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By Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema (Nigeria)

Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema is an author and historian. Email:


Illustration for The Chief of her Pewrsonal Security

Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema

What happens when a retired commando becomes the bodyguard of his former girlfriend who is vying for the governorship of the most important state in a volatile West African country?


On a wet and cold Saturday morning, as he slouched on the sofa in his flat and wished there was a warm female anatomy to take the chill out of his bones, Dandra Eguze got a phone call. The caller was a woman, judging from her rich, refined voice, a voice which was unfamiliar to the forty-eight-year-old retired army Major. She requested him to come to Kenny Land Guesthouse by 7p.m. to discuss, in her words, ‘serious and mutually beneficial matters with my principal.’ In spite of his silky efforts Dandra could not get her to reveal her name or that of her principal. He was not unduly worried about her nondisclosure of the matter her principal wanted to discuss with him. Quite a few of the people who sought his services as a security consultant usually started off interactions anonymously until they felt they could trust him sufficiently to show their hand.

Dandra decided to honour the mystery woman’s request. A few minutes after the call ended, he got two messages on his phone. One was a credit alert of one hundred thousand Giberian cowries while the second was a message informing him that the money was for his transportation to the guesthouse. He was reminded of the time for the meeting and requested to be appropriately dressed in elegantly casual clothes. No name was attached to the messages, but Dandra guessed they came from the female caller.

He put on his thinking cap. Whoever it was that needed his services was well loaded. One hundred thousand for a journey across the city to the island section was heavy. Even by Uber it would not cost him up to ten thousand to get to the guesthouse. Then the money was paid into his personal savings account. Dandra never put out his account details in his adverts. Clients he closed deals with got his business account. So who had given her his personal account number? Only one person met his specification, but he was not sure. He decided to do some digging and take some precautions before keeping the appointment. Taking precautions had kept him alive and healthy so far.

A former officer of the Specialized Tactics Brigade of the Giberian army, Dandra had participated in and commanded many black operations against the terrorists, bandits and Islamic radicals who had been ravaging the West African republic of Giberia for the past twenty years. The Brigade had been established by the then government in partnership with the USA, Britain and Israel to combat terrorism. Dandra got into trouble when he was put in charge of a highly classified operation codenamed Operation Crosshairs. Operation Crosshairs was designed to abduct a deadly bandit chieftain intelligence asset had found out was about to sneak into the country from the northern border. Dandra and his team walked right into an ambush and were decimated. It was as if the bandit and his boys were expecting them. Only the Major and another team member, Staff Sergeant Ganiyu, got out alive.

Convinced that there was a Judas in the upper echelons of the Brigade, Dandra went all out to unmask him. His efforts backfired and he was dismissed from the army. It was only three years ago that the brass converted his dismissal to retirement and paid him his entitlements. He was personally summoned to the office of the General Officer Commanding the army and given the news. The Major gave the GOC a first-class salute, though he was in civvies, and spoke.

“Sir, what about Op Crosshairs? What did you find out that made you change your mind about my dismissal?”

General Manga bored his piercing eyes into those of the officer who had served under him in the early years of his career.

“Major, some books may never be opened in your lifetime. Or mine. But be assured, they will be opened. Goodbye.”

Dandra got the message. He went home and wept for the brave souls who died needlessly in their bid to save their country. Since even the best warriors know when to throw down their rifles, he took the GOC’s advice.

The security consultant went on the internet and snooped fruitfully. Kenny Land Guesthouse was one of the real five-star relaxation spots in Lagona and definitely at the top of the A league in the hospitality business. Five and a half years ago a notable businesswoman had bought out its previous cash strapped owners and turned it into one of Lagona’s most successful guesthouses. Dandra frowned thoughtfully as his eyes scanned the articles about the guesthouse and its owner on Google and other search engines. He knew who the businesswoman was. To put it accurately, he had known the businesswoman intimately, perhaps far too intimately than was good for him. Because though it was more than ten years ago, Dandra in his honest moments of reflection agreed that Dan Seals’ song ‘Still A Little Bit of Love’ applied to his feelings for her. He had followed her career, especially her recent foray into the volatile political orbit.

