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Monthly Archives: February 2016

#SocialLeague: Story Eleven

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Niyi is quite surprised at the information he gets from the email header.  He had thought it would be pretty straightforward. Find the IP address from where the mail was sent and with that the location from which it was sent.  Then he would be able to pin it to Nasir.  But what he is seeing is that someone has gone to great lengths to ensure that both pieces of information will not be found.  At first,  the IP address took him to a remote District in Ghana,  then to Belarus and now he has ended up in the Philippines. He is quite sure that he will be redirected from the Philippines to another location in God knows where.  He has no doubt in his mind that either Nasir was hacked or he has taken a lot of precautions to ensure that he is never found out.  Niyi smiles.  What whoever is playing these games did not factor in is how determined he is to get to the bottom of this matter.  If push comes to shove,  he will write a programme that will reverse engineer the process. Whatever it takes,  he is going to get to the bottom of this.

                        ************

When it rains it pours. Those words play in Akata’s mind as she reads through her TL. Zainab’s tweet has dragged her into the middle of the Nasir controversy.  Her techie has just called to tell her he is tired and will allow the blog stay down for a while. She has been on the phone almost nonstop to her clients and advertisers who wanted to know why Akata Blog has been down and then to cap it all, someone is launching Twiga Games a full week before they are supposed to launch TTM, short for Twitter Tele Match. What is more, Twiga Games is a replica of TTM. There is nothing she or her crew will say that will make anyone believe they have been working on TTM for close to three months.  They will look like the copy cat. Akata let’s out a huge sigh.  She has no way of telling who is behind the @TwigaGames handle. All she can gather from her TL is that it is very popular among the overlord minions section of Twitter.  She will have to call the attention of the crew to find out if they have heard anything.  But all she really feels like doing is calling everything quits.  It seems to her that  someone is targeting her.  Someone wants to run her out of business and she is chuffed that she has no idea who the person is.  All she has is Nasir. Nasir must be fronting for someone.  She has no idea whether the person is in the Presidency or elsewhere.  But perhaps it is time she put her journalistic prowess to work.  She will no longer wait for them to bring the war to her,  she is taking the fight to them.

                       **************

Victor had not paid attention to how powerful Senator Jimmy was growing before now and that is because the Senator is in the ruling party.  Such people ordinarily did not constitute persons of interest but these are no ordinary times. If The Maestro had picked him out,  it simply means that he will turn out to be clog in his presidential ambition wheel.  The Senator is in his early 50s and has an Obamaesque look about him. He looks like someone who will fit right into the Presidential seat. Their mandate is to rubbish him and his so called intellectualism.  Victor decides he will pick on him first.  He has read about a scandal involving his first wife. He feels  a twitch of conscience going so low but The Maestro has taught them that there is no low in politics,  nothing is off limits. Tonight,  he will ask him about why his wife left him. And heaven help whoever is handling his account if he begins to respond. Victor knows he will keep bugging the account until he gets a response.  It’s actually a case of damned if you do,  damned if you don’t.  He should order a drink.  This is going to be an interesting wait.

                           **********

Nasir finally turns in for the night.  He wishes the President goodnight and begins to head home.  It had been a bitter sweet day for him. When he had seen that email his heart had literally skipped a beat. He knows nothing about the email and he is glad that the President does not have the time to check social media.  He would have been done for. Even then, he is still very interested in knowing how someone hacked into his account to send that mail.  Hopefully,  Niyi will find out.  He can count on that.  He tries not to think that perhaps The Maestro has something to do with this.  He knows he should never have got involved with the Maestro to start with. His loyalty belonged to the President and he had told The Maestro as much. As long as he works with the President,  he will not only defend him but ensure that whatever plot they were working on with the Vice President does not work. But he is just one man and The Maestro  had something on him so he can’t go to the President…yet. He needs to find out who hacked into his email and maybe then he will have something concrete to go to the President with. For now,  he can only wait and hope that there will be some delays in their setting their plans in motion.

                    ************

The President completes his toilette and gets into bed. His wife is already in bed but she isn’t asleep yet. He wonders why but is not in the mood to ask her. He needs to sort out how tomorrow will go in his head. He will have to confront the Vice President.

The President can see the First Lady is scrolling through her phone. Whatever is holding her interest at this time of the night?
“Tough day?” She asks without looking away from her phone.
“Everyday is tough.”
She drops her phone and looks at him. He had hoped she would not detect the sadness in his voice.
“What is wrong?”
“With Nigeria?”
Perhaps his attempt at a joke will throw her. It doesn’t.
“You know there is something bothering you and it goes beyond the normal day to day running of your office…Is it the Nasir issue?”
“Nasir issue?”
The President is alarmed. Maria had said she was unsure if Nasir was part of the conspiracy.
“Some people on social media think he has not been using his office properly.  They even called for his sack.”
“Really?”
“He has been threatening some bloggers. I was even going to ask you what that is about.”
“Do you have the story?”
“I can find it, ” she answers. ” You mean you don’t know anything about this?”
The President sits up as she hands him her tab.  He scans through the story without a word. Then he gets out of bed. “Where are you going?” The First Lady asks.
“I need to make a call.”
The President walks into the toilet. He feels behind the tank of the WC until he finds what he is looking for. He turns on the phone. It is fully charged. He sends a number.

