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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?

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?

Ronke and Dandra did not unduly broadcast their relationship after that night. But they did not hide, either. People who were close to them soon realized there was quite a little bit of love between them. Though Dandra showed restraint, especially during official settings, anyone with half an eye could see that Ronke was much more than a client to him. On her part Ronke was relaxed, happy and much more feminine whenever he was around. Dawn, who was already in the know, never stopped teasing her employer and friend.

“Any plans to make him the first gentleman of Lagona?” she asked mischievously as they shared a drink one evening after a busy day in the office.

Ronke’s eyes sparkled.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Indeed you don’t know.” Dawn rolled her eyes. “Seriously, why don’t you propose that to him?”

“You de craze, Dawn.” Both women giggled heartily. Dawn downed her red wine and gave her boss a measured look.

“Oh well. Seriously I am happy for you. Hiring him was the best decision you made so far.”

Ronke replied, “Thanks.”

“Hope he stays on after all this is over.”

A pang hit Ronke’s heart. She did not know. Was Dandra here for keeps or would he leave again? She dared not face the question. Dawn noticed her sudden downcast look and gripped her left hand with her right.

“Cheer up, boss. Enjoy what you have. Carpe diem, according to good old Horace.”

Ronke shrugged, knocked back her gin and tonic in one neat shot and smiled.

“Why not? Now, enough about me. What is happening in your men’s department?”

“Men?” Dawn’s voice oozed false innocence.

“Sorry, man.” Like her boss, Dawn was a single mother but her child, a girl, lived with her father, an Ethiopian doctor, in Addis Ababa. She had never married though she did not lack male companionship. She was an epitome of the modern, liberated woman who enjoyed romance and sex on her own terms. She rolled her eyes amorously.

“Nothing to get excited about. Still checking out the market. Maybe my standards are way up there.”

“Ah.” Ronke uttered noncommittally.

Dawn winked mischievously once more.

“Maybe I better go for Dandra’s sidekick since bodyguards are the vogue. Gani, quite a man, I must say.”

Ronke could not hold back her ululation. She threw up her hands beseechingly.

“Ejoo! Ejoo! No try am. He is married.”

Dawn grinned. Ronke knew by the instant wicked look on her face that she was kidding. Dawn, like her, had a mind of her own when it came to men.

“Thank God. O ya, drink up and let us get out of here.” She pulled out her mobile and buzzed Dandra.

Dandra was leaning against the bonnet of his lover’s black Mercedes 2019 AMG GT parked to the far left of the vast car park in front of the Apex Rock skyscraper. He and Gani usually did the rounds of ferrying her to and from work daily; occasionally driving Dawn home on days they stayed late or she did not come in her car. Gani remained downstairs in the car while Dandra was upstairs. But Gani, with the blessing of his wife, had finally accepted Ronke’s offer to relocate. Ronke had given him two days off to handle the logistics of moving house.

“Have you finished your Beijing Conference? Gossips pro max.” Dandra replied.

Ronke laughed.

“What insolence, no respect for your governor.”

“Sorry, Madam Guv. Ready to roll if you have finished painting your face with rouge and mascara.”

Ronke laughed again and cut the line. Minutes later the powerful German car slid smoothly through the gate under Dandra’s expert control. The two women were seated at the back bantering uninhibitedly. Dandra did not say much. He enjoyed their humour with occasional chuckles and kept his eyes on the road, sweeping from time to time on the rearview mirror. His natty brown jacket was unbuttoned to allow swift access to the .38 Colt automatic pistol resting under his armpit in a quick draw shoulder holster. Although he was licensed to carry firearms as a security consultant he had only started parking the pistol once he took up Ronke’s contract.

Twenty-five minutes of navigating the moderately heavy evening traffic brought them off the highway into the upper-class, tree lined Kluoka Estate where Dawn occupied a modern flat on the third floor of 27A Abuyomi Close. Dawn decamped with a cheery goodnight. Ronke swiftly slipped into the front beside Dandra and gave him a roguish look as he smoothly swung the car back onto the road.

“Why the old witches look?” Dandra asked.

Ronke giggled.

“When did you become an expert on witches?”

“You should have seen the look on your face. Straight from one of the three witches in Macbeth.”

“Indeed the coven know the plans I have for you.” Her sultry voice was nothing like the proverbial witch’s drone. Dandra felt a sudden surge of passion stab his loins. He smiled and asked quietly:

“Mind if I pull off the road so that you can tell me those plans?” As he spoke his right hand crept to her knee and started travelling up her leg. Ronke squealed.

“Behave, Major!” Her strong caution belied the expression on her face. Dandra withdrew his hand and grinned.

The commanding ring of her phone cut off further conversation. Ronke looked at the unfamiliar number on the screen. At once all traces of playfulness disappeared from her face and she subconsciously donned an aura of caution.

“Hello,” she said in a calm, neutral voice.

“Goodevening, Mrs. Salau. This is Ahmed Paul.” The speaker sounded polite and friendly.

Ronke had not met the caller before but as an avid follower of political happenings in Giberia and now a major political player, she was no stranger to the name and the enormous influence it commanded.

“Goodevening, barrister.” Ronke’s voice was guarded.

“It is a pleasure speaking to you, Madam.” Mr. Paul’s voice reflected his solid American educational background. “Please may I invite you to an informal meeting with my principal on Thursday evening?”

Ronke was no stranger to nocturnal or secret political meetings. She had met the high and the mighty in het time. But even she felt a small man somersault down her spine at the prospect of meeting a man about whose power was more feared than it was actually known. However, her voice did not reflect her feelings as she replied.

“What is it that your principal cannot discuss over the phone? And may I know why he is not calling me directly?”

Mr. Paul chuckled softly.

“Madam, you know there are sensitive issues that only a face-to-face meeting can take care of. I assure you, it is to our mutual benefit. Please that he did not call you directly shouldn’t be seen as an act of disrespect. Be assured of his regards.”

Ronke’s smile was mirthless. The bastard should have been a diplomat. She paused thoughtfully.

“Your patron already knows my position.”

“Even so, we are not seeking the meeting to change your mind. We want to examine matters of common interest.”

The ace businesswoman, herself a shrewd negotiator, felt her respect for a man she knew only by proxy go up.

“I will consider the invitation.”

“We will be delighted. Feel free to give alternative date or location or any other condition that suits you. All my principal requests is your presence.”

“Okay by me. I will call you back.”

“I look forward to your call. Thank you.” The line cut smoothly.

Dandra watched her talk out of the corner of his eye. His face was expressionless as she returned her phone to her purse.

“Bastard.” Her voice was cold.


She reeled off a succinct account of her conversation with the legal adviser. When she finished the Major breathed deeply.

“What do you advise from a security angle?” she asked simply.

Dandra answered carefully.

“Ordinarily I would say, don’t go. We avoid dangers if we can. But something tells me you are as mad as the rest of them in the game.” He ignored her sharp thump to his ribs. “Take advantage of the carte blanche. Gani and I will be on ground but he is not going to do anything stupid.”

She smiled.

“You and your mouth. The coven still has plans for you.”

“Okay then.”

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Click here for Part 2

(All rights reserved by the author).

Henry Chukwuemeka Onyema is an author and historian. Email:

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