Fifteen years ago, Dandra met Ronke Bamidele in London. He had been sent by the army to Britain for a year-long course in unconventional warfare and the latest subversion strategies. The army had rewarded his excellent performance with an elevation to the rank of Captain and a three-month furlough. Ronke, the third child and only daughter of the famous multimillionaire businessman, Otunba Hughes Bamidele, was rounding off her second master’s degree in Global Economic Strategy from St. Andrews University. Their chance meeting at a London nightclub developed into an intense romance. They had sex that first night and it did not end there. It was obvious they were made for each other. They had a lot in common. Both were brilliant, ambitious, bold and immensely humane, despite their flashes of ruthlessness. They enjoyed a good workout, though Ronke was not in Dandra’s league. They argued passionately when differences arose, but never allowed recriminations to follow them to the other room. Ronke was happy to meet a man who was totally unfazed by her background and just cherished her as a woman. Until now Dandra had not met a woman, whose untamed passions rivalled his, who accommodated his often-maverick views, and saw beyond his sharp intellect.

But tough decisions had to be made. Would the Bamidele family, one of the most powerful dynasties of the Yaru tribe, one of the oldest houses of Lagona state, accept a mere soldier from the Igbu ethnic group as a son-in-law, particularly one whose parents were mere retired secondary school teachers? Sure, this was the twenty-first century, but such things still counted in Giberia. But there were even deeper and more painful concerns.

Dandra loved Ronke far too much to present her with the grim prospect of early widowhood as the wife of a committed Special Forces soldier and secret agent thick in the war against terrorism. He had seen what their job did to the partners of his hitched colleagues, subordinates and even superiors. Even when the officers were not killed or missing in action their unions suffered badly from the long separations, dangers and psychological tensions. Although not divulging classified information he told her the truth about his profession. Ronke insisted she could stick it. She knew better than convince her man to transfer to a less demanding branch of the army. Her beloved father had enough connections to ease him out of the Brigade, even out of the army, if he wanted, but clearly Dandra saw his deadly work as a vocation.

“Does that mean you will never marry, Rambo? Even James Bond got married at one stage,’ Ronke had shouted tearfully during one of their arguments over the subject.

“007 is fantasy, Ronke. This is the real world,’ Dandra replied, his heart almost visibly breaking. For the first time since he put on the uniform of the Giberian army he was inflicted with self-doubt about his choice of career.

They parted, realizing and accepting that their love was not meant to be. They did not keep in touch with each other. There was no point; it would have only reminded them of what they shared. But without letting the other person know they followed each other’s career. Dandra took note of Ronke’s rise in the tough corporate world and eventually becoming a power in her own right. After the death of her father, she emerged from her fierce struggle with her elder brothers over the control of the Bamidele conglomerate. Instead of ruining her family Ronke made peace with her brothers, sold off all her shares and investments in the family business and set up her own company. Within half a decade she proved she was the true daughter of her illustrious father. Her business, named Apex Rock, expanded and she became a force to be reckoned with.

Both of them got married. Ronke got hitched to Apata Salau, the youngest son of the famous Salau family which had become synonymous with the legal profession for almost one hundred years. The short-lived union produced a son but ended with Apata’s death in a plane crash. What Dandra feared most came upon his marriage. Njideka could not cope with the demands of his profession and left with their only child, also a boy.

Dandra was met at the guesthouse by the female caller. She was a statuesque beauty endowed with flawless naturally fair skin, long wavy curls the legendary Mammy Water would have envied, and an oval face the Almighty Sculptor carved on the day he was happy. Her name was Dawn Ibitola Ovie and she was Ronke’s trusted right-hand woman. She ushered Dandra into an elegantly furnished secluded suite on the top floor of the suite where her boss was waiting and left.

