Read Story: SEASON 1 EPISODE 1

He dreamt about it, he had the resources to pursue it, he found the right platform…at the right time – a time when the people’s cry for a NEW DIRECTION was rampant. His fate was in their hands; how did it turn out?
Introducing A New Direction….
Come aboard, let’s do this together.
Chief Mike looked through the car window as his chauffeur drove him home from the office. The road, constructed over twelve years back, was no longer in good condition. Many complained about this, but those were the poor or average ones who couldn’t afford a Sports Utility Vehicle. He could afford it and therefore didn’t complain. He hardly felt the effect of the many potholes as his powerful SUV glided through the road. He also couldn’t feel the impact of the hot sun, not inside the air-conditioned car with tinted windows. They went past Mama Ijeoma, the roadside food seller, attending to many customers at the same time, all by herself. He wondered why the woman wouldn’t at least employ an assistant; he was sure she could afford it, especially considering the mass of customers always around her. She was about his wife’s size, massively fleshy all around. However, unlike his wife, she appeared to move her frame with enviable ease, hopping from bench to bench and back to her coolers of different sizes containing different foods. They went past the sachet water seller, a little girl whose gaze was constantly on Mama Ijeoma’s foodstand, probably expecting to be beckoned by one of the eating customers. Chief Mike wondered why Mama Ijeoma would be in the business of food sales yet not include water provision. Some meters away from her was the ice-cream seller, whose cooler-carrying bicycle was parked in front of the Three Tigers Supermarket. The supermarket, formerly owned by a Lebanese family, had retained its former name even after the departure of its previous owners. The painting of the front walls had considerably peeled off; it hadn’t been repainted since its purchase by Chief Ijele sixteen years back.

Chief Mike watched as the car made the bend into the road leading to the Government Reservation Area. This time, the road was smooth, black and marked. There were drainages on both sides of the road and these were properly covered with concrete slabs. It was a one-way track with street lights demarcating both. Chief Mike smiled; this was the road leading to the area he lived, some blocks away from the Governor’s House, these were the kind of roads he used to love to wheel or drive on, the type of roads he loved to be driven on.

They soon drove past the Governor’s House, an imposing and large white mansion, surrounded by a very tall green painted fence with sentry posts every few metres. Chief Mike had been within the mansion only twice, and both occasions had left him with a feeling of longing. His own mansion was beautiful, but nothing in comparison with the Governor’s House. He loved the fact that the house was on an elevated piece of land, making it overlook every other in the area; he loved the fact that there was a mandatory buffer zone of two hundred metres between its fence and any other property. He loved the fact that every entrant into the house had to be severally cleared by security operatives before they could gain access. He had felt degraded his first time there but had managed a smile when the Governor, probably sensing the reason behind his foul mood, had made a joke about the stringent security measures associated with the Governor’s House. The checks were much relaxed his second time there as he was accompanied by the Chief Media Aide to the Governor.

They arrived at the gate to his house and the gatekeeper quickly pushed open the gate after only a glance at the car. He made a stiff salute as they drove in, before going about shutting the gate. Chief Mike wasn’t pleased, it wasn’t so in the Governor’s House; the gatekeeper should have at least seen the car occupants before granting them access. He was going to dismiss the man soon; he would cite his sloppiness as the reason. It had been same case with his predecessors; they hardly spent a complete year on the job before being dismissed. Chief Mike soon forgot about the gatekeeper as the driver brought the car to a halt just before the hedge of flowers leading to the verandah. It was this that next caught his attention as he got off the car, some of the flowers had overgrown the others – a sign that they hadn’t been trimmed for some days.
‘Alamu!’ He called out to the gatekeeper.

‘Sah?’ The man replied from within the gatehouse.
‘Come here,’ Chief Mike growled, the frown on his face more intense with every passing second it took the gatekeeper to get to him.
‘Yessah?’ Alamu said when he was before Chief Mike.

‘Was Jide here today?’ Olajide was the gardener’s name.
‘Was he here yesterday?’
‘You mean he’s not been here for some days now?’
‘Nossah, no, yessah.’
‘Are you okay, Alamu?’
‘Yessah. What I mean be say he’s not here for three days now.’

‘Hmmm, three whole days,’ Chief Mike pronounced slowly before dismissing his driver with a wave of his hand.
‘His wife, she sick, sah.’
‘And so? How does that explain three days off work?’ He had been informed by his wife about Mrs Olajide’s illness about three days back, but had forgotten about it soon afterwards.
‘She worse, sah, her condition worse…’
‘Will you get off my sight?’ Chief Mike shot out in a fit of anger. Had the gatekeeper turned an advocate too? He wondered who would be his own advocate when he received his dismissal.

‘I sorry, sah,’ said Alamu before scampering off.
The driver, who had parked the SUV in the garage, returned with Chief Mike’s briefcase. Without a word, the chief grabbed it from him and proceeded to the entrance door.

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