The Hit-List And A Mole
By Adeola Aderounmu
Paramount ruler Gerrard is upset with the oppositions in hisKingdom- The Lower Volta. The situation is now so bad that no matter what his soothsayers or wisemen said the tide was always against him. He is the most hated ruler in the history of the Lower Volta . Among his precedessors were both the ugly ruler and the fiercest ruler of Lower Volta. Even the ugly one still has beautiful women flocking to his farm several years after he was shamefully shown the exit from the reigns of power.
What is wrong with me, Gerrard wonders?
In his understanding his soothsayers and wisemen have become leeches. They suck him, they leech the kingdom so the kingdom bleeds and still produce the worst public image he had ever seen in his life. Gerrard is partly the architect of his own poor rating. Some images are irreparable. He is weak before men and women. When a criminal is brought to him for judgement, all he did was grant pardon. Even Yangari before him who suffered terminal ailment showed a greater will.
Gerrard has so many skeletons in his cupboards that he could not slain one more ant. He remembered that he was told that those who live in glass houses do not throw stones and how hard it has been for him to understand the meaning of the expression.
He is even more confused because of other things. For example, he can’t ask his soothysayers to explain to him the meaning of “let he without sin cast the first stone”. His woes are compounded by what he learnt from the ugly ruler of Lower Volta.
The ugly ruler said there would be no sacred cows in the Kingdom. But Gerrard inherited the largest share of sacred cows ever known in Lower Volta. He kept the cows, the goats and the sheep and chaos reigned.
In the second part of his reign, the ugly ruler planted discordant seeds around Lower Volta. The fruits of rebellion is tearing Lower Volta apart and Gerrard said rebels don’t go away once they infest a kingdom. One man said Gerrard had no balls and many people called the man a mad person because he is a friend of the former ugly ruler and one of the sacred cows that left the Kingdom unharmed.
In the first part of his reign the ugly ruler armed the hopeless men in the creeks. In the Lower Volta it had become customary for rulers to do all that is necessary, mostly evil, to keep hold of power and to oppress and suppress the oppositions and the people in general. The dictators and rulers of Lower Volta have perfected these deeds for more than a century. They kill, maim, disempower and impoverish the populace to send fright down the spins of people and to dismantle any dissenting voice or groups before they rise above sea level.
Emperor Gerrard has become one intoxicated with power. Rage fills his heart. His trasformational agenda had gone from seeking one tenure of glory to 10 years of absolute reign. It is easy to become crazy in Lower Volta because there is only one reason to seek power-to oppress the rest. No one is prepared to truncate the nonsense status quo and no one is prepared to say the truth because truth is both an open wound and a source of freedom from the modern slavery in the Lower Volta.
In his desperation and surge for dominance Gerrard went with the plan sold to him by a local who promised to deal with all of his enemies. One obese and obsessed warlord whom he bountifully rewarded had already promised hell on earth if Gerrard’s plans are derailed by anyone. The former rulers of Lower Volta abducted the crazy warlord and sold him to the less-noisy neighbours for 48 hours just to teach him a lesson in the art of real war. The crazy warlord has been quiet ever since. He’s enjoying the gains of his crime in solitude. Crime pays in Lower Volta, far more than dignified labour.
It was another warlord, more potent in nature than the lousy one that promised to deal with the enemies of Gerrard. He came to the creek at night when Gerrard was on a family visit. He had a list and all he wanted was money, not fame like the obsessed one. He will kill all the enemies of Gerrard starting from the stupid and stubborn talkative Lord of the Rivers. He promised to kill 1000 enemies, at the least. Gerrard was pleased.
Gerrard promised to provide the money. He was sure that since there are no records of the deals-having been done verbally in his home town in in his local dialect-this would be the best kept secret of his tumultous reign. He was sure his enemies would disappear without traces and that his 10 years of rulership will come to pass.
What Gerrard-a ruler not used to the codes of war- did not know is that the ferocious warlord cannot act alone. He must use other mercenaries across Lower Volta. They swore secrecy oaths whilst naked in the evil forest as common in the Lower Volta. But some mercenaries are tracherous men. They have served the fiercest ruler of Lower Volta. They have served the ugly ruler too and though they loved to “serve” Gerrard, their hearts are with the men of steel. They’ve sworn to too many oaths. Oaths have no bound over them any more.