Dandra observed that the years were kind to the woman the tabloids dubbed ‘the queen of the deal.’ She was still her short and slim self, endowed with a pair of legs whose hotness could make a man’s eyes pop. An immature pastor could lose his anointing observing her hip movement. Although her breasts were not the huge melons so beloved by the average Giberian man, they sat firm and proud, untroubled by age and childbirth. Her skin was arrogantly dark and smooth. Her face was not her greatest asset; the expressive eyes were rather too big for her face and her lips a bit too thin for her flawless dental structure. But in full combination with the rest of her package, it was arresting, framed by well kept hair. Only tinges of gray at the temples showed that she was a beautifully preserved forty-four-year-old.

Once they got past the initial emotional electricity, Ronke got down to business. Dandra was rather taken aback by her request. He had anticipated she wanted his security expertise in some way, probably some consultancy for her companies. But Ronke wanted something else.

“Your personal bodyguard?” he said.

She smiled. “Call it my chief of personal security, if you want some fancy title.”

She laid everything on the line. She had just won the Lagona state governorship ticket of the Central Union Party (CUP), the newest and leading opposition political party, and was set to jostle with contenders from other parties for the keys to the State House in four months. Five political parties would be donning the gloves during the elections. The most powerful among them, the All National Party of Giberia (ANPG), had been in charge of Lagona since Giberia returned to civilian democracy a little over two decades ago. Save for the CUP, the other political parties were not seen as a threat by the Establishment. After all, the ANPG called the shots at the national level and in seventy percent of the thirty states of the country. But just last year this new kid on the block had shown up, winning hearts and minds, especially of the youth, with its younger candidates, manifesto and manipulation of the deep dissatisfaction of the people with the ineptitude of the central government and the sophisticated despotism and corruption of the ANPG in Lagona. The CUP’s choice of Ronke was a masterstroke. She was youngish and good-looking; she came from an established Giberian family; she was a solid achiever by all standards; she had never been involved in government; she espoused the right populist causes; she was a delight to watch on television and listen to on the radio; she was genuinely philanthropic, and she could talk to both the high and mighty and the ordinary folk in languages they appreciated.

Dandra had followed the press accounts of her political adventure, starting from when she signed up with the CUP and threw her hat in the ring. Now she filled him with the details both the traditional and social media had not known. How ANPG chieftains had persuaded her uncle, Chief Kereka Bamidele, the patriarch of the family, to talk her into forgoing her ambition; how the ruling party had pressed her to join them, assuring her of the national lower chamber seat of her jurisdiction in the forthcoming elections; how subtle and then open shades and threats had been made; how her mother-in-law had resorted to emotional blackmail.

“All those have failed. It may get ugly now it is clear I am not backing down.” She sighed. “It is not just about me. It’s about Tommy.” Thomas Jide was her son.

“Then back out of the race. You don’t have to be governor. You have nothing to prove.”

Ronke’s eyes flashed.

“Lagona is my home. She deserves better than she is currently getting.” Her voice was low but intense.

“Can’t you seek police protection?”

“You know better than ask such a question.”

Dandra knew she was right. All agencies of government danced to the samba played by the ruling party. He took a deep breath and gazed at her steadily, steeling himself against a crazy urge to carry her into the bedroom.

He was reluctant to take the job for a number of reasons. First, Ronke was a stubborn smartass. Back in the day she had criticized security measures given to societal bigwigs. “Why do they need protection if they have nothing to hide?” Would she now be amendable to security orders and procedures, especially from a man whose nakedness she had once enjoyed? Second, how professional would he be when he was still conscious of her physical presence as if the years had not passed? Then the Giberian political space was a war zone and he had had enough of war. He took a deep breath and voiced the first and third concerns to her.

“I know a couple of absolutely honest and professional private security operatives who will do a good job for you. I can get in touch with them, if you like,’ he concluded.

