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.)