City Of Dust And Flames - Episode 1
It is a bright morning at the liberty park as people are coming out in troops to support the governor and his party member. City People Party, CPP, has been the leading and ruling party at the presidential level down to the local government level. The party have been the only one ruling after the military regime. The last head of state, Gen Sodiq Abubakar was a peaceful man, he was the only military man not killed in a coup d'etat
. Twelve years ago, he pave way for the democratic regime and since then CPP have been ruling.
The CPP members are known to be corrupt officials and they all live flamboyant lifestyle spending the government funds recklessly. When a man stood up to them and tries to protest against the fact that contracts should be awarded to the rightful personnel and not shared among themselves. The man was found dead two days after he voiced out to challenge the president, chief OA Labaran.
The death of the man had been a mystery even up to date. Different newspaper companies published several headlines concerning his death, headlines like,
'THE BRAVE MAN IS DEAD AND THE CAUSE IS UNKNOWN', 'MAN DIED AFTER CHALLENGING THE PRESIDENT ',
some even publish,
'WHO KILLED THE ICON?, THE PRESIDENT OR CPP?'
Different newspaper companies came up with different tactics just to catch their readers eye.
After the man death, other political parties began to thrive hard to end the rule of the CPP's, but all their efforts were in vain.
This very morning, people are turning up for the second tenure campaign rally of Governor Segun Adekilani of the city people party, CPP. There stood a man and his crew among the thousands of people who came to cheer the governor, and some hopefully came to boo also.
Felix Alabi, a well built up young man in his late twenties, he is working hard to earn a living amidst the bad economy of the nation
All episodes of this story can be found here >> https://www.ebonystory.com/story/city-of-dust-and-flames
. He was born into a poor family and had strive hard to get to where he is at the moment. At twenty eight, he had become the leading journalist of the Oni Daily Times, ODT, a newspaper company.
There stood a man beside him, also a well built young man, who is not up to his height. The man is the camera man of ODT. They stood in the scorchy sun expecting the soon arrival of the governor. They had been standing in the sun for about forty five minute now and the governor is nowhere to be found.
Felix checked his wristwatch and discovered it was already quarter past eleven. The governor was already due to arrive about thirty minutes ago. Felix looked around and saw that it won't be easy for them to take a perfect shot of the governor. So he started looking around maybe he could see a place more higher than the ground level.
He was so lucky to have found a storey building on the left side of podium. He and Tayo, the cameraman approached the building.
"Where are we going?" Tayo asked looking puzzled
"To a perfect spot to get a perfect shot"
"This place is also good, it only takes an experience cameraman like me to make the shot okay without anyone hindering it" Tayo said feeling like an experience camera man.
"Am not ready to take chances" Felix said as he struggled his way out of the crowd.
"But I will be the one taking the shots" tayo said as he troll behind Felix hoping for a reply but he didn't get any.
As they approached the building, they sighted two hefty men putting up strong and hard faces.
"I don't think we will be able to reach upstairs" tayo whispered
"I think it is high time we will be needing our ID" Felix said after a great thought of our to pass through those hefty men. They dipped their hands into the pocket and brought out their ID card and pinned it on their breast pocket. They approached the hefty men who have been standing and waiting for a signal.
"Stop there" a husky voice halted them. Tayo began to shiver as if he had played in the march rain.
"Are you deaf?" The other man said looking furious.
Felix decided to take things slow and use his four years experience in journalism to approach them.
"Hey" he began
"What are you doing here? Don't you know this place is a restricted area" the one with the husky voice said.
"Am very sorry, I don't know that it was restricted, I thought.............." The only looking furious interrupted him immediately.
"I think you should take your leave" he said
Tayo who have being dumbfounded managed to pinch Felix and whisper some word to him about them leaving that place. Felix became adamant at first but when he saw that the hefty men would result to anything to push them out, so he turned to leave and he began to murmur to himself.
'After four years experience, he still couldn't do the magic like he always does most times. Maybe because all those stupid fool are..........'