As soon as the mole departed,, the ugly ruler left his farm and drove for several days to reach the fiercest ruler on the rock. He crossed 2 rivers and 3 shallow valleys to reach the crook on the rock. Evil rulers dare not to live among people. Their flesh may become meat. The fiercest ruler-a tropical gangster of the highest rank-called his cunning friend who also ruled Lower Volta briefly but in the most self-serving way ever known in Lower Volta.
“I killed the ombudsman” the ugly ruler boasted. “He was going to make a case for the independence of the nations and I was not going to let that happen”. “I killed him”-he boasted repeatedly! “I have been killing people both mentally and physically since the internal wars which I also quenched, he boasted further but his looks and gesture gave away the deceit of his troubled heart.
What are you talking about? The former fiercest ruler asked, with his trademark smile. I killed the professor when he wanted to write a thesis about my wives and our crazy adventures here and abroad. “I killed him” he too boasted. He also boasted about the over 200 men he killed in bloodless battles. He remembered his friend Emperor Bodion who was shot at close range and the lies that he died while having sex with a prostitute. Bodion’s battles came with blood and there were traces all over the regions of Lower Volta. He, Bodion, became a sort of sacrifice.
As they reflect on their luck of staying alive despite their crimes the third former Emperor present broke the silence. “When I murdered Kashinko, nobody heard a pin drop”. But it had to be done even when the royal emissaries were around to ensure that our people remain as slaves. “They must serve us”! He spoke in a manner to reveal their low collective cognitivity.
The three of them concluded that they don’t like Gerrard and they will do all that is necessary to make sure that he does not succeed with the murder plans. No one should be able to excel at executive murders planned by a common criminal in the creeks. No emperor will rule for 10 years, they also agreed out of grave jealousy.
Suddenly it also struck these 3 evil men the reason why Captain Kilimora was released from prison. The pieces fell in place in their evil hearts and they knew they are the greatest hypocrites in the Lower Volta.
The ugly ruler was given the mandate to write on behalf of the emperors. They will sow discordant tunes in the polity, they will travel the world to push for a change that will bring a new emperor from the North. They will scatter their men around the local groups-APC to PDP, PDP to APC, ACN to ANPP, ANPP to ACN and so one and so forth.They will scatter the brown envelopes like never before. They will show Gerrard that his PR machine is a multi-billion naira waste drain.
The fiercest ruler was a master of deceit and the money he stole from the kingdom will do the switches he want. Alliance in Lower Delta is akin to prostitution due to lack of ideology. The power structure and struggles that come with it show complete lack of common sense. Everybody involves plays the fool.
The rulers of Lower Volta are obviously crazy men. They lured the women, they fool the people, they ignored the children. The people are ready to be fooled by money, power and greed anyway. Gerrard knows these things and he has actually surprised everyone so far by out-smarting the ex-rulers who are like crying babies in their foolish old ages.
They realised now how unhappy they are despite all they stole from the treasuries of Lower Volta. Money bought them everything but not happiness and power now elude them. They never understood the transiency of power but with deaths and sickneses around them the transiency of life is dwelling on them.
If anyone of them really care about the people, why did they not give them their freedom? Why did they not provide them with proper education? Why did they take away the bread and provided stones for the people? Why are the people homeless? Why is corruption the biggest form of organized crime in the Lower Delta? Why is everything else that is supposed to be good for the people disorganized?
Gerrard also wondered why he and the ex-rulers failed woefully in all the promises of good life made to the people of the Lower Volta. He is convinced that he, like the ones before him are all cursed. If not, when Madam Odensi was brought to judgement for obvious criminal activities, he could have used his brain and earn some public image points. He has been depressed since then but he found consolation knowing that that the people are lame but he and the other conspirators preferred to dignify them a little, so they called them resilient people.
To be free and to have a good life, the people of the Lower Volta will start by fighting real battles. They will fight their fake ombudsman, they will fight their self-serving representatives and they will fight the ultimate battle to change the power structure that created emperors rather than servant leaders.
Freedom (both physical and mental) is paramount for the pursuit of happiness. Truth and knowledge will set them free. They-the people-must also make atonements in order to restore the prosperity of the lost years.
They must use their freedom to chase the emperors away and they also need to destroy all the local groups and the evil people running these groups.The future of the people lies beyond what Gerrard admits or denies. It is beyond the useless letters written by disgrunted murderers. It lies in their own hands-as it has always been.
(Based on a true story)