                  ****************

Maria unlocks the door and walks into the expansive living room. The painting on the opposite wall,  the first thing she always sees once she walks into the room reminds her of where she is coming from.  She makes it straight into the bedroom and kicks off her shoes.  She should have a bath and then go to sleep. Tomorrow will be one of those days. She has to be on standby just in case the President needs her.  She knows he will need her.  She begins to undress as she heads towards the bathroom. She has to do something about her singleness.  It would be great to come home to some love sometimes although she knows that she likes her independence too much.  The arrangement she has now works for her – younger guy,  only shows up when she wants him to. Her mother would cringe if she ever found out.

She steps out of the bathroom wrapped in her towel.  She pulls out the oversize t-shirt from her wardrobe and gets into it. She yawns, tired. All she needs to do now is to respond to some mails,  set her alarm and go to bed.

Maria’s phone begins to ring. Maria looks at the caller ID and furrows her eyebrow. This number is supposed to be inactive. She picks the call and listens. The President’s instructions were clear.  The call ends and she gets up and begins to get dressed.  Her day has obviously begun.

                      ************

(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Series

 

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After the Break Up…

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It’s never easy to understand why a woman chooses to remain in an abusive relationship.  Why a woman chooses to keep enduring, hoping that he will change and even if he doesn’t,  choosing to keep managing the situation. 

It’s never an easy decision to make.  Choosing to walk away from a relationship especially one that has lasted long enough to produce children.  It’s never easy to say I’m done. I can’t take this anymore, when you have invested a decade or more of your life,  living with another human being.

As I have often argued, choosing to stay or to leave are legitimate personal decisions.  Because we are not God,  we cannot tell whether a relationship that seems to have wilted and dried can turn around and begin to blossom like fresh roses.

For those who choose to stay,  there are legitimate concerns.  For starters, breaking up is the easy part. Yes,  you know he was wrong for you. If you remain with him,  you’d probably be dead.  Why,  living with him has been not living.  All your friends support you move and have been there for you. Now that you are out, what next?

No one ever warned you how lonely the nights would get. How a pillow and duvet are no  replacement for a warm body.  Except of course you are ready to either jump into the next relationship that comes your way or you are willing to explore multiple one night stands.

No one ever warned you how bad you would feel when at the end of every event you attend,  when everyone begins to go home with their partners you would have to make your way home alone because it’s still a little awkward for you to be seen with another guy so soon.

No one ever told you how heartbroken you would be when you scroll through your phone looking for that one person to talk to but you have to consider if it will be too late to call because they just may be with their own partner.

No one ever told you how hard it will be,  when your income has dwindled so and you still get to take care of your kids and you. And before you make each purchase you have to look at the bigger budgetary picture.

No one ever told you how heartrending it would be when you hear a song you both used to love and all you feel like doing is running back into his arms but you end up crying into your pillow instead.

No one ever told you that there is a possibility that you will never have a happily ever after. That you may end up alone,  never ever getting someone else to call your own. Because single ladies are still having a hard time and here you are burdened with four children.

No one ever told you how much you will miss getting sex on demand.  That you just may end up with just your fingers,  hairbrush,  dildo or some other sex toy.

No one ever prepared you for the difficulties of single parenthood.  That there would be times when you would wish you never had to be the only one in charge of the kids and their unending drama.

No one ever told you how out of place you would feel  being single again having to answer all the awkward questions,  not knowing what you will say that will be turned to gossip.

No one ever told you how awkward it would be becoming so self conscious in the midst of your married friends who suddenly seem to be keeping their husband’s away from you because you look like a cougar on a prowl.

No one ever told you of the awkwardness of being forced to date younger guys and all the drama that comes with it because the alternative just might be dating a widower or a fellow divorcee.

No one ever told you,  because they loved you so much so that all they wanted was to secure your life and then wish everything positive upon your life.

And you can survive.  You can move on.  Break the clutches of loneliness and depression,  one day at a time. Accepting that it is okay to cry when you are overwhelmed. 
Accepting that it is okay to ask for help.  Accepting that it is okay to make another mistake in love, knowing that it will hurt each time but loving all the same. 
Accepting that you can never go it alone, you need to make friends even if they are going to end up leaving.

Breaking up may be the easy part, but it is the toughest of the easiest parts. The rest depends on your positive attitude. Choosing to count your blessings each day. Reminding yourself that being alive is better than sex on demand that feeling alive is better than not finding another man.

