By: Akakan Umoh
They were all huddled together in the conference room brainstorming ideas and discussing delicate and personal matters. About five of Ukowo’s trusted men, including his successor in waiting, Akama, and his spokesperson, Ceeboy, were in the conference room of the Throneroom.
“Hon. Principality, it seems Bobby has a stronghold on the youths. What do we do to make sure he doesn’t win the governorship elections of 2023 in Akwa Efak Colony? Any plans?” Akama asks looking bothered.
“Don’t worry about it. As long as I am the governor and principality of this colony, I have the power to endorse you. That should not be a problem.” Ukowo responds.
Zebra, one of his supporters, speaks up:
“Hon. Principality, it will be a really tough one, as the people are complaining that there is no meaningful development in the colony. However, we have allocated N1 billion for this project.”
Another supporter speaks up, Mobile:
“The other time, my media personnel, showed me several posts on social media, endorsing Bobby as a people-friendly person. He has a very strong presence online. He even has an organization where he gives to the less privileged in the colony. This is already endearing him to the people. Not to talk of the many connections including the opposing party, he has within the country and in the Diaspora too.”
“That is true, Hon. Principality, if we are not careful, we may lose the seat of power in 2023.” Akama’s spokesperson, Ceeboy speaks up.
“Have you forgotten that we have the power and available resources to endorse Akama as the next governor of this colony? Just believe gentlemen.” Ukowo spoke in a calm soothing but arrogant tone, but they knew deep down, he was very dangerous.
He continues speaking, but this time, his gaze is fixed on the DSS:
“As for all those media people endorsing him and attacking our administration, I want them fished out and arrested. Is that understood?”
“Understood Sir. I will make sure of that.” DSS shifted a bit uncomfortably in his seat, as all pair of eyes in the room were on him. “Some arrests have already been made Sir, and this will deter other people that want to speak against this administration to be mute.” He reports.
Ukowo strokes his chin thoughtfully, before turning to face Akama.
“Akama, that Bobby is nothing to us. We will squash him out, and leave him dry till he regrets why he didn’t support you instead of opposing you.”
“So, what is the plan Hon. Principality? What do you think we can do to stop this?” Akama asked. He saw the wheels in Ukowo’s head turning, and knew this man was up to something. After all, this was the same man that when he was elected into power in the first and second terms, he had promised to bring progress to the state.
But once he was in power, he did not truly and wholly fulfil his electoral promises, despite the fact that the colony was one of those with the highest allocations of money from the federal government.
Although he was able to establish a few things, it was not up to what he had promised to fulfil, and the colony was generating enough revenue as expected. People were still unemployed, as there were no viable companies yet in the colony. Others complained of hunger. This also contributed to the influx of people out of the colony, to settle in major cities in the country, such as Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, where companies were located, and there were a lot of job opportunities.
“You know we don’t have many private sector-driven companies in the colony yet?” Ukowo probes.
They all nodded their head in agreement, wondering where the question was heading to.
Ukowo continues, his eyes gleaming with mischief, as he leans forward and spills out his plan to his cabinet.
The men all had smiled in their head and kept in nodding their heads like Agama lizards in agreement. Akama had the widest grin.
“With this, You Principality, I know for sure that come 2023, the will of God will be done. And, Akama will be the next governor of this colony.” Zebra says.
“Yes, Principality. You’re a game-changer. We will handle the funding. We will support this divine project with N1 billion.” Mobile says.
“You Principality, I really appreciate your support, and I promise not to let you down.
“You are the right man for this job, Akama, as you’re the only one I trust. And for the fact that you have always been a supporter of mine, even back in the days when I was just new in politics.
“This will surely work out your Principality. I have already kept N5 billion for your enthronement. Keep cool.” Akama agreed
They all talk about other agendas before Ukowo dismisses the meeting to attend to other colony’s affairs.
Bobby was in his mansion, reading through documents when a call came in.
It was a strange number. He frowned when he sees it’s a strange number, but picks the call.
“Hello, who is this??” His baritone voice echoed the empty living room.
“How vital is this information?” Bobby asks, eyebrow furrowed in confusion.
“Are you sure what you are about to tell me could be a vital tool in winning the governorship elections?” He paused again to listen, before replying.
“Okay meet me at this hotel. It is very secluded. You don’t have to worry about getting recognized, anybody.” He calls out the name of the place.
“Meet me there tomorrow at 6 p.m. Goodbye!” He says and ends the call.
He ponders on the call he had just received, before picking up his phone to place a call.
“Manager, I need the hotel to be free tomorrow evening. No visitors, please. Make sure it is secluded. It is for a private meeting.” He paused to listen.
“Thank a lot. I really appreciate.”
The next evening Bobby meets his mystery caller at the secluded hotel.
The manager had done a fine job because nobody was in sight.
“Good evening sir.” The man says as he shakes hand with Bobby.
“Good evening too. Please take a seat.” Bobby says
The table was already set with two bottles of Champagne, chicken suya, small chops and a bucket of ice.
