This was a battle you had lost three times before, even after you had made great speeches and grand promises. You carried along with you the laymen, even as you rose to the highest point of diction, to outshine your competitors, at every Presidential Debate floor. But it all came to nought, as you lost… again… and again… till your fire began to die slowly on its hearth.
This is your lifelong dream, and you’re at it again, probably for the last time. The Presidential Debate was a success, just like the previous three before it, and the Presidential Election was just two days away.
You are at your private study, rendering rigorous litany to God for victory yet again… And your phone rang. You opened your eyes, paused your prayer to view your phone’s screen, and you discovered it was your Campaign Manager reaching out to you. You picked up the call, and he informed you of an opportunity to discredit your sole competitor. He wanted to confirm if you would like him to arrange a meeting with one Chief Abbey Correct from the opposition party. Your thoughts began to race wildly and all you could grasp would be that this is an answer to your prayer.
“Yes please, get it arranged”, you would hear yourself say, as you hung up the call and smile a smile of relief.
On Friday, which was the next day, you met with Chief Abbey Correct, and he spoke extensively on how he had been underappreciated by his party members. He went on to relay the plan to discredit your opponent with an electoral fraud, which will be carried out by his own boys within your opponent’s party. They would carefully get caught while supposedly rigging the election for your opponent’s party. The Media Houses would be invited to carry the news, where one of the boys who would be questioned, would falsely confess that they were ordered by your competitor to carry out the fraudulent act.
The video of this questioning would be shared on social media platforms to aid faster spread and wider awareness of this information. The Electoral Commission would have no choice but to look into the matter. And since the boys are valid party members, who would be hanging their party identity cards around their necks, it would therefore be very easy for the Electoral Commission to discredit your opposition and every vote he would have acquired at the time. And even if the Electoral Commission fails to discredit him, discrediting write-ups would be made to back up the questioning video earlier published, in order to make voters see reasons to give you their thumbs.
And as for the boys who would be arrested, provisions would be made for them to be released silently after you emerge President. It was a full proof plan.
Chief Abbey Correct’s carefully laid plan was already in place, awaiting your approval to be set into play. You remembered you are a Christian, and not a person to give in to misdeeds. But you\’ve got hope for the first time in twelve years. What then do you do with it? You should keep it.
And so did you.
“Set it in motion”, you will finally say, after several minutes of contemplation and battle with the voices in your head.
On the next day, which was a Saturday, the plan rolled into action very smoothly. You are in your living room, enjoying your time with your Wife and your two little boys. The elder of your sons would beckon on you and asked if honesty was truly the best policy. You will be taken aback by the question.
“Yes, my boy. Yes, it is!”, you will struggle to say. A phone call will ease you from the pressure that is beginning to gather within you. You would stand up and walk away to pick the call.
To your utmost dismay, the voice on the other end would inform you, of how the plan was beginning to fall apart. How five of the boys were killed by angry voters, on finding out what they were up to. Two of the boys have been apprehended, after the police calmed the situation. One other boy had managed to escape, and he is seen as an extra baggage, who would likely reveal the whole plan to the opposition party.
The word was needed from you, to find and silence him before he goofs, so as to get the plan back on track.
You will be stunned and angry at this new development, but you will go ahead to give the kill order. The fear that was lifted off your shoulder, when you received your Campaign Manager’s call in your study, would suddenly return, and this time , much more heavier than the former. Your Wife would notice your worry, and ask you what the problem is, but you will not open up to her. You would pace about the room, and your Wife would share your worry. Looking at her, you would pity the poor woman, and wished you had not taken this path.
At 6 o’ clock in the evening, the news would bring to you the information, that Chief Abbey Correct has gotten things under control, as you would see one of his boys indicting your opponent. And almost immediately, you would receive the text: Back on track, from your Campaign Manager. You would heave another sigh of relief, but this time, the burden wouldn’t seem to go away.
Time would seem to be slow, and you would hope that this fear you feel could go away.
Another news would grab your attention, as the Electoral Commission would discredit your opponent for Electoral Fraud. You would jump, you would dance, and you would celebrate after you have been announced as the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
You have just achieved your lifelong dream.
Chief Abbey Correct will then request another meeting with you, and you will oblige. He will demand a Ministerial appointment (precisely, the Minister of petroleum), and you will gladly give him, even when you know that he is not qualified to hold that position, nor handle it properly.
On the day of your swearing in, you would be seen as a symbol of hope and honesty. You would confidently take the oath to lead and serve two hundred million people. You would be all smiles, and your spirit would be high because your victory would be talked about for years to come.
And when guilt whispers into your ears, of how you fraudulently discredited your competitor, you can whisper back and tell him that: darkness precedes light. And when light appears, darkness disappears.
For what really matters is the result, and not the process.
PROMPT: halfway through a fierce competition, your character is given the opportunity to cheat their way to victory: do they take it?
Reedsy.com provided the prompt above that inspired this story.