Ronke was an iron woman, but she was still a woman. She came and stood in front of her former lover. He does not cut the TV image of a deadly commando, she thought. But that is what she liked about him; this capacity to be underestimated. He was tall. There appeared to be no unnecessary ounce of flesh on his angular physique, not even the middle age spread that troubled many men in his age bracket. Clearly, he had never stopped keeping fit even after leaving the army. He was blessed with a rather big head, the type popularly described as coconut head, a surprisingly clean-cut face which was saved from girlishness by its jaw line, and deep brown eyes. His earth brown skin was flecked with tiny hair strands which were turning shades of grey and white. His head and face were devoid of hair. Probably in a bid to fight the gray, she thought idly. Back then he had favoured fashionable skin punk haircuts that met military regulation standards and a neat moustache.

“Why are you studying me like a manual on International Capitalism? “ Dandra asked with a smile.

She smiled back. “You are still an attractive guy. No doubt you still keep the women busy.”

Dandra shrugged as if her words had not moved his thoughts in an unholy direction.

“And only the gods know the dirty thoughts in the minds of your political team guys who see you daily.” His compliment was deliberately casual, but they ignited salacious thoughts in the candidate’s head.

She began to pace the room.

“So, you won’t be my bodyguard?” Her voice was quiet, bereft of any jocularity. Dandra did not reply.

“You are worried we will pick up from where we left off.” It was not a question. There was no point in replying to the truth, so the former Major remained silent.

“You are one of the best. You are also a man of integrity and courage. Few people would have stood up to the army authorities like you did after Operation Crosshairs.’

’ Dandra was shaken.

“How did you know?”

“I have my little ways.”

Dandra got a grip on himself. “All the same, I don’t want to pull a gun for any reason. At almost fifty I have had enough.” He turned and Ronke took hold of his wrist. The touch of her fingers sent a spark to his brain.

“Please, Dan, I need you. I can’t trust anyone else.”

The former officer looked into her eyes again. What he saw beyond her pleading shattered his defences. It was naked and hot. She did not resist as his lips descended on hers. The years dissolved into the present as she moaned, rose to the tip of her shoes and virtually burrowed herself into him. Dandra picked her up, appreciating her lithe build.

“The bedroom is too far,” she murmured sultrily.

They did not bother with the sofa. They did it on the marble floor. Like in the old days. Hard and fast. Hot and wild. Then slow and sweet. Sweet and slow. They drained every drop of lust from each other’s body and milked their passions dry. When they finally got into bed after Ronke managed to send a Whatsapp message to Dawn that there would be no more meetings that night, it was bliss.

Dandra left in the morning with a personally written and signed appointment letter by Ronke. At the door of the suite, he turned and put his arm around her.

“I hope what we did last night won’t make a mess of things.’

’ She gave him a soulful look.

“Didn’t you like it? My kpekus got burnt like it hadn’t been since London.”

Dandra could not help the laughter that bubbled out of him.

“Na wa, your party chairman will snatch the ticket from you if he hears such stuff from you.”

She gave him a naughty look.

“That old lecher with three wives and on the lookout for more women.”

He smiled, kissed her lightly and left, hoping and praying he did not make any mistake. Because he knew he was going back to war.


Since politics is war by another means it was not surprising that the hierarchy of the ANPG held a council of war over the forthcoming election in Lagona. Of course, they did not call it a council of war but that was exactly what it was. It took place at an hour when all sane people were in the embrace of deep sleep. It took place in a luxurious chamber on the top floor of a secluded mansion in the elitist, sprawling Kabiyesi Boulevard in the Vanderbilt area of Lagona. The house was one of the lesser-known lodges of the convener of the meeting. His name was Mudasiru Akeema and he had flown in from the national capital earlier today for the meeting. At sixty-nine he was the party’s national leader. That was his official title, but it hardly did his position in the party justice. Describing him as ANPG’s chief lord was far more apt. He was a founding father of the party and had shaped its destiny over the years. Since Giberia’s return to democracy he had been a formidable power. He had served two terms as Lagona state governor and was a former senior Senator. All his successors at the Lagona State Government House, including the incumbent, were his protégés. Being in his good book guaranteed long and fruitful political life in Lagona and adjoining states. He was among Giberia’s five richest men and commanded great influence, legal, illegal and extralegal. Many pundits had concluded he would vie for the presidency, but Akeema was a kingmaker extraordinaire. He fully backed a protégé who clinched the party’s presidential ticket and stood a very good chance of success in the forthcoming presidential election.

