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JIMI Jacobs, along with Demi and Mia, sat quietly in the meet room, and listened to Teo narrate his tale.
A tale his mother told him as a child.
‘There was a little boy named Jaja,’ Teo began. ‘Jaja owned a little catapult and he always loved to play with it.
‘One day, he shot a stone at a distance. Grandmother’s lovely duck was mistakenly hit by Jaja’s shot and the duck died at the instant.
‘His kid brother Mafo saw what he did. And because he disliked Jaja, he went ahead to blackmail him with his secret.
‘Mafo told his big brother that he’d keep his secret safe with him only if Jaja started to combine his house chores with his.
‘Jaja the big brother had to agree to do all the chores together. He didn’t want to lose face with grandmother, after all.
‘Pity, Jaja began to slave himself for his kid brother. He sadly bore all the tiresome chores alone, to make up for killing grandmother’s duck.
‘Soon, Mafo started to demand for Jaja’s dinners, too.
‘But whenever Jaja wanted to protest, Mafo would sternly remind him right then that he could tell their grandmother what he did.’
‘Jaja reluctantly sacrificed his dinner. And every night the little boy went to bed hungry.’
‘One fateful morning, Mafo demanded for Jaja’s breakfast, too. But the oppressed little boy was tired of slaving away, with loads of guilt and dread.
‘Jaja decided to confess his sin to his grandmother.
‘To the little boy’s surprise, Grandmother already knew about what happened all along. She had only been waiting for Jaja to come confess it.
‘So he could be free him from the tiresome slavery the boy had subjected himself to.’
Teo’s tale resonated with everyone’s heart as everyone seated heaved a thoughtful sigh.
‘Dad,’ Teo went on, ‘God knows your sin already and He is waiting for you to confess them.
‘You already said the major principle of that organisation is secrecy. You see, they are like Mafo – they hold your secrets and threaten you with them exposing you.
‘If you yourself don’t come clean to your people, the slavery those Mafos subject you to, will only get terribly worse.
‘They would keep blackmailing you till you even surrender your entire territory.’
Jimi let out a deep breath. He knew his son was right in every way.
But then, coming out to tell the whole nation he had a hand in the Mountana tragedy was a difficult thing to do.
Jimi buried his head in his hands. He was tired and scared. Every word Teo had said had sunk in his mind.
There was a moment’s silence. After which the first lady spoke.
‘Thank you so much for your words, Teo,’ she said.
‘What you are suggesting is a serious thing. I feel my husband and I need to talk about some things. So, I hope you two don’t mind excusing us for a while?’
Teo and Mia obliged. And the two took a walk around the orphanage.
The first couple were now left alone in the meet room.
Demi stood up from her armchair beside her husband. She drew a wooden chair closer and sat facing him.
‘Jimi,’ she began, ‘I know your son’s suggestion doesn’t sound pleasant to your ears. But that is the only solution I can think of myself.
‘I have only been consumed with the idea of beating Utopia all the while, that I have forgotten we owe the people some explanation.
‘We owe the people our confession. And the good news is that it is a sure way to beat Utopia. Let’s stop this futile race and confess our sin, Jimi.’
She leaned a little forward.
‘You see, when David sinned and he was to choose between two options of punishment, he chose falling into the hand of God rather than fall into the hand of man. He said, “Because God’s mercies are great.”
‘That’s 2nd Samuel chapter 24 and verse 14.’
Jimi acquiesced with a quiet sigh.
‘We don’t want to be punished by the crueler Utopia than by our own people,’ Demi finished.
Jimi’s eyes were moist. He was broken all the way; and his voice trembled when he spoke.
‘I’ve been miserable ever since I signed the Utopia deal,’ he said. ‘I embarked on a competitive race against what I can’t win. I have lost the battles even before I began.
‘Now more than anything, I am tired of the bondage and really want to get away from their clutches.’
‘And if coming out open in a sincere confession is what will free me from Utopia’s hold, then I am absolutely ready,’ he finished.
While Jimi and Demi were having their private talk, Teo and Mia were discussing what the next step would be if the president agreed to confess to the people.
And the younger two were soon beckoned in.
It was now the sixth day since Utopia gave its seven-day ultimatum.
Oye was dead sure everything would work according to plan.
He could still remember the look on President Jimi Jacob’s face when he showed him the news articles.
He smiled to himself and muttered. ‘Now, he knows it’s dangerous to play with fire!’
Oye glanced at the calendar. ‘Just a day more and Mountana will be mine,’ he grinned.
The old man was still basking in the ecstasy of his dreams when his phone rang.
The call was from the Utopia CEO. Devlyn McCarthy.
Oye picked up.
‘What have you been doing?’ the voice bellowed from the other end. ‘Can you explain what’s going on at the moment, huh?!’
Oye was entirely lost; he didn’t know what Devlyn was talking about.
‘What… what exactly, sir?’ he replied in a stammer. ‘I… I don’t seem to get what you’re talking about now, sir.’