And I know I have said this before but I’m going to say it again.  It’s okay to cry. And who says you can’t have a happily ever after alone…did you ever read that the Fairy God Mother had a Fairy God Father?  But just watch her dishing out happily ever afters with joy. Inspired yet?

N.B: This piece is primarily written with those who left an abusive marriage in mind.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Relationships

 

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Tribute to a Dear One

I have been lost in a world of fiction for a while. I observe things happen and the first thoughts I get is, this would make such a beautiful story if we put a spin to it. I can’t make this into a story by putting a spin to it. 

I’m losing a friend. No he isn’t dying or going away. I know that when you really care about someone you should be happy to let them go.  So I’m not really losing him,  I’m letting go because it’s the right thing to do in the circumstances.

So this is a kinda tribute to you, my friend. It was great knowing you. You have shared a large part of my life.  You know my pain,  my fears,  my joys and you know I just have to do this. We can’t change the rules even though I’d really love to…

But know this each time I hear that song,  I’ll be thinking of you.  Each time I see that movie,  I will remember you.  Each time I visit that  restaurant,  you will be on my mind. And when that TV show comes on,  you know thoughts of you will take over.

Yet,  I am not afraid to let you go because I know that where you are going is to the most wonderful place there ever can be and I pray that your journey may be smooth, even though I know it can’t be.  So maybe I should rather pray that God grants you the strength and wisdom to navigate through whatever troubled waters you may encounter and succeed. So that each time we meet,  when we meet,  the laughter will roar louder than the tears.

I love you, my dear friend and I’m going to miss you very very much.

‘Gail

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2016 in General

 

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#SocialLeague: Story Ten

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Etim shakes his head in wonder as he reads through his Timeline.  Wale has just called his attention to the ongoing onslaught. He wonders whether sending Victor a DM telling him to back off will be a good idea but the trend has already taken a life of its own.  Even if Victor tweets to say he made everything up,  the crowd will still bray for blood.  Too bad Nasir has to be sacrificed this way.  But Victor has to be called to order. Etim knows that he has a soft spot for Akata but that does not mean he should take rash decisions because of her.  Victor should have consulted with the rest of them before starting the hashtag. Think solutions, he says out loud to himself. There is only one person he knows that can call Victor to order.  Etim picks up his phone and dials The Maestro.

                       ***********

Wale paces about in his room. He has done all he can online to fight back against Victor.  He really wishes this did not have to happen.  He liked and had a lot of respect for Victor but this is really his source of income and he cannot allow Victor trifle with it.

Last time he checked, the two hashtags were trending side by side. Nasir is slightly pacified but it doesn’t look like he is out of the woods yet.  What he really wants was for this to go off the trends completely. But how can it go off when they are talking about it? How can they stop talking about it when Victor’s people are still leading the offensive?

He has to do something about Victor.  Knowing him,  even if this trend goes away he will create another one and then another.  There is no way he can truly have peace if Victor continues to tweet.  It would have been good if he got some government appointment to keep him busy but it does not look like he ever will.  He had been such a complete idiot during the last elections that politicians on either side did not want to touch him with a 10 foot pole.  Wale has to figure out a way to make him stop. He hopes that Etim will be able to get through to him. If he doesn’t then he will have to take matters into his own hands.

                   *************

Victor gets off the phone from The Maestro. He had been surprised to receive his call.  Nasir is fortunate to have someone like The Maestro protecting him. The instruction had been clear: delete all your tweets against Nasir and do not contribute any further to the conversation. He didn’t have any choice but to obey.  But he had received another assignment.  They were supposed to begin attacking a certain member of The Senate.  His instruction is to disparage him in every and anyway possible.  He had been sent a dossier on the senator which he is supposed to begin studying immediately. That means that he has to stay action against Wale for now.  He can’t think of any way to go after him right now without it affecting Nasir. He gets two mail notifications at once.  One is from his bank and the other is from The Maestro. Victor has never paid any attention to Senator Jimmy before now but if he has been declared a person of interest then he needs to study him. He opens the mail and begins to read, he might as well get his mind off Wale’s betrayal. He will revisit him later.

                         **********

Etim considers all The Maestro has told him. He is happy that  Victor will be called off but the assignment he is being given bothers him. He cannot ask anyone else to handle the Twiga Games and he needs time to study the dossier on Senator Jimmy.  Sometimes he hated the fact that he cannot say no to The Maestro but this is what he has signed up for and there is nothing he can do about it.

He checks Victor’s TL and sees that he has deleted the tweets.  He knows that Wale’s people will see this as victory of light over darkness.  He laughs. If only they knew how exactly these things work.  They are simply pawns in this chess game.  He considers himself a Bishop and it upsets him when he is asked to do the job of a Castle…like now. He ignores the mail he just received.  He will get to it later.  On this Twiga event he is The Commander  and it is time to make the second move…

                        **********

Zainab calls Akata’s attention to the deleted tweets.  She notices it immediately after their blog is attacked again. It’s difficult for her to believe the Presidency has nothing to do with this.  How come when Victor’s tweets were up their blog was up too? SK must have missed something.  Everything points to the fact that Nasir is not acting alone. What she does not know is who he is working for.  

