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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

The 24Hour President is a short-story series that feature the powerful and mysteriously unbeatable Mafia; kidnapping of a president a day after his inauguration; impersonation of both the president and his first lady,all due to threat of black mailing as the only ransom... But the captive couples were no fools,and so the Mafia would for the first time realize the need to adjust or else... Written and presented by BAKANO,6years ago at the British Council/Creative Writers' Forum,Kano.
Have a good time,reading it!

THE 24-HOUR PRESIDENT! Part 1 To some,it looked like an island only surrounded by murderous soldiers-not water-the only occupant of the treeless external surrounding. From all the four cardinal directions,it stood as single as the number 1,and was marched with a single road that ran between the dangerous weaponry of the looking-and-ready-for-trouble soldiers. Others saw it as an estate of about 120 or there about bungalows plus a number of upstairs. To some,the entire buildings remained mysterious: an abstract of a portrait, looking more like the fort it was. Be it as it might be,several miles had to be crossed before reaching the barbed,architecturally designed wall with a huge green-white-green Coat of Arms that served as the only,well,'visible' entrance. A single look could tell this was the villa the Number 1 citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria dwelled in. The Aso Rock!

The scene was now featuring an outrider,leading a convoy and blasting his siren to have the \"local\" road users scattered and dispersed. The convoy of vehicles,consisting of seven tinted army-green Peugeot,a tinted white GMT limousine and another seven tinted army-green Peugeot covered by three more outriders,approached from the impressive Coat-of-Arms gate toward a swamp of the deadly soldiers now lined up by the both sides of the road in a robotic way,saluting their safe journey.

The convoy had now passed,zooming as if ready to crack the earth. The leading outrider led the convoy to the highway-the way a duck does to its ducklings-\"an ideal of the normal accompaniment of power and authority in Africa!\"

The President,gagged and blindfolded with a green-white-green bandanna tied around his face,and under the threat of an acid-thrower pistol,had just been driven out for the first time since the May 29,2015 he was inaugurated. Was he a captive?

The duck,tailed by the ducklings,roared along the road,maneuvering through the fast moving vehicles of the FCT Abuja. A couple of hours spent in a break-neck speed that took them to \"the Manchester Of Africa\",that historic Center Of Commerce of the Sudan,the present commercial center of the North and the domain of King Bayero. Having reached Kano,Naibawa precisely,the convoy took the Eastern By-Pass road that led straight into the bush where the bandanna and the gag were removed off the President's confused face.

He looked what he was: a Nigerian of early 50s but faking out people with 40s. He had a face many could pay to call theirs. Numerous unanswered questions floated in his bewildered eyes.

The time was now 13:30,the President noted from the GMT's impressive dashboard. Now just as they were moving through the thicket bush,the duck,still tagged along by the ducklings,and, having reached a particular unmarked area,only surrounded by shrubs,somehow went downward as if entering a well through a coop; this coop-like opening had what looked like a well-dug mine that made the President rob his eyes,unable to register the reality or otherwise of the unfolding dreamy fact. A passage,leading the convoy into a flood lit garage laid before them.

Parked. All the fourteen vehicles, adequately,yet the garage still had more space to room a couple of American Lincoln Continentals. Car doors swung open. Rugged-looking men in blacks hopped out. No word was uttered as if saving not to run out of any. These men in blacks,followed by the President,walked a three minute walk along a narrow corridor that finally took them to a hall big enough to play American football in. Several thousands of American dollars seemed to have changed hands for the furnishing that gave the hall those artistically impressive features of the UNO Hall.

The windowlessness of the places passed made the astonished President realize that the building was an underground. This discovery set his heart into an abnormal race,knowing he might just be side-stepping some graves before finally reaching his very own.

Seated. Twenty two of them,all in blacks,except the President who was in whites: trousers and long-sleeve that matched the white Gucci shoes that partly sank into the grassy brown carpet. Now a side door opened. A woman,Asia written all over her,came out the door. She wordlessly served the men with Coco-Date drinks and left.

A man of early 50s with an egg of a head sat some 20ft away from the President's seat. His bossy gestures told the President that the former was the big shot around,and was now addressing the gathering.

\"Feel at home at home,Mr. President,take the soft drink....good stuff,enough to quench your confusion!\" Then he went on in a voice more bossy than the previous,\"Now,this is Daddy,just Daddy,father of the late Brainy Smart*,remember him? Everyone does! Anyway,I guess I needn't have to bore you much,but that's my way of saying,good to have you with us,Your Excellency,in this historic get together organized by the shadowy people of the underworld. For your information,you are dealing with the Mafia!\"

Cold sweat oozed out of the captive's forehead in spite of the conducively chill atmosphere of the hall. Black fingers simultaneously curled around twenty-one cocktail glasses, lifting them up for a sip act that filled the superseding gap.

\"You may not believe it,Mr. President,\" Daddy continued,\"but you've just been successfully kidnapped! No lose end! This, is a part of a 12-year-nursed operation to be carried out within 24 hours, exactly three more hours from now. \"Well,I understand His Excellency knows about the Mafia,everyone does,coz writers can't keep their busy pens off our daily doings, being topical...they've been writing all sorts of bullshit and link it with Us...some of these efforts are partially factual. Well,the Mafia is that unbeatably powerful and richest secret organization world over. We are equipped with an undetectable network of numerous members: spies,thugs,snatchers, doctors,army and cop officials,and press men in every country featured on world map. Don't be surprised to find presidents like you,top diplomats, police I.Gs and army generals on Our able payroll. We also recognize the importance of ordinary porters,guides,air-hostesses,mechanics,vulcanizers...the list is endless,but their contributions are vital. We have kinda pocketed the prime movers of this planet Earth. Well...I guess that'd kinda tell you the class you're in now! Once again,good to have you with us,Mr. President!\" Surrendered,the captive stammered,\"W...Wh...Who's to pay th...the ransom?\"