Devlyn was dead furious. ‘Hey! Don’t you have a TV?’ he yelled into Oye’s eardrum and hanged up.
Oye rushed to grab the remote control on his desk turned on the TV.
What he saw was utterly shocking.
It was President Jimi Jacobs having an exclusive interview with Mia; and in which he made everything bare.
Everything about the Utopia deal. About the Mountana case. And about the monstrous organisation itself.
He exposed everything about Utopia and the reason why they wanted Mountana.
He announced the diamond ore discovered in Mountana. He also let the people know it was why the financial group wasted the inhabitants of the land.
Jimi confessed his crime of secretly getting past the Senate to obtain a loan. And told how he failed to be transparent to the people that voted him in.
The email Utopia had sent to Jimi was televised as evidence that the organisation was the one behind the Mountana tragedy.
Oye knew Jimi was witty and smart. But he couldn’t believe Jimi could sacrifice himself to save the country from Utopia’s hands.
The old man couldn’t believe the president would be ready to risk being burnt just so he could raze down the mighty monster.
Both Oye and Utopia were prepared for everything but not for Jimi’s confession.
Oye was shocked and terrified beyond words.
It was indeed a huge blow.
Oye was even more shocked and devastated that the diamond he’d slaved himself to keep hidden for years had eventually come to everyone’s knowledge.
The diamond he had secretly labored to keep was now going to the nation’s hand in his lifetime.
The shock was too much for Oye’s fast beating heart to contain. The news shook him up and shattered him to pieces.
For he came crumbling down to the floor with a lifetime stroke and paralysis.
Rather than Kimberians being entirely furious and vengeful with their president, they poured out their indignations against Utopia for its grand conspiracy.
Even though Kimberland’s beloved President J. J. wasn’t entirely pardoned for his part in the Utopia deal.
Jimi announced in the exclusive that he had decided to resign from his position as the president and from politics altogether.
As a pay for his crime and his sins.
The announcement of the resignation had doused the people’s anger for their president to a great extent.
And Jimi vowed to get everything resolved before he’d resign.
But then, the beloved president didn’t need to do anything else; as the already exposed Utopia gave up on Kimberland, overlooking the loan and the land.
The devilish organisation sadly admitted that any further insistence on coming into Kimberland would confirm every accusation and allegation against it.
It would also ruin its plans with other gullible nations it had given loan to and entirely ruin its mission altogether.
More so, it could also be dragged to an international court of law for war crime; and eventually not have sufficient chance of winning.
It had to give up its grip on Kimberland.
Utopia had a lot in their cup already.
It was already receiving emails and calls from the press as well as world organisations concerning the havoc they’d wrecked in Kimberland.
Even if it would eventually dribble its way out of the looming trouble with its power and influence, the financial organisation knew the journey would be a long and stressful ordeal.
Kimberians were united on the stand that, since Utopia couldn’t be arrested or tried by their nation, the inside link had to bear the grunt.
Dr Oye was arrested in spite of his state of health and was tried and imprisoned for his crimes.
The president wasn’t left out of the punishment, either.
For after Jimi Jacobs had ensured the country was completely free from Utopia’s clutches, he resigned from his post as the president and was tried for his crime according to the rule of law.
The crime of the misuse of power as the president by taking loan in the country’s name without the due official process.
Jimi was sentenced to a six-month imprisonment.
The ex-president was lighthearted as the burden and guilt he’d carried over the years were rolled off his shoulder.
He was happy to receive his punishment.
He had lost the huge dreams and ambitions he’d garnered over the years.
Only to gain back what he’d lost while he was chasing after shadows. The heavenly Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He was ready to face everything – even six months in prison – with Jesus Christ being absolutely with him, in him, and for him.
He glanced at his wife for the last time before he was ushered into the black prison van.
‘Demi,’ he whispered, ‘my heart has been reconquered by Jesus Christ! I am absolutely back.’
Demi’s eyes were wet with tears for her hero.
‘My J. J.,’ she whispered back. ‘I’m so proud you’re my man; I love you, darling.’
Teo and Mia watched as Jimi was driven away in the van.
Teo heaved a sigh and muttered. ‘He will be fine.’
Mia knew Teo’s expression was both a question and a statement. ‘Of course, he will,’ she quipped.
Just as the two decided to leave in Teo’s car, the young charming dude gazed at Mia for a moment. He couldn’t help but smile at her.
Mia couldn’t hold it. ‘What?’ she chuckled; her face a radiant shine.
Teo gazed on for a second, reached out his hand and clasped her hand in his.
Mia knew this was oncoming, but she never expected it to be here.
And she quietly swallowed the desire to ask ‘What?’ this time around.
For she could tell what it was.
Èṣù kò le fún ni l’óókan kó má f’ẹẹdẹ gbà á.
The Devil will give nothing unless he’s got a thousand to take instead.
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