Zainab considers her options. She cannot sit back and let this go.  She picks her phone and drops two tweets.  One contains a screenshot of Nasir’s email and the other asks why the Presidency wants to shut down blogs. We helped you get here Mr President,  why are you repaying us this way. She DM’s a few of her friends to help her retweet the tweet hoping it will gain some traction. She hadn’t bothered to tell Akata she was going to tweet it.  She is tired of all the games  and she doesn’t care if Wale and his group come after her.  She has tweeted evidence.  She will like to see them wiggle out of  this one.

Zainab gets the first notification. Someone must have seen her tweet.  Before long she is in the middle of the storm. Someone had copied the President’s handle and the Fencists were out in full swing now that they can seen some concrete evidence. Zainab smiles as she sees the first traditional news handles made it into a news story.  Her phone has been ringing nonstop but she has refused to pick it. She feels the rush of adrenaline as she checks the trend list and sees that Nasir’s name is trending worldwide. She pops two tablets and shuts her eyes.  Whatever happens now,  she doesn’t care anymore.

                     **************

Niyi sees the incoming call.  He could tell this call was coming the moment he saw Zainab’s tweet.  He knows Zainab means well but she has made herself an unnecessary target. Niyi picks the call.
“Hello.”
“Thank God you picked. I need your help.”
Niyi exhales audibly. He can hear the anxiety in the voice at the other end. He doesn’t want to help him, but he just feels a need to hear him out.
“What do you want?”
“Maybe I should start by apologising…about…”
“There’s no need.  All of that is in the past.  Just tell me what you want.”
There is slight hesitation from the other end. Niyi has not really forgotten the past. No one ever forgets coming home to see one’s fiancée in arms of one’s best friend. He can only forgive,  not forget.
“Hello?” Niyi enquires. “Are you still there?”
“Yes.”
Was he crying?
Niyi cannot remember ever seeing Nasir cry in the four years they spent at the university or even their one year youth service.  Not even when his father died and Niyi had accompanied him to the burial.
“Are you crying?”  Niyi finally asks.
There’s another hesitation followed by what sounds like a sniffle. Then Nasir’s voice comes back on.
“I swear by Almighty Allah, I never made up that list and I never sent that email. Today is the first day I’m setting my eyes on it.”
“But it was sent from your mail. What are you saying?”
“I am saying to you and I swear on my father’s grave. I did not send that email.”
Nasir explains again that he knows nothing about the list. He wants Niyi to help him find out if his account had been compromised. He ends the call and Niyi sits back. He is sure the mail was sent from Nasir’s email. He had confirmed that himself. Is there a possibility that his mail was hacked? Who hacked it and why? Niyi navigates to his mail box and looks at the other blogs that were listed alongside Akata’s. Had they also been attacked? Niyi picks his phone and calls Akata.  Could there be something he missed?

Wale looks at his watch. Almost noon. He should call his mother. He hadn’t told her about his new position. This is what today’s world has become.  Strangers hear your news,  good or bad, before family does. He picks his phone and dials her number. What if that Baba can give him a solution for Victor?  He  can just make him a little mad or make his fingers wither so he can’t tweet anymore.  He waits for her to come on the line. He has to tell his mother about the oloriburuku that does not want her son to rest. His mother will know what to do.

Niyi’s call to Akata leaves him even more confused.  Her blog had gone back up but one hour later it was down again. It had coincided with when Victor deleted his tweets, but none of the other people in that list had been attacked in anyway.  If anything one of them got an invite to be part of  The Presidential Media Chat coming up in a month.  Something is just not right. Could someone really be setting Nasir up? To what end? And who has ensured that Akata’s blog remains down. Niyi hates puzzles. It’s far easier to just assume Nasir has some sinister motive and weave some conspiracy theory as to why but it just does not add up. Nasir swears he did not send that mail and Niyi is persuaded to believe him. Time to tackle the email header,  if Nasir was actually hacked,  he will find out.

