Governorship .. Governorship
CONTINUED FROM LAST EPISODE: CHAPTER 3… EPISODE 4
The search was massive but swift. It began late Wednesday night and went on until dawn.
It started with a lightning raid on a warehouse uptown and spread across the city of Port Harcourt as DSS agents combed high and low, searching all facilities associated with the private business empire of the Rivers State governor and his closest associates. By seven o’clock the next day, nothing of the kidnaped mistress and child of the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Gabriel Udoh, had been found and queries were coming from two high court judges of the state.
The top brass of the DSS finally called a halt to the operation.
One DSS agent that did not lay off the case was Agent Kenneth Brown. After a busy night, he had only managed to get one hour of sleep at the office that morning before rushing off to Dr. Udoh’s mansion to start the interrogation of the employees, things like these were usually an inside job or an outside job carried out by connections within the circles of the victims.
Agent Kenneth Brown was just rounding things up by late morning when a commotion at the gates caught his attention.
Dr. Udoh’s missing driver had just staggered in looking half dead. His white shirt and black trousers were stained with blood and there was a bloody bandage wrapped around his left hand. Two of his fingers had been chopped clean off. The man collapsed right there at the gates and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Minutes later, both Bassey, Dr. Udoh’s security chief, and Kenneth were there in the main living room of the mansion with a critically upset Dr. Udoh and some APC party chieftains of the state when the call from the kidnappers came in. It was the same phone line, that of Dr. Udoh’s kidnapped mistress.
Dr. Udoh took the call on the speaker of a wired phone as the DSS agents insisted
“Hello,” he said at once, the anxiety clear in his voice.
“I thought you were a reasonable man,” said the hard male voice that had spoken to him last time. “I made my terms clear and they were simple enough. No cops, but what do you do? You go and bring down the whole DSS from Abuja to try to find us. How did that work out for you?”
“Please, listen, I –”
“No, you listen,” cut in the voice harshly. “We know every move you make and every move the DSS makes. If they try to come after us again your son will lose one hand. Your twenty-four-hour time limit will expire at four o’clock this evening. Both your son and mistress will start losing a finger each for every hour you remain a governorship candidate after four o’clock. Your driver was merely a warning from my boss. Consider yourself lucky, you stupid fool.”
The line went dead.
“Oh God,” moaned Dr. Udoh softly and buried his face in his hands.
In the silence that followed, one of the two DSS agents working quickly with a laptop at the dining table to the other side of the big room called out.
“He is somewhere to the east of town but we couldn’t get a lock on his precise position.”
“That’s not helpful,” said Kenneth with an impatient wave of his hand. “Can’t you track the line passively or something.”
The agent shook his head. “The signal of that phone goes completely dead as if they take out the sim card after each call.”
There were three top politicians of the state there with Dr. Udoh. They sat around on the sofas watching him, waiting. Kenneth and Bassey stood close by watching him too.
“What are you going to do now, Gabriel?” asked his running mate quietly. He was a well fed man in his late 40s dressed in an expensive Italian suit`.
Dr. Udoh sighed heavily and opened his eyes to look at the man. “As of this moment, I have no choice but to step down as the governorship candidate of the party. You will have to take the mandate and continue the race.”
A collective sigh of frustration went through the group of seated politicians.
By one o’clock that afternoon, Dr. Udoh made the official announcement to a shocked congregation of newsmen. For certain private reasons he could not mention, he was stepping down as the APC party’s governorship candidate in the state with immediate effect. He was also stepping out of politics for good.
The news spread through the state like wildfire and within hours, the tide turned against the APC party because the man they had set up as running mate to Dr. Udoh was a more experienced politician but one with a prior history of corruption. By the time the polls came along on Saturday, with the APC out of the way, the PDP party and its candidate, hand-picked by Governor Wilson, carried the day with sixty-four percent of the votes cast.
To Be Continued…..
*Action stories of wealthy African women in organized crime*