The day’s news had left everybody sullen, including two security guards at the presidential palace who shared the President’s second name. Metres away, as the clock ticked 9:14am, the presidential hotline flashed on Mr Djibril’s phone screen. The president’s voice on the end of the line, “Will you please come with a copy of the “Daily Herald” to my suite, now!
“Yes sir” Djibril, the long serving 42-year-old press secretary replied, put the phone down, bit his lower lip, as he thoughtfully stared towards the corrugated roof.
Instead of the usual news brief, this time the President wanted a copy of the day’s newspaper delivered upstairs, directly to his presidential suite , a rare thing.
So as the presidential kitchen staff delivered breakfast to his front porch, the former rebel leader thoughtfully stared through his rare office window towards the Mediterranean where his $30m lakeside Villa stood defiant to the populace’s 25 year old cry against impunity.
Turning in his heavily embroidered gown, Mr. President, asked one of the kitchen staff to summon Nwankwo, the youngest staff at the presidential palace served as both the presidential IT “handy man,” and Djibril’s press assistant.
“What happened to Djibril, its 10:00am already, we are not safe around here, can I please have Nwankwo here?”
The kitchen staff gazed clueless in response to such a rare assignment from a now frantic “Dada,” (as they often referred to him) and that’s exactly the point when Mama first lady yelled from the next window.
“Dada, are you asking kitchen staff to break security guidelines? They are not supposed to access the document room, without supervision please call up Djibril directly, if you want to speak to him. ”
Djibril, the press man, had’nt showed up, yet presidential action had to take its due course.
Meanwhile, tension hang across the entire presidential floor, and in the adjacent security room, the First lady had switched off the air conditioner for the first time in many years.
Meanwhile, tension hang across the entire presidential floor, and in the adjacent security room, the first lady had switched off the air conditioner for the first time in many years.
Jay Jay, the kitchen chief, knew all wasn’t going well that morning, he had noticed the first lady thoughtfully leaning on her “Mahogany”guest room chair. (made out of expensive timber the first Family had distributed in Europe with the help of the trade and industry minister contacts)
Mr. President continued to hastily comb the first three pages of “The Daily Herald” under the looming gaze of his curious second born 23-year-old daughter and hotel group owner, Francesca Dee.
Francesca had just returned on holiday from Boudreaux University, in France, and the anxiety around the presidential palace she grew up accustomed, was too visible not to notice, weeks into her holiday.
“I see nothing worth panicking about.” Mr. President spoke up.
“Well… , Francesca replied in her newly acquired French-esque accent, a bit overwhelmed by her father’s usual sweaty forehead early in the day, “Ask Mummy,“
“But that’s later, I want an update now.” Mr. President’s tone grew even more stern towards everybody in the house. It was a tone well known to Francesca in her younger days as she took orders from his Father, then just an army commander)
Francesca then replaced her Italian brand loafers and ran down the stairs straight to Mr. Djibril’s office.
“Who are you to keep Mr. President on the wait?” She seethed towards Djibril’s desk. Djibril’s computer cursor was at that point moving towards the second Google result as he searched the key words,
“Anti-Dada demonstration picks momentum. ”
And that’s exactly when Francesca interrupted with a second mini-presidential directive. When Djibril leaned forward to see whose voice exactly was lashing out, it wasn’t Mama first lady’s voice, he reasoned under his breath, for he did not expect her to be downstairs before mid-day, her usual wake up time.
“Djibril! “Francesca let out, “You are the people, you are the young people threatening the stability of this nation, Daddy struggled and bought this country by blood, and now, you young men want to destabilize the nation through the Internet we freely provide.”
On her apple tablet hours earlier, Francesca had secretly traced a viral Facebook conversation through Djibril’s mutual friends, the 42-year-old press sec had “shared” a picture from the presidential palace party the previous night, that showed her father, Dada, sticking a brown envelope to a renown European musician invited to attend a $ 1m birthday celebration at the presidential ballroom.
The picture had been shared 7,345,555 times, with 567,999,881 likes, and the mass protests were now 12 minutes away from the presidential compound.
Trouble for Dada’s regime, and the country’s internet in general, was looming.