                       **************

The President looks up from reading her report.  He takes off his glasses and takes a deep breath. Maria can see he has aged.  He looks a lot older than his forty years.  You wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking he is in his early fifties. Maria understands that he is under a lot of pressure.
“Is Nasir in on this conspiracy?” He finally asks.
“I can’t say for sure,” Maria answers. “He seems clean as far as this is concerned.”
“But…”
“He has dipped his hand in a couple of cookie jars.”
“Can I be assured of his loyalty?”
Maria goes quiet. She does not know what to say.  She has not been able to dig up anything definite on Nasir.  But there is no telling how far the cabal has gone. The President is fortunate she had come across this information at the time she did. At least he will find a way of getting the Vice President to resign and then replace him. Maria had recommended three persons. Top on her list is Senator Jimmy.
“And Niyi?”
Maria looks up at the President.  She had failed to get Niyi to listen to her.  Perhaps pretending that she was Osi was a stretch but she couldn’t think of anything else given the fact that the President didn’t want him to know that he is John. She remembers how sad Osi had been when she told him that he had to close his account. But it is part of the job.
“I couldn’t…” Maria begins.
“No, get him, ” The President cuts in. “I don’t care how you do it Maria.  If you have to kidnap him and get him here, then do it. I will instruct Nasir to give you every assistance you need.”
Maria nods.
The President hands her back the report. He had a photographic memory and must already have all points stored away. It was for her to destroy the report.
“Thank you Maria,  you have been a true friend.”
Maria nods and walks out just as the President hits the buzzer.

                      *************

(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2016 in Series

 

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#SocialLeague: Story Nine

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The ringing of the phone wakes Akata. She looks around disoriented for a few seconds. The page full of p’s is a testimonial that she fell asleep on her laptop. Her phone begins to ring again and she picks it,  silencing the offensive noise.  She berates herself for not switching to silent mode before sleeping. But,  then again she had never really planned to sleep.
“Hello,” Akata says without checking who is calling.
“You need to check your TL now!”
The urgency in Zainab’s tone set her heart beating faster.
“What will I find…”
Zainab hangs up.

                         **************

Niyi’s eyes flick open. He had not been having a bad dream, it was more as if someone tapped him awake. He picks up his phone and checks the time.  4.30am. He might as well not go back to sleep.  There is still no power.  He remembers he had not switched off the generator the previous night. It must have died after running out of fuel.  He makes a mental note to put a gallon in his car boot to get some on his way back from work.

He pads his way through the room using his phone as source of light debating whether he should make breakfast or buy some when he gets to the office. This bachelor life no longer suits him.  He needs to find a wife who would worry about these things. He smiles subconsciously as a certain Twitter feminists voice mocks him, “You need a wife to cook? Hire a maid”.  The things he has heard this same feminist is doing to get a man into her life!

He begins to brush his teeth.  This is the moment he has the most clarity in the day.  The time he uses to make a mental plan of how his day will go.  There is something about the automaticity of brushing his teeth that makes it effortless to think.  This is his idea of multitasking. He rinses his mouth and spits into the sink. He wonders how Victor will go about calling out Nasir. It is still difficult for him to believe that Nasir will go on a clampdown of the  press without instructions from the President.  He has this nagging feeling that there is something he is missing. He hasn’t spoken to Nasir in a very long time…yet. He remembers how they had parted and how he had promised never to speak to him again. Neither of them had ended up with the girl they had the fight over. Niyi wonders where she is now. He steps into the shower and banishes all further thought.

                          **************

Victor sits back and looks at his TL.  He had gone on a rant as early as 4 a.m. His first tweet had been that he can’t seem to sleep because of something he had heard, some elements were trying to derail Nigeria’s democracy.  He then tweeted passionately about how the President is a good man and needs the support of all to make Nigeria great again. He had then swiftly moved on to talk about the villain Nasir and how he is allowing greed and ambition to crowd his thinking. He had then mentioned how an unnamed source had noticed how Nasir sends fake releases in the President’s name and even executes contracts in the President’s name. He smiles because he knows he had no proof of the latter allegation but he had to spice up the story to increase its emotional value.  He had then concluded by talking about Nasir’s latest antic. He wanted to shut down a section of the press. He had added one tweet to boost his own cv. You all know I don’t care much for opposition press,  but freedom of speech is a constitutional guarantee.  He had then tweeted the hashtag #NasirMustGo. His phone started buzzing with notifications almost immediately. His worshippers were at work.

                      **************

Wale tried to ignore the buzzing phone. He had slept with a smile on his face last night thinking of all the things he could do with his money.  He wanted to sleep like a king even if only for one day.  The phone keeps buzzing. Wale picks it up tentatively with groggy eyes, he looks at the caller ID and he is instantly awake.
“I thought we were paying for times like this?” Nasir barked from the other end of the line.
“Times like what?” Wale responds before he can stop himself.
“Have you even visited your TL this morning? It’s almost 5.30 for chrissakes.”
“I’ll do so immediately,” Wale responds thinking how he probably should start spending out of the money he was paid. Nasir ends the call.

Wale hits the Twitter icon.  He does not need to scroll too far before he sees the offensive tweets.  He let’s out a groan. So this is how he chooses to come at me?  Wale  picks his other phone and calls Etim.

                          ***********

Niyi whistles as he finishes up dressing.  The kettle begins whistling with him and he makes his way towards the kitchen.  He had decided to make a cup of cocoa. He carries the cup and heads back towards the dining area. He turns on his phone as he begins to sip the beverage and the notifications pop in. Akata had been trying to reach him.  Her DM forces him to look at his TL. #NasirMustGo is already number one on the Nigeria trend list.  There is already a full scale war on the Timeline. Niyi notices for the first time that it there is a war between two groups that have always been on the same side. There is already a counter hashtag #FreeNasir. Niyi shakes his head in wonder. How can Nasir’s people not see that they are making things worse? He resists the urge to call Nasir. He picks his phone and calls Akata instead.