“Aren’t you the spokesman of Akama?” Bobby enquires as he recognizes the man.
Ceeboy nods his head in agreement.
“That is very true honourable Sir. I guess you are really shocked that a person really close to him, wants to give information to his opponent, right?”
Bobby nods warily.
“You don’t need to be worried. I come in peace. I have my reasons for doing this.”
“Oh really? What could that be?”
“I don’t want Ukowo to succeed. Akama is a worst version of him. I am very close to him, so I know what I am talking about.”
“What makes you think I am better than them?” Bobby asks curiously.
“At least, I have been seeing what you have been doing for the people through your organization. I don’t know if it is a ploy or your intentions are real, but at least you try and show empathy for the people. Ukowo before coming to power had promised a lot, and he has only been able to achieve about 20 per cent of those promises, despite the huge financial allocations to the state, monthly. Pensions and gratuities are not paid, there is a high rate of poverty and hunger in the state. No viable companies, as what promised.
Akama, is just like Ukowo, if not worse. Akama was in a bluechip, yet we did not feel his impact. So imagine what will happen to the people and this colony, if such a person should come into power.”
“Hmmm…I see your point of view. I gave the interests of the people, and there is a lot I’d like to do if I am brought into power. But with Ukowo as the present governor, he will make sure that he will do everything within his jurisdiction and power to make sure that I won’t ascend the seat of power. But that won’t deter me. So, what is that vital information you said you had for me?” Bobby questions.
“Ukowo has ploys to use the palm oil company to bring Akama to power. One of the ploys is to demonise the company so that he will showcase Akama as the man with the magic wand to restore its dignity and lost possessions to the colony.”
This makes Bobby really interested, as he leans forward to hear what Ceeboy had to say:
“Palm Oil Company? What are you talking about?”
“Ukowo had always said that he was going to make sure that before his tenure ends, he was going to bring in the headquarters of the popular oil company to the state, for them to plant a company in the state, this way there will be employment opportunities, and migration into the state, thereby bringing development to the state.
This, he has failed to do. So, they used the media to paint the oil company bad. That he tried bringing them in, but they refused his offer. Meanwhile, he had reached out to the Oil Company managers. He was given their Terms and Conditions before they can plant industry in the colony, which he refused to comply with. So this has led to rivalry between Ukowo’s administration and the Oil Company.”
Bobby scratches his chin thoughtfully:
“So, how does this help Akama in winning the governorship election??” Bobby asks.
Ceeboy picks up a glass of champagne, takes a gulp, sets the glass down, and clears his throat:
“This is all a ploy to deceive the people. Ukowo knows he is already bad in the eyes of the people. So, he wants Akama during the governorship elections to compel the Oil Company to be brought into the state. This will make Akama look like the saviour of the people, and has the people’s interest in his heart. This will endear people to Akama, and also the Oil Company coming into the state will improve the relationship it has with the government. For now, the relationship is really sour, especially as Ukowo refused to adhere to the Company’s terms and conditions. Akama has very strong ties to the Oil Company, so he will serve as the link in repairing the relationship between the government and the company.”
“Question is that, since Akama has connections to the Oil Company, why don’t Ukowo compel Akama instead to bring in the company to the colony,” Bobby asked out of curiosity.
Ceeboy laughs out loudly.
“Ukowo doesn’t want to spend lots of money on building an industry during his administration, he prefers somebody else doing that. Instead, he uses the money on cottage projects. And project he does to the colony, he makes sure it benefits him and his family, even after he is out of power. And Akama becoming his successor, will make him to still stay in power, as he will have someone to be controlling and directing, who will do his every bid. So that is how dark everything is.”
“This is very useful information. I will make sure that their ploy does not succeed.” Bobby says looking more determined than before.
“Yes, you should that. If you can succeed to bring in the company into the state, it will be an added advantage for you, in winning the hearts of the people and winning the governorship elections. But knowing Ukowo, he will put out every obstacle to making sure that you don’t succeed. But with your connections, you can do it.” Ceeboy reassures.
“That is a fantastic idea. I really appreciate this piece of information. Although I know it will be a big blow to them, when they realise their secrets are out.”
“Please I want to remain anonymous. I was neither here nor said anything to you. Any other information you need, I will communicate it to you, at the right time.” Ceeboy announces.
Bobby nods his head in agreement.
“You remain anonymous. You and I never met. When I resume the seat of power, I will make sure you are made a top official in the state.” They both shake hands in agreement.
Bobby brings out a bulky envelope, and picks up a bottle of champagne, and presents them to Ceeboy.
Ceeboy collects it and grins.
“There was no need Sir. I am just doing it so that one-day injustice in this state will end. For your information, Akama is uncomfortable with his performance and will repay Hon. Principality for his injustice to his predecessor.”
“That is my way of showing your appreciation. Thanks for accepting it.” They shake hands again.
Ceeboy leaves the hotel first.
Bobby leaves an hour later, with more plans up his sleeves to win the governorship elections.
Akakan, the contributor, is a Sociologist/Anthropologist