It is not easy being the President of this Country. A Nation of over 170 million people. One hundred and seventy million! All clamouring to have their needs met. The Ghanaians have it easy…
Everyday I sit here, in this large office trying to find a way to satisfy all of them, all 170 million, or most of them anyway. Anything to stop the barrage of curses hurled at myself and my family daily. Sometimes I can almost feel them, like little projectiles hurtling through the atmosphere at break neck speed.
I first came into this office by the unfortunate hands of good fortune, a faulty kidney and the accident of my name. Then I influenced fate to ensure that I came back. I shouldn’t have. I have not known peace since I stood before my nation and said that oath. I have not slept more than 4 hours in a single night. Heavy lies the head that wears the Crown, or in this case, the hat.
But how do you cater to all these people? How do you unite a nation of such diverse interests and needs? The rich support my long term projects, the poor want short term benefits and vice versa. If we even attempt to mandate the masses to go along with an initially painful but ultimately beneficial course of action, the outcry begins.
I got myself a mouthpiece at a point. One of them, or so I thought. He had been at the forefront of literary activism for a while. They knew him, the ones that read atleast. They would respect him, I thought. When he explained the policies, they would understand. They didn’t. Now he’s almost as hated as I am, considered by many to be a traitor. His pen must be heavy.
It doesn’t help that the few years I have spent here have been plagued with an insecurity that further divided the polity. Insecurity and that errant show off governor. He acts so efficient he makes every other administrator including myself look bad. Its unconscionable.
I love my people and I know what needs to be done. I will do it. In fact, I already have. When the Chief of Defence Staff called me precisely 23:50 to report that they had finally apprehended the mastermind behind the Islamist terror group and that he had boasted about a large explosive device in the state of that show off governor. An explosive device scheduled to go off in 24hours. 24hours from yesterday.
“We have to do something” he said, “Sir, my instincts tell me he wasn’t bluffing, we need to call Raji, we need to begin a search, to evacuate or people will die!”
People will die, people die everyday, but think about what could happen. A disaster that large will kill the fight in the people. The devastation. It is in the midst of travail that they will seek a leader, as one. They will unite. There would no longer be 170 million voices, but one. One voice.
In our joy at lifting the African trophy, we were one nation, one people, one voice. If joy is such a powerful binding force, imagine what sorrow will do. My people, as one will seek a leader. Someone to avenge them, to give them satisfaction.
I will be that leader, when I inform them that we have acted swiftly and apprehended the brain behind it all. When I order his public execution. I will satisfy them and they will love me for it. It is worth the price.
All I had to do was wait 3 days. One for the explosive, Two for the dust to clear. Since that call ended, I have watched my wristwatch, the wall clocks that dot the Villa walls, the digital one on my desktop computer. I have watched every clock I could see for the last 23hrs and 53 minutes.
Its 7 minutes to the end of the first day, about 2 minutes before we know if the fundamentalist was bluffing. I’m sitting in the office with my head in my hands. At any moment Reuben will walk through that door screaming about the disaster and the need for us to make a statement. He’ll want to write one, I’ve already done that.
When the time comes, I will place this heavy hat on my head and walk out of the office to face a bank of cameras and recorders hastily assembled to address a nation in tears, One nation not 170 million people.
I will begin as I always do, “My Fellow Nigerians …”
PLEASE NOTE: In this story, the author has used real-life events/people to paint a fictional picture.