                      **********

Maria walks briskly through the gates.  The last time she had been here it had been a little more difficult to get in. There had been so many protocols. Today, the news she bears is too important. He must have left clear instructions about her coming. She is ushered into the office by one of his aides and she sees him, back turned to her, looking through the window. She wonders if she should sit or keep standing. 

The suit he is wearing fit perfectly or as Twitter people would say, his suit game is on point. He always looks good. His bio says he is 40 this year. He had started his career in politics early, right through university and while studying for his Masters and he still graduated magna cum-laude. He had risen quickly; worked through to the very top of a multinational company, contested for the Senate, won, and by some political upheaval and a large dose of luck he had become Vice President at 32. His predecessor had finished his eight years and his party had fielded him.  He represents change not in the sense most people think –  a change of the ruling party but change in political dynamics. He is the youngest civilian President Nigeria has ever had. The man Niyi knows as John.

                       ***********

(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in Series

 

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#SocialLeague: Story Eight

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Niyi looks at the DM he just got and his heart sinks.  He is quite disappointed in Yemi. These days, disappointed is his default mode over people and things that happen on Twitter. How could she have acted like she is so close to someone she never even met? She did not know that Osi is a girl nor does she even know anyone else that knows her.  Niyi remembers the outpouring of love during Osi’s last birthday.  The entire TL was awash with how he had touched their lives and how wonderful a person he is. Yet,  they didn’t even know the first thing about him.

He tries John’s number again.  Same message.  He should not have allowed his emotions to overcrowd his thinking.  He should not have walked out on Maria.  Now he has no choice but to file away this matter like the two others before it; another of Twitter’s unsolved mysteries.

                         **********

Victor walks into the bathroom. It is almost time for his date.  The Nigerien guys had said he should take the mixture about an hour before showtime. They would first have dinner before heading to the hotel room, so he would take it at dinner.

He turns on the shower and turns his face to it. He groans lightly as the water runs from his head down through his back. The weather has been hot these days and the water is lukewarm, just how he likes it.  He turns his back to the shower so the water hits the back of his head and his eye is drawn to his penis.  Maybe I should enlarge it, he thinks to himself. His penis is not that small but each time he looks at it,  he is reminded of a sausage,  a Bochwurst sausage. He rinses out his body and steps out of the bathroom wrapped in a large white towel as if trying to compensate for his size.

He begins to get dressed. It suddenly occurs to him that Nasir had not returned his call.  I should tweet that he is dead,  that will bring him out from hiding.  He sits at the edge of the bed and picks up his phone.  He decides to read through his TL before he sends his own tweet. Maybe he is dead for real. The first tweet he sees sends shock waves down his spine.  Someone is congratulating Wale on making the list of the Presidential Social Media Team. There is a Presidential Social Media Team? He scrolls down faster and sees the full list. How could this make the news and he didn’t get the Press Release? Unless someone deliberately didn’t want him to. Nasir!  He goes through the list of PSMT members and none of the top four Social Leaguers were in it. He calms down.  The conspiracy didn’t come from the top. It couldn’t have anyway.  The four of them are bound by something stronger than blood. You don’t conspire against someone that can destroy you on a whim. And The Maestro had ensured they all had something on one another they didn’t want the world to know about.

He has to reach Etim. He and Etim have been left in charge. Shehu is working with one of the Governors in the North Central and Oyin is working as an aide to the Minister of Communication. Etim is the only one among them who has a thriving business. He runs a tech company that creates apps on demand and trains coders.

Victor sends Etim a DM. He remembers when they were invited to meet The Maestro in Abuja.  The Maestro was working towards being President in eight years but needed to control the social media narrative to favour himself and his sponsors. The Maestro knew how important social media would be in shaping narratives. He was like the man who saw the future. Victor had been surprised to see Etim show up as the forth intern. He didn’t think he had any business being there.

Victor looks at his phone screen.  Still no response from Etim.  He scrolls to his contact list and finds his phone number. He hits send.

                     *************

Etim looks at his phone screen as the notification comes in. A message from Victor. A frown automatically graces his face.  So now he needs my help? Etim remembers the last time they all had collaborated on a project and Victor had stolen the entire social capital. He had vowed then that he would pay just as he vows now against those who decided to make a fool of him on Twitter. He glances at the Twitter trends and sees his name is no longer on the trend list. Finally after three days they had moved on. His only joy is that his wife is not on Twitter and no one had got it into their heads to send Akata’s blog post link to her.  His name may not have been mentioned in the post but if all of Twitter knows it’s about him,  it won’t have been hard for his wife to figure it out.