He was interrupted from his thought by the sound of the hefty man running towards them. Tayo immediately clinch to a pole beside him., Felix thought whether they heard him call them 'stupid fools'.
'No! They can't have heard that' he thought again
Those hefty men ran pass them as they made no attempt of stopping. The cheering and noise on the campaign ground increased immensely. An helicopter was sighted flying on the sky and moving in a concentric manner above the campaign ground. Another helicopter was sighted landing on a free site behind the podium.
A man in an all white agbada was seen coming from the back of the podium, smiling like someone who just won a lotto. Bodyguard surrounded him as if they were ready to receive a stray bullet for him. A Fuji artist got on the podium and sang all his famous tracks. The people danced and danced with no worries.
Members of CPP mounts the podium after the musician was done, they spoke in their usual political sweet voice. So it was time for the Governor to give his brief speech and manifesto for he has other local governments to touch.
He mounted the podium and began with the party slogan
"Voice of the masses" the crowd responded
He began to thank all the people that supported him through out his first tenure.
"I thank you all for your massive support. I know it hasn't being an easy road but you all stood by me during the hard times. I love you all"
The way he coated that sentences, one's mind would think he was a real and a very genuine believer.
"I know you all must have seen my accomplishment through the last three years, it wasn't easy but you haven't seen anything yet. Those good roads, stable power supply and good social welfare you saw is nothing compare to what is to come." He paused for awhile and the crowd began to hail him like he was their messiah.
"Vote for my second tenure in office and you will be surprise beyond reasonable doubt about the transformation that will occur in this state" he continued and the hailing from the crowds became so great that it got Felix so angry. He suddenly wished he had a revolver with him, he would have gun him down.
'He talked about good roads when the contracts are awarded among themselves and in the end, bad roads that won't even last for three years would be constructed. Those roads that will begin to have lumps after four heavy rainfall. He talked about social welfare, the people's eye have been so blind that they couldn't see.
Will two bowls of rice, a bowl of bean and a bowl of Garri end their poverty? The governor was a very wise man, he is full of strategies. He gives them little and embezzles millions every month. The people are not to be blame, guess I should blame it on poverty'
Felix hasn't been a fan of the CPP. He believes they are only after their pockets and not the people welfare or the nation growth. He began to drown in his thought again.
'The last election was rigged because they were the ruling party. He wasn't suppose to be the governor, it should have been Engineer Olatunde Abass of the Alliance for Change Congress, ACC. If not for the rigging he should have.........' He was interrupted from his long thought by a tap on his shoulder.
"What are you thinking of Felix? Don't forget we are at work" Tayo said jerking him back to reality.
"Nothing" he said with a deep sigh.
"I understand, a lot of pressure lately" tayo said but Felix merely nodded.
Truly he was under real pressure. His parent had been his number one concern, they had thought people picks money on the street in the city. His siblings were also there, becoming a nuisance in the village. No money to further their education. To crown it all, his due rent.
Read " My Messiah :Love in Damascus " by the same author ( olasupo isaac )
. Though his landlord hasn't began to put pressure on him but he knew it was only a matter of time before that happens.
"Look!" Tayo alerted him "it is the governor, he Is going"
They ran toward the site where the chopper landed at the back of the podium. They were yet to complete their sole purpose. Interviewing the governor would be a mission accomplished. They squeeze their way out of the crowd and straight toward the chopper but they weren't granted an audience. The governor bodyguards was an obstacle they couldn't overcome. So they stood still watching the governor, his deputy and his personal assistant as they board the helicopter which in no time flew into the air and vanished in the sky. Their ID card couldn't do the magic on this occasioned again. For the first time in Felix journalism career, he felt inferior.
They couldn't return to the company empty handed. So they interviewed the CPP party members and took shots of what was left of the occasion. The hatred Felix has for the governor grew so great that even if he was baptized, it won't be easily washed away. So when it was 2:50pm on dot, they left for their office.
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