\"Mr. President,We,the Mafiosi,rely on no-one but Ourselves. We fish out the needed fish when We feel like fishing one.\"

\"K...kindly stop beating a...around th..the bush,just call a spade a spade.\"

\"It's a long story,Mr. President,this,is the operation of the millennium: a newly inaugurated president gets kidnapped a day after his assumption to the leadership. Then an already schemed plan to have him impersonated gets to be put in motion. This is simple: the impersonator already got under the knife and got himself a new face exactly like the President's. This fake president is already equipped with the genuine President's looks,voice and behavior,and of course,signature as well. But that's just a brief on the blue print of this 24 Hour Operation,actively supported by the G-8,ironically yearning to lay their deathly hands on the very impersonator!\"

\"Think you can full this wool over my eyes?\" The captive President was now no longer stammering. Pulled his self up a bit!

\"Daddy! Looks like His Excellency is getting up to it now that he's confident enough to doubt!\"

Incredible! That voice was hundred percent the president's. But the speaker was not! The voice came from a man seated not far from the President who was automatically gaping at the now smiling face of the man who had just spoken in the latter's distinct voice.\"You don't expect the Mafia to spend 12 straight years in vain,do you,Mr. President?\"

With that,the man stood up and put his fingers under his black collar then removed a mask of very special thin layer which he gently pulled upward to reveal a new face that looked every inch the President's.

The Coco-Date was simultaneously drunk again. The President's drink still remained untouched. There was an act of eye twisting reactions from him. Simply bewildered,unable to decipher the unfolding mystery of the moment.

Eyeing the man,the captive realized that he might as well been staring at a mirror: same eyes;exact replica of earlobes;length and width of nostril;lip curve....and a carbon copy of chin and chicks. The artistic mastery is superb! Plastic surgeons can really be terrific!

The impersonator scribbled in green a signature on a piece of paper which was then passed over to the captive,whose eyes already scanned through the artful jotting that perfectly marched the very signature he had not cunningly invented while schooling,but been using it since then. The captive was then visibly restraining a look of defeat.

\"You still have a hell of a long way to go,\" the still courageous President said,\"because,I'm not gonna cooperate! That's for sure! Go on,shoot me dead! Push me to a hell-hole further than the grave,I don't care: I've had all the fun in the world more than an ordinary brain can think of. Listen guys,you're fucking dead wrong to think that this your 12 year brilliant bullshit will go like a bomb. Frankly,knowing my position,I am indispensable to you guys,because killing or hiding me in some place won't take you anywhere. You may think I'm bluffing my way out of the casket...I dare you to try it,you'd live to regret ever being on Earth!\"

\"Bravo,Mr. President! The Commander-In-Chief-Of-The-Armed-Forces of the giant of Africa;the brain behind the founding of the ruling Peoples' Democratic Party;the son-in-law of the current Sultan of Sokoto;the life-long pal of the current President of the States;the richest self-made tycoon, second only to the dynamic Dangote of Kano;the former ambassador of Nigeria to the States;the former UN ambassador to Nigeria....Your Excellency?\" Daddy paused deliberately,purposefuly before the last stab, \"Congratulations,Mr. President! I heard your son is the current winner of the 2015 Kano gubernatorial seat.\"

\"By the way,Your Excellency,\"said the impersonator,\"Would you care to tell us about the First Lady...your wife's whereabouts?\"

\"And what has she got to do with this?\" Asked the captive.

\"Everything,Your Excellency!\"

\"Well,she's somewhere where your filthy hands wouldn't touch her. A fly can't unless she so likes. It's an underground apartment in the Presidential Apartment Section of the Aso Rock;it is guarded as the hell: 240 Republican Guards,24 hours,on a daily 10 hour shift,and more deadly than the death!\"

\"Sounds well-secured as the American Alcatraz! Any possibility of reaching to snatch her?\"

\"Never! Unless it is some Kannywood movie you happen to be filming. I think it time you stopped daydreaming,Mr. Daddy, I tell....\" said the captive,calling the Mafiosi boss' name for the first time,but was interrupted by his impersonator:

\"Mr. President! Behold our souvenir from your secured Aso Rock...\" he stopped,pointing at a side door that had silently opened to reveal a woman whose slimness and prettiness reminded the captive President of his very wife. And lo! She looked the one all right!

But so the dreams went on and on and on,because another woman of the same height and complexion, plus bodily movement and geographic appearance of the captive President's wife had just followed the first one! They both looked alike! The likeness was so perfect,a bishop could've sworn with the Holy Book that these women were twins! The captive himself couldn't tell them apart. It was only when one of them approached him,that he seemed to have seen through the tricks!

Wrong! Something sure was! The First Lady never approached him with her eyes looking him straight in the eyes: she always approached in a rather shy way until she reached him then looked up to plant the regular kiss he would ever live and long to remember!

\"I tell you guys,\"said the captive,smiling his princely smile,\"you're not gonna make it: this is not my wife,the other one perhaps...\"

And there she was,walking the graceful steps that still made her husband's heart race. Instincts dragged the President off the comfy seat;a look of relief and confusion boldly displayed in his eyes.

Hugged! ------------------------------------ Written by: BAKANO A. MURTALA Copyright: 2013 BAKANO A. MURTALA All rights reserved! -BBChat PIN: 22706305 ------------------------------ ...presented exactly 6 years ago at the British Council,Creative Writers' Forum,Kano; May 30,2007... ---------------------------------

Submitted: June 08, 2013

© Copyright 2021 BAKANO. All rights reserved.

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