He makes to continue his conversation with his visitor but his phone begins to ring.  Victor. He picks it.
“Hello Victor,  my man!”
“You didn’t see my message?”
“Message?”
“Check your DM.”
Etim takes the time to check his DM and read it.  He is aware that Victor could be simulating his movement and would know if he returned to the call too early.
“Wow! Etim finally exclaims. “What are you going to do?”
“Me or we?”
“You know I’m engrossed with planning this Twiga event…”
“You are still going ahead with that?”
“I can’t let them get away with making a fool of me.”
“Okay fine.  But first I’m removing Wale from the WhatsApp group.”
“Are you sure that is wise? We don’t want splinter groups.”
“No we don’t. But Wale is a traitor.”
Victor speaks for a few more seconds and then ends the call.

Etim turns to his guest.
“He knows.”
Wale sits up straight. Beads of sweat automatically run down his left armpit. He smacks at it like it’s a Zika carrying mosquito, using his shirt to wipe it.
“What should I do?” Wale asks, a slight tremor in his voice.
“Nothing,” Etim responds with a shrug. “He comes for you.  You ignore him.  Twitter has a few laughs at your expense but guess what,  you are three million Naira richer.”
“Yes…” Wale says,  thinking about the money. This is the richest he has ever been in his life.
“I should leave now.”
“Yes, I’ll be in touch.”
Wale walks out and Etim’s secretary enters immediately with the air freshener.  Etim makes a mental note to talk to Wale about his body odour next time they meet. He had thought it was a one off thing the last time they met. The secretary leaves and Etim turns back to his computer.  He is going to ensure The Twiga Games blows the other one out of existence. That will teach them a lesson never to trifle with him.

                       **************

Victor puts a call through to Oyin and Shehu.  They are both unaware of the PSMT.  Shehu tells him to let it go. Oyin is too busy to discuss it.  Victor is even angrier. How can that smelly nothing steal a contract I was already this close to getting?   He looks at the time.  If he doesn’t leave now,  he will miss his date.  He doesn’t want to go but it has taken him too long to set up this date to let let it slip by.  He finishes up with his dressing and hurries out.

Victor opens the door to the hotel room. She walks in ahead of him. She isn’t what he had expected.  She has a pretty face but nothing like all the photos she has been posting on IG. Plus she is an A cup.

Dinner had happened without incidence. They had talked about people on Twitter and she had laughed about the overlord who had been caught in adultery. Victor wanted to laugh too but he felt he it would be disloyal to Etim so he had quickly changed the topic. It was when he was about to take his drink that he remembered he had left the mixture seated at the table in the middle of his room.

“I didn’t think we’d come here to look at each other.”
Victor can tell she is horny. She had taken some alcohol during dinner but that alone did not account for the glazed look in her eyes. Victor moves closer to her but his penis backs down. He holds her and begins to kiss her on the lips.  She opens her mouth to receive him and their teeth knock into each other.
“I’m sorry,” he says dodging the hands that seek his manhood.
She pulls away from him and looks into his face.
“Is something wrong?”
“How?”
He tries to keep the guilt out of his voice.
“Why won’t you let me touch you?”
“I…er…”
“Unbuckle your trousers…” she says moving towards him. 
“No!” Victor almost screams,  backing away. “Let’s take this slow.”
“Slow?”
“I mean, it should be foreplay before we get it on? Right?”
This is the most awkwardly unromantic question she can remember being  asked in all her sexual life and she has no idea how to answer.
“Like this.”
He pulls her close and begins to run his hands over her breast trying in vain to locate her nipples. He ends up pinching the skin of her breast instead. She jumps off the bed.
“I think I want to leave now, ” she says firmly.
” But… ”
“Now!” She repeats more emphatically.
“Alright,” he says, rising. 
He opens the door. “Sorry,  it didn’t work out.”
She walks out leaving the echoes of a long hiss behind.

Victor falls back on to  the bed. His penis is still floppy. He has to do something about his sex life. The buzzing of  his phone steals his attention. Incoming Akata. He feels the beginnings of the rush of blood down there.  Akata’s is the only woman who has this effect on him. Each time he sees her call he imagines her full lips closing in on his penis and his hands playing with the peak of her bouncy breasts. He had been close to living that dream…once.   He takes the call and begins to listen to her.  The more he listens the harder he becomes. He absentmindedly begins to stroke his penis. When they were done talking,  he had reached a climax.  He gets off the bed and gets a tissue to clean himself. He forgets Wale briefly as he focuses on his new assignment. He is going to ensure that Nasir loses his job.