But this meeting was about the Lagona gubernatorial election which was even more critical to Akeema’s interests. The leader’s interests overrode every other interest in Lagona politics.

Present at the meeting were Dr. Wellington Kofo, the incumbent governor who was seeking a second tenure, and his deputy, a renowned lawyer called Bolu Baba. The national chairman of the party, Sir Jegede Jaga, and his Lagona state counterpart, Prince Kareem Odoto, were also present. Perhaps the fifth man was more important than all of them, except the national leader. His name was Ahmed Rasheed Paul. Officially he was ANPG’s national legal adviser. But he was Akeema’s man, body and soul, and his unstated but principal duty was to fashion out devices to accomplish his master’s desires.

Once they had settled down with quality drinks and cigars the council commenced. Only one agenda was on the table: how to ensure that the ANPG retained the governorship. Akeema began by cautioning everyone not to take anything or anyone for granted in the state scuffle. This was no longer the Lagona of yesteryears. They had to seize the moment and turn every tide to their advantage. Soon they narrowed down the real threats to two candidates: Abraham Abbas of the Party of the People (POP), and Ronke Bamidele of the CUP. Abbas was a wealthy entrepreneur who recently acquired an ultra modern television station. He was influential in certain critical circles of the state. The bigwigs gathered around Akeema’s table took his neutralization seriously.

They had already digested Prince Odoto’s secret memo about POP’s internal and seemingly intractable crisis in Lagona state. What none of them said was that Mr. Paul, on the orders of his master, had artfully created the conflict by channelling solid funds to carefully selected disgruntled senior Lagona POP members who felt sidelined in the scheme of things.

Akeema looked pointedly at the deputy governor and gave him the assignment of finding some legal loopholes in Lagona’s laws with which Abraham’s television station could be ruined. They all smiled when Mr. Paul reeled off the record of Abraham’s supposedly secret indiscretions with nubile women and how his daughter, with the father’s blessing, had a flawless and supposedly discreet abortion in a specialist hospital in Switzerland. All this would come in handy to destroy his image as a clean married man and an upholder of traditional family values.

“Then there is his loan,’ said Sir Jaga.

Like most big Giberian businessmen, Abraham was heavily indebted to some top banks. Unknown to the rest of the world, but well known to the war council, his biggest loan was owed to a consortium of banks in which a front company remote controlled by Akeema, had just bought majority of the shares. Only those who had to know knew that the banks in question were now Akeema’s, lock, stock and barrel. The leader simply nodded and said nothing as his men deliberated. The poor bastard does not know that I have him by the centre of his gravity, he thought. After deliberating extensively on the manner and mode of approach to the leaders of those critical circles in which Abraham foolishly thought he held sway, they turned to Ronke. Dr. Wellington’s face darkened.

“A hard nut to crack,” he remarked.

Akeema’s expressionless face told him his remark was not the kind of thing you said at deliberations with the leader.

“Perhaps you deem yourself unable to face her?”Akeema said mildly.

At once the doctorate degree holder from Massachusetts Institute of Technology nearly went down on his knees in apology.

“I didn’t mean it that way, Leader. It was just an observation.”

Akeema beamed at him like the biblical father of the prodigal son. Silently he concluded that the younger man’s political career might end at governorship level unless he showed some more backbone. In fact, if he continued to be lily-livered, he would not finish his second tenure.

Everyone at the table gave rigorously thought out contributions to the challenge posed by the CUP governorship candidate. They knew Ronke could not be easily disposed of like Abraham. She had a lot going for her. Mr. Paul quietly took note of all the recommendations on how to neutralize the new but highly dangerous political kid.

