrow the government.”

He looked at the files, he became confused. “I have never seen those files before. You are security men, you can check if they have my fingerprint or if the writing there is mine.” He shivered when he said this. The powers that hid somewhere want to ruin him.

“Alright,” the policeman said. He turned to the other security men and said, “Boys, let us go. We have our fact.”

He entered his house when they left. The house was in a state of disorder. Papers, clothes and household properties were scattered everywhere; the security men did not care to arrange them. He sunk into one of his sofa and began to cry. He was overwhelmed. He had lost his trusted men, he had lost supporters and his party men, and his wife had left him. His wife had suddenly left him. He was alone, a failure.

— bedtime stories for adults —

He assumed he was a failure and that people hated him, but the people did not. They came out in large number to vote for him on the Election Day. He no longer ate, he no longer exercised and he lost interest in everything, but the people still wanted him. The made up orchestrated assassination attempt and the news of the treason only made his supporters love him the more. However, these stories got some of his supporters, and they lost hope in him. On the Election Day, a lot of people voted for him. After the election, he was the assumed winner of the election.

When the election results came, people went into the streets protesting. They believed the government rigged the election for their candidate. He was shocked. He was tired. His health deteriorated. The fight he could carry out no longer, the people took it over. They protested in the streets and promised to shut down the government. The government had nothing to say, they were calm. People took to the streets for weeks, and when they saw that the government was unconcerned, they took to violence means and began to riot. Government properties were vandalized, shops were looted and the state fell into a state of chaos.

— bedtime stories for adults —

The government decided a crack down on the rioters. With clubs, tear gas, armored vehicles and guns, security men were ordered to go on the streets and quell the riot. People were clubbed, some were wounded, and many died. The more deaths that seemed to be on him made him go down psychologically. He was no longer challenged health wise but also psyche wise.

The government arrested him for trying to overthrow the government. They took him to court. People still stood by him; they were many who came to support him as the trials went on. In the law court, he was too weak to stand and to speak. He was calm as the trials progressed; he only spoke when necessary and he spoke in low tones. The government was pleased; he behaved and spoke like a defeated man. They knew he would soon give up the fight; they had calculated everything well.

The trials took so long. For one and a half year, he went to the law court every week. The government wanted more pound of his flesh. His business began to wane, his house was deserted, and his family members were in sorrow. His supporters began to give up in him and they switched their support to the new government. Some of his top strong supporters served in the new government. He was a defeated man.

— bedtime stories for adults —

Towards the end of his trials, they brought the files they had brought from his house. They presented it in the law court. The files had a writing style similar to his and his fingerprint was on them. It was a planned treason where the writer had envisioned his loss and presented the plan that he would use to disorganize the country by the violence of his supporters. When the country becomes disorganized, he would plan with the military to take over the government.

The second evidence that closed the case was his assumed voice recorded with a cassette player. It was his wife who brought this cassette player to the court. The action of his wife made him die inside of him; he was slumped on the seat staring at her.

His wife said to the court, “I know my husband very well; he is hungry for power, he does not have the interest of the country at heart. I love this country, and I will do anything to protect her. So, I recorded his speech with one of his party member on their plan to cause chaos after the election. Here, this is the recorded speech.” She played the cassette player. The voice on the cassette player was like his voice. His supporters, the few ones who still hung around were shocked.

Halfway through the recording, he stood up, angry. “That is not me. I never said that. I love this country so much. I wanted the good of this country. I never said such a thing like that!”

The judge used his gavel and asked him to sit down. When he sat, his breaths came fast. After the evidence was revealed, the people were disappointed in him. They also wanted a pound of his flesh, because he had used them.

The judge sealed the case. For treason and the violence he caused, he would be given a permanent compulsory exile. The state had pity on him, they did not hang him as this was the punishment for treason; they only wanted him out of the way, forever.

— bedtime stories for adults —

A man of the people was no longer a man of the people. God and the people had rejected him through the actions of the government. The government did not want their evil deeds exposed by an upright man, so they killed him politically and made him loose his citizenship. A corrupt man was more respected, and he is the one who will lead the country to a greater height. The country will be the best economy in the next fifty years in God’s name, amen.

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