(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Series

 

Tags: , ,

#SocialLeague:Story Seven

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Niyi watches his phone ring out.  He had been stunned by Osi’s revelation and was still trying to process it when Akata’s call came in. He shuts his eyes for a few seconds.  Osi is a girl? 
“I know this is a lot to take in but there is an even bigger reason why I’m here.”
Niyi looks up at her not allowing his mind to even contemplate what the bigger announcement is.
“You will not be hearing from John anymore after…”
“Wait…you know John?” Niyi cuts in.
“Yes,  I do. And I’m afraid that channel is closed. He gave you an assignment?”
“Excuse me?”
“John. You were supposed to report something to him…”
Niyi rises from the table and for just a few seconds Maria looked confused.
“Listen Maria,  Osi or whoever you are,  I’m sorry but I have to leave now. This very minute. Have a great day.”

Niyi walks swiftly out of the restaurant. His head swimming in confusion. All he wants is to put a lot of distance between him and whoever this person is.  He quickly gets into his car and checks the rearview mirror to be sure he  isn’t followed. Then he chides himself.  This is Nigeria not a Hollywood movie.  The engine turns and he drives off.

He remembers how he had met John. He had found John,  not the other way round. So,  how possible is it that they chose him? Chosen for what? He shakes his head vigorously as if that can clear it. He approaches a traffic light and has to slow down. He needs to think. “Think,  think,”  he commands himself.

He voice dials John and gets a programmed response: The number you have called does not exist on the network. He tries again.  Same response. He turns off at the next exit and parks the car. He should send Osi aka Maria a DM,  apologising and saying he is coming back.  He needs to get to the bottom of this. He searches her name. Her account has been shut down.

Niyi’s phone shows an incoming call.  Akata. He had not got round to returning her call yet.  He picks it.
“Hi!  Sorry,  I couldn’t take your call earlier.”
“It’s okay,”  Akata responds.  “I need your help.”
Niyi exhales. “Shoot.”
“I have this mail I want to send you, please confirm the mail is from Nasir.”
“Presidential media aide?”
“Yes. And if it is, then advice me on what to do.”
“Okay, send it.”

                                *****

Zainab unlocks the door to her one bedroom flat and walks in. She is beginning to feel claustrophobic in this environment but she can’t afford anything else at the moment.
“Why don’t you come back home.”
So many times she has felt like giving up and going back to her home,  her mother’s home. Like now.

She sits on the bed and lies back. Her personal life is such a mess. She hasn’t had a boyfriend in forever and it is not because there has been a shortage of candidates. She just feels an emptiness inside that she knows a man’s love cannot fill.  She has tried a number of times but only ended up hurting people that truly love her.  She had since stayed off love, off men. 

The shrill of the old phone ringtone shatters the silence in the room. Zainab is startled as her heart does a small jump. She realises it is the phone.  She takes the call at the second ring.
“Talk to me, ” she says in lieu of hello.
“No one here is aware of such an order.” “Are you sure?”
“Absolutely.”
“Thank you, ” Zainab says and hangs up.
                    
                                ******

Niyi looks at the email.  He finds one Nasir had sent him in the past. Match. Obviously,  Nasir is being used to clamp down on anti-government blogs.  He wonders how someone who had been such a strong voice  in opposition using the same blogs to speak up against the last administration could now want to clamp them down.  He is saddened at the whole mess.

Nasir needed to be stopped but he would rather Akata does not do the calling out herself. He sends her a DM stating his position.  He then sends another DM to Yemi. She was one of those who seemed really close to Osi.  In fact,  at some point there was a rumour that they were in a relationship.  They often exchanged tweets laced in double entendre right on the timeline. If there was anyone on Twitter who should know why Osi closed his account, it would be Yemi.

                                 *****

Akata makes her way through the parking lot.  Zainab had called to say they had to meet urgently.  She spots her seated inside one of the payutes and heads towards her.
“Hi,” Akata said knowing Zainab won’t respond.
“Do you have history with Nasir?”
“No,  why do you ask?”
“Well,  whatever he is doing,  he doesn’t have the backing of the President.  Want some ice-cream?”
Akata nods both in answer and in acknowledgement as Zainab waves to one of the attendants.
“I’m having @KitchnButterfly’s agbalumo flavour.  What would you like?”
“Whatever you are having is fine.”
Zainab nods and places the order.  She knows Akata is processing the information she just gave her.
“What I don’t know is whether all of this is somehow connected with the attacks on our site,” Zainab continues.
“Well, it won’t be a stretch to link the two.  Only thing I’d say he holds against me is that I don’t use all the stories he mails me.”
Akata’s phone beeps as the ice-cream arrives.  She picks her phone and reads Niyi’s DM.
“Niyi says the mail is from Nasir. But he doesn’t want me calling him out myself…I understand why.”
Zainab empties the last bit of ice-cream straight into her mouth and then looks up at Akata.
“So,  what do you want to do?”
“There is only one other person I know who has the clout to do the calling out.”
Akata’s eyes meet with Zainab’s and hold.
“No,  Akata.  You are not reaching out to Victor.  How can you go dine with that devil?”
Akata sighs
“I guess I’ll just have to use a long spoon.”

(Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Series

 

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