At the end Akeema thanked everyone and made it clear that Lagona was crucial to the interest of the ANPG.

“It is not our intention to relinquish this great state to any reactionary group of politicians. Our achievements and future plans for improving the lives of all Lagonians must not be scuttled by these greedy upstarts. We will take all these measures seriously and contain the enemy.” His words were quiet, but a chill ran down the spine of everyone present. When Akeema called anyone an enemy, he meant exactly that. Dr. Wellington suppressed a sigh as he thought over the man’s words and wondered if improving the lot of Lagonians included the monthly returns from the state treasury to a coded Bahamas account of the leader since Akeema assumed the position of godfather of Lagona politics after his governorship tenure ended.

Mr. Paul remained behind after the other worthies departed. Akeema poured himself a vintage Scotch and passed the bottle to his supremely dedicated lieutenant.

“What do you think, Ahmed? Shall we need the final solution for this Bamidele girl?”

Ahmed sipped his drink thoughtfully.

“Probably. But it must be carefully thought out. It may not even be the ultimate final solution. Remember, she is a woman and even the toughest woman has an emotional chink in her armour.”

Akeema nodded.

“Gather all the necessary intelligence. Her security paraphernalia, in case we have to activate relevant plans.”

“It will be done, Leader. The file will be on your desk in forty-eight hours, top secret.”

Akeema gave him a small rich man’s satisfied chuckle.

“Why not twenty-four hours?”’

Mr. Paul’s reply was full of mock solicitude.

“You need your rest, Leader.”

Both men burst into belly deep, cowrie infested laughter. Akeema recovered first.

“So, you think I am getting old? You young bloods don’t know how to handle life. Are they here?”

Mr. Paul grinned.

“They have been waiting in the guest quarters for the past two hours.”

‘They’ referred to five specially selected beautiful, well groomed and sexually sophisticated young ladies chosen as postcouncil comforts for the leader and his man Friday. Mr. Paul always had them handy from a ready pool whenever the leader had such exclusive meetings. The rewards the women got were more than enough to kick poverty permanently out of their lives.

“Very well. Let’s go.”


When Dandra showed up at Ronke’s palatial office on the top floor of the skyscraper which housed the Apex Rock Corporation on Monday morning, he was all business. Dawn had sent him a Whatsapp message to meet her boss there on Sunday night.

Ronke gave him a small intimate smile as she studied his calm, expressionless face.

“Business all the way?” she asked softly.

“Yes. That is the only way I can earn the four million monthly salary,” he replied. She looked at him thoughtfully.

“What do you think? Your honest view.”

“About what?” Dandra knew what she meant.

“This whole political business.”

Dandra took a deep breath.

“You are my client. My personal views don’t count.”

But he knew he was wrong. Ronke was not just another client. The flick of cold anger in her eyes was an eloquent message.

“It matters to me, Dandra.” Her voice was quiet and frosty.


She said nothing. But Dandra read the meaningful look in her eyes and remembered their passionate explosions in glorious detail. He smiled his first smile and sat forward.

“Dear Ronke, listen and listen real good. You will always be a virus in my blood. What happened on Saturday proves that the years haven’t changed that. But I know my limits, and if I must guard your luscious body, I will respect it. Your politics is yours, and as long you don’t ask me to engage in any satanic deed to push forward your aspiration, I am at your beck and call. I hope you do a good job if you get the job.”

Not for the first time, a pang of regret coursed through Ronke’s heart. Only Dandra could look at her in the eyes and talk in such a manner without arousing her anger. She knew the gush of affection tingling her breasts was visible on her face despite her efforts to hide it.

“Fair enough. Okay, Major, what would you have me do?”

