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EVER since Oye returned from the trip abroad with President Jacobs, the former had been restless.
He’d thought the loan deal would seal his place in president’s cabinet. But the fifty-six-year-old economist hadn’t received any call from President Jimi Jacobs in weeks now.
It seemed Oye was denied of pieces of information about the president, too.
For the only information about the president that the outgoing minister of economy had was mere public information.
The old man judged that Jimi Jacobs had only used him and he couldn’t believe he was being dumped already.
The six months that was earlier announced that Dr Oye would be retiring was just a few weeks away.
And here was the man still unsure of his future, despite the plans he’d meticulously schemed.
Well, Oye hadn’t only been waiting for President Jacobs to invite him for talk. He had also tried a couple of times to meet with the president.
And the president had kept denying Oye a chance to meet.
As desperate and frustrated as Oye was, he knew he could only wait and hope the president was going to call him up soon.
There was nothing more he could do. And, well, that frustrated him even more.
But just then, and as though out of the blues, Oye received a summon from the president.
Dr Oye sprang to his feet immediately and made for the door.
He was dead curious to know what Jimi Jacobs was scheming.
Dr Oye didn’t have to wait at the presidential office reception before he could see President Jacobs.
And within, Jimi was waiting already. Seated in an arm chair at the vanguard of the office funiture.
Jimi had a bright welcome smile and it served to calm Oye’s troubled mind.
Oye petched himself in a two seater couch adjacent to the president’s seat and his eyes lingered on the forty-six-year-old man.
The president had his attention fixed on some papers in his hands. He’d got a lot to catch up on. And having a meeting with Dr Oye was only one of them.
He soon dropped the papers in his hands and faced the middle-aged man waiting on him.
‘Well, have you been all right, Dr Oye?’ he queried.
Oye knew Jimi wasn’t really asking a question. He could tell from the president’s body language that his words were merely a statement to pass time with.
Jimi proceeded without expecting a reply. ‘I must really say thank you for the Utopia deal. You’ve saved Kimberland in this dare situation and I really appreciate you.’
Oye found it quite interesting that Jimi was disguising his personal ambitions as the nation’s need. He gave a quick, silent smirk that went unnoticed.
The hypocrisy of this boy really knows no limit!
Jimi went on in a bit. ‘I trust the comradeship I’ve built with you over the past few months since I came into office is enough to make us become some sort of partners…’
He paused a little as Oye looked on, absolutely eager to know where the president was driving at.
Jimi sat up. ‘I’ll cut to the chase. As the President of Kimberland, I would love to appreciate you for the good deal you got the country.
‘So, name it. How should we repay you, Dr Oye?’
Oye’s lips curled up in a light smile.
Aw, there we go again with this hypocritical ambition!
But then, the outgoing minister of economy and finance wouldn’t want to miss this chance. It was the rare opportunity he’d been waiting for all along.
And there was it as a blank cheque right in front of him.
Even still, he mustn’t go on scrambling for it like a desperate old fool. Lest he even got the blank cheque torn in-between his hungry fingers.
He’d got to act all cool, calm and composed. And he definitely didn’t want to lose being that master gamer who called the shots.
Oye sat up in a moment and had a calm speak.
‘Well, I’m grateful I could render the little help I’ve rendered to your administration already. And as a Kimberian, what more can fulfil me than seeking out the progress of this nation?
‘Your Excellency, I’ll only love to continue to render my good service to the progress of Kimberland by maintaining my position in office.’
Jimi was smart enough to preempt that Oye would ask to remain in his office; and the forty-six-year-old president had his counter measures already.
Jimi took over the talk.
‘Well, just a while ago I said we two have built a working comradeship. That’s why I’ve thought it through. I only wanted to hear you out before I propose my deal to you.’
He paused a second while the retiring old man looked on with eager eyes.
Jimi resumed. ‘Being a minister like every other person in the cabinet won’t give you enough room to maximize your innovative ideas for Kimberland. Don’t you think so?’
Oye only stared at the president; sitting like drenched little fowl.
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The president went on. ‘So, I planned to make a you Special Adviser to the President on Economy, Budget and Finance. It’s the new office I’m creating just for you.’
Jimi finished his words with a smile.
Dr Oye could see the real reason the president made that move. Jimi didn’t want to fail the people he’d promised six months before that he would retire him.
Allowing Oye to maintain his position as the minister of finance and economy would bring about a negative reaction from the people.
And the people’s president wouldn’t allow that.
Dr Oye wasn’t expecting things to go south. He’d thought he’d become so important in the administration that Jimi wouldn’t relegate him to the background come what may.
Oye wanted to speak but the words weren’t coming.
He wasn’t sure if the Special Adviser position was in fact better than being a minister. It wasn’t a position Kimberland knew about.
Unlike several countries in the world where there were positions of special advisers to the president of the nation, Kimberland was among some other countries that didn’t have the special adviser positions in the presidential cabinet.
Oye was short of words when Jimi came in with a consolation for the old man.
‘You know, being a special adviser is like controlling the whole nation because your advice moves the presidential hands which in turn drives the nation.’
Jimi finished his words. ‘But since this is something so sudden, I will give you time to think about it.’
Jimi got up and extended his hand for a handshake. ‘Let me know the moment you are ready to resume your new office,’ he said.
Oye stood up and refrained his hand.
He’d come to admit this was the best Jimi could do for him. He knew the president wouldn’t grant his desire to retain his ministerial position.
The fifty-six-year-old man decided there was no reason to waste more time thinking without an end about an unchanging verdict.
Oye had his response ready.
‘I don’t need to think about serving the nation from a different office. It doesn’t matter where exactly I serve my dear country, sir.
‘I accept the new position as a Special Adviser to Your Excellency, sir.’
‘That’s great!’ Jimi exclaimed. He went over to his office table, took a ready letter of appointment and handed it over to Oye.
He shook hands with the older man. ‘Congratulations on your new appointment, Dr Oye,’ he said.
Oye received the letter with a half-smile. ‘Thank you, my President. I will do my best in serving this nation through your administration, sir.’
Jimi nodded. He also decided to explain some other things.
‘Well, since Kimberians are new to this and there might be objections to the new position, we won’t have a public occasion to swear you into office.’
Jimi looked into Oye’s eyes as he spoke his next words.
‘And it won’t be announced in the media. Well, I’ve learnt so much from you in the past few months. And the top lesson is secrecy.’
Now Oye could see the real motive behind the president’s clever act all along.
At all cost Jimi wasn’t going to associate with the old wine which Oye was standing for.
Jimi was going to be using Oye, while also keeping him at arm’s length.
It hurt the old man he never knew the president was fooling him all along. How on earth did he not see this?
While Oye was heading out of the presidential office, Jimi’s comeback at him a while ago popped up in his head.
It won’t be announced in the media. Well, I’ve learnt so much from you in the past few months. And the top lesson is secrecy.
He scoffed aloud. ‘That sick…!’ He hissed.
Oye was at loss for curse words already. He could only see himself in the man he was dealing with.
Now he would be needing help from hades again.
Oye would be needing Utopia’s backup soon enough.
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