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SEVERAL many weeks rolled into many months. It was December 2018 already; and it had been a year since President Jacobs signed the Utopia loan deal.
The President had only a year more before the repayment of the loan would lapse. By midnight of the 30th of December, 2019, Mr Jacob’s repayment window would be closed.
Should the loan repayment be delayed passed the 30th of December, the Utopia Empire would have the irrefutable claim over a portion of Kimberland, in accordance with the terms of contract.
But then, Jimi Jacobs was in full control of his game already.
He was an economist dead sure of himself. Especially when it came to making use of borrowed fund to yield returns before any repayment deadline.
But then, the ever so clever devil was never resting, too. Dr Oye was dead sure no one can beat him in his own type of game.
Especially with the full backing of the real devil up there. The dark, monstrous Utopia.
For no man has dined with the Devil – even with a long, long spoon – and ever judged himself cleverer than him, after the fateful dinner!
It had been about a year, too, since Dr Oye resumed his appointment as Special Adviser to President Jimi Jacobs.
The fifty-seven-year-old evil genius hadn’t rendered any official advice to the president since.
The old man had all along busied himself looking into files and documents, to know where exactly to hammer his subversive nail.
Oye could tell from Jimi Jacob’s attitude that the forty-seven-year-old President of Kimberland wouldn’t care to take his advice.
Oye could tell that his own office was only meant to be silent and relegated to the very background. He knew this well. But the old man had become even more determined to have his way regardless.
In the past year, President Jacobs had embarked fully on fulfilling his dreams.
He’d made the young Professor Ojo more of a right hand and the young professor had helped in the president’s economic restructuring.
One of Jimi’s dream was to replace the old rail system in the country with the subway system.
But then, being a versed economist himself and being fully aware of the debt at hand, the president began executing the subway project in a systemically productive way.
He decided to first execute the construction of the subway that could generate a high internal revenue within a short period of time.
The railway connecting Mountana in the North, Kakakhi in the West and Gardon at the Centre, were the most commuted railway in the country.
Professor Ojo had done thorough analyses of the revenues the existing railway system generated daily, monthly and annually.
He could thereby predict how much revenue could be generated from the supersonic, more efficient and ultramodern subway system connecting the mega cities.
China was known for speed in executing construction projects. The country’s hi-tech technologies could construct giant structures in about six days.
The Kimberland President decided to invite a civil engineering group of companies from China to take on the subway installation megaproject with a jet age speed.
Another project Jimi thought of executing was the installation of a constant electricity.
Kimberland was sharing the same dam with South Africa and Cape Town. And the fifty-four million populated neighbouring Kimberland could only generate 2000 kilowatts.
President Jacobs knew citizens were ready to pay for a constant supply of electricity, if only it was available.
So, with the many waterfalls in Kimberland, Jimi decided to make a huge power generating dam.
He evacuated a small valley village in the Eastern Province called Barama and moved them to the neighbouring Sarfal District.
He followed the example of China’s electricity installation and flooded the small Barama Village.
From the entire flooded Barama Village, he built a huge dam to power the nation’s electricity.
Even yet, the president feared not being able to pay off the debt to Utopia at the stipulated time.
He feared the internal investments may not have yielded enough to have the loan paid back already by December 30, 2019.
And so, he decided to search through the country for other money minting sources.
Professor Ojo got skilled researchers who had recently made discoveries on making diesel from soy beans, the most staple crop in the country
Jimi Jacobs’ administration went ahead to commercialise the innovation and turned Kimberland’s soy beans produce into a national treasure.
Kimberland’s soy beans soon became gold; and its farms some glided, precious wealth mines.
The middle aged president immediately partnered with some foreign investors and an automobile manufacturing company to establish its factory in Kimberland. The manufacturer would make just vehicles running on diesel.
President J. J. won the applause of millions of Kimberians with his several innovative projects. He became the people’s man through and through.
Jimi’s achievement soon hushed the opposition parties entirely. The speed at which the middle aged man executed his monstrous projects didn’t permit a debate.
President J. J. was soon nicknamed ‘the Bullet President.’
For Kimberians said he was as fast and supersonic as the bullet shot.
Jimi Jacobs became the people’s man. But then, the forty-seven-year-old wasn’t his own man anymore.
The once clear, bright pair of eyes had become bloodshot. Like that of a sole survivor in a bloody battle.
It was like a race against the wind. Jimi’s sole ambition was to repay the loan he got from Utopia. There was no peace or fulfillment. No rest or satisfaction.
Only a mad race against a fast ticking time bomb countdown.
The poor man had become a machine without a soul. He only lived to escape Utopia’s looming grab on his territory.
If he didn’t get to pay back the loan, soon his great works would be submerged by a greater evil – when the people who had praised him until now realised he’d traded a large portion of his country to a lending organisation.
And that was what Utopia had made of Jimi Jacobs.
Jimi had numerous nightmares and sleepless nights. The once cheerful man had become a shadow of himself. His signatory charming smile had disappeared into a dark, serious demeanour.
The middle aged man would pace around in the flower garden within the Presidential Villa at the Rock Castle.
Sometimes, he would wake up in the dead of the night and read through hundreds of documents and files.
And some other times, he would calculate on rough papers for hours.
His many words gradually reduced into just a few. And he soon drifted away from everyone that seemed to reflect either his outward or inner self.
But when it came to state affairs and projects, he was a robot; and no one could find anything amiss. Except if it had to do with his real, private self.
Demi knew something was gravely amiss with her husband; but Jimi wouldn’t open up the gore within his soul to his wife.
Only Jimi knew the storm of worries beating against his heart. The storm he had chosen to harbour deep within.
But Demi knew there was a problem regardless. The once romantic man she used to know had drifted so far away. And not even her tears could bring him any closer.
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The forty-two-year-old woman wouldn’t understand why her loving husband would change so much in little time.
Why the man the nation loves so much wouldn’t love himself back enough to express himself.
The first lady was frustrated already.
All the same, she had to rescue her good husband from whatever he was going through.
Despite Oye’s race to make himself relevant in Jimi Jacob’s administration, the old economist hadn’t yet found a way to ascend the stairs in the pyramids of power.
He had read through countless documents. He had even predicted failure on some larger than life projects the president had embarked on.
But none of his scheme has amounted to something. Every of his plans in the past one year had come to naught.
The thirst for power had led Oye to join Utopia pyramidal structure many years ago.
The way of climbing up the pyramid at the multinational organisation was for a member – called ‘Agent’ – to carry out larger than life tasks.
One of the tasks was to systemically channel a nation’s fund into the organisation; and which Oye had been doing in the past years as the minister of finance and economy.
The task that could earn an Agent a five gold star at once and consequently a seven step-lift up the Utopian pyramid, was for the Agent to actualise a really grand scheme.
A scheme that brings a nation’s entire economy under Utopia.
And Oye was now in the process of getting himself a spot at the MVP tier of the pyramid.
The old man knew how uptight the president had been with the country’s finance. He reasoned that if he continued to look into papers and document, he might not find anything eventually.
It was just a year to the expiration of the debt and with the pace at which the president was going, the repayment of the loan could be possible.
Oye knew he had little time. And it was time for him to look beyond the papers.
The fifty-seven-year-old had been sitting in his office for a while thinking of what his next line of action would be.
He was tired of doing the same thing daily with no result.
After a long thought, the old man muttered to himself. ‘I will have to make the crack if I can’t find one.’
He picked up his phone and booked a flight ticket.
He was travelling out of the country.
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