The job of being her chief of personal security began. With his principal’s permission, Dandra phoned his dependable staff sergeant, Ganiyu. Ganiyu had resigned from the army as soon as Dandra was thrown out. He now ran a restaurant on the mainland. Like his boss, he had not lost any of his well-honed Special Forces skills. Unlike his boss, he was still married and lived with his family. Unlike the apolitical Dandra, he was an unrepentantly devoted member of the CUP and a big supporter of Ronke’s candidacy. Dandra’s call shocked and delighted him. In his wildest imagination he never anticipated being his candidate’s bodyguard. He accepted the job presto and told his former commander he would report for duty tomorrow morning.

The ex-Major found out all the relevant details he needed. Ronke told him that apart from herself and Dawn, whose official designation was her special personal assistant; the only other person aware of her intention to get a personal security officer was her running mate, Tafiq Williams. Alarm bells instantly went off in Dandra’s head.

“The fewer people know, the better,” he said.

“Why are you uncomfortable with Tafiq? He and I will be on this show together. If I can’t trust him then I might as well forget the whole thing.”

Dandra sighed. It dawned on him that for all her sophistication and hardnosed posture, Ronke might still have a streak of naivety. Definitely, she had a good heart and that strengthened his resolve to do his best for her.

He learnt her son, Tommy, was schooling in England and would be home for the holiday in about two months. Her face fell as she gave him the information.

“We will be on the campaign trail then. But I must create time for my boy.”

Dandra paused before speaking. He, too, was a parent.

“Can’t he spend the holidays with your friends and family in Britain?”

Apprehension flickered briefly in her expressive eyes.

“Do you think they will hurt him?”

Dandra resisted the urge to colour the truth.

“Ronke, politics here is ugly. If your opponents see you as a threat, they will come at you with anything and everything. Gani and I will do what we can for you and your son but perhaps he is safer away from home for now.”

Ronke began to pace the office, deeply troubled. Dandra waited calmly, deliberately ignoring an urge to take her in his arms. After what seemed like ten years, she came up to him and faced him, leaning against the edge of the desk.

“Dan, oh Dan. Maybe I am the biggest fool in town. I have enough money to last me a lifetime. Apex Rock can keep my hands full for years. In spite of all that happened since dad died, I still love my family. So why am I chasing Lagona governorship? What the hell do I need the job for? Why must I buck the Establishment? An Establishment I belong to by birth and upbringing? At what price? My son?” She looked and sounded very vulnerable all of a sudden.

Dandra could not help it; he stood up and took her in his arms. She rested her head on his chest and sighed deeply. He gently released her and smiled.

“You are still the idealistic nutcase you were over ten years ago. The gray hair sprinkling your temple can’t change that. That’s why you want to be governor.” He released her as his eyes began to travel to her lips, those thin lips that had done unholy things to his erogenous zones.

“We will keep Tommy safe. And may Archangel Michael and his legions help us.”

“Amen,” she replied sincerely and became all business.

They made plans. Logistics were worked out. Dandra would occupy an apartment on the ground floor of her residential duplex. Ronke frowned visibly at his insistence on becoming her chauffeur. She loved her cars and had always driven herself as long as she could remember. The only exceptions were during formal family outings and her wedding ceremony. But Dandra was unyielding, and she agreed. The discussion ended with Dandra assuring her he and Ganiyu would not be in the way of the inevitable crush of meetings, campaigns and other political activities. She smiled.

“I am glad you are on my team. Thank you.”

She did not resist when Dandra gave her a peck.

Dawn was in the outer office when he came out. He paused at her desk and smiled. “Dawn, what an appropriate name for a beautiful woman.”

The special personal assistant appreciated the compliment with a dazzler. “Thank you, Mr. Eguze.”

“Dandra, please. I hate formality.”

“Indeed. And you were a soldier.”

“Don’t let that fool you.”

She smiled again.

“Please take good care of Ronke.” The utter sincerity in her voice made Dandra realize that the bond between her and Ronke went well beyond that between a good master and a loyal servant.

“I will. See you.”

Dawn watched the door close behind him and narrowed her eyes thoughtfully.

Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3 (All rights reserved by the author).

Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema is an author and historian. Email:

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