Started From The Bottom

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“Repeat after me, Mr. President-Elect”, started the Chief Judge.
“I do solemnly swear”. started the Chief Judge.
“I do solemnly swear” echoed the President-Elect.
“That I will faithfully execute the office of The President of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria”
“That I will faithfully execute the office of The President of The Federal Republic Of Nigeria”
“And will to the best of my ability”
“And will to the best of my ability”
“Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
“Preserve, Protect and Defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
“Congratulations, Mr. President”.

There was a loud roar admist onlookers as the president took his oath of office. He had just been sworn in as the 23rd President of Nigeria. President Ibukun Richards looked at the faces of the people present and he was moved to tears. He wished his parents were here now. It reminded him of many years ago.

Period Of 32 Years Ago
Ibukun’s parents, Engr. and Dr.(Mrs) Richards had left their son with an uncle as they planned to go for a seminar abroad. It was all bliss and rosy in the Richards’ family and they were always on the lips of everyone when it came to discussing the topic of a happy marriage. They were a quiet family of three (3), very well-to-do and also humble. On this ill-fated day, they decided to leave their son back home in Nigeria as they attended the “Dave and Park’s Seminar For Pros” in Canada. Ibukun was barely ten (10) years old then, and he already knew what good life meant – being constantly showered with gifts, money, love, affection and the likes. He did not allow himself get spoilt though. He was as sharp as a razor’s edge when it comes to academics. It therefore came as a shock to him, as little as he was, when they discovered during the eight-o’-clock news that the aeroplane conveying his parents to their destination had crashed, with no survivors. It was a heavy blow to him – mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and psychologically. The once vibrant IBK became a shadow of himself. He dropped drastically in his academics. He had fits and outbursts of emotions at different intervals – cries, anger, rebellion, hurt and the likes. Sometimes, he even blamed his parents for leaving him, even though the circumstances were beyond their control. To make matters worse, his extended family didn’t make matters any easy for him.

His uncles and aunts, both paternal and maternal, all fought on the rightful heir to the possessions the deceased left behind. None of them were concerned about Ibukun, none except the uncle they left him with. His uncle served as his sole sponsor through secondary school and just before he graduated, while he was writing his final exams in school, tragedy struck – His uncle, his sole mentor and sponsor, his new confidant got run over by a truck as he was returning from his job. This turned Ibukun totally to a material orphan as well as biological orphan.

He mourned his uncle for a while, got a grip of himself and began sourcing for ways to send himself further. He was not going to use this as an excuse to not be someone great in life. This would rather be his driving force. He worked as labourer, mended shoes, ran errands and even worked in waste management. Over a year, he had gathered enough money to enable him go for public tertiary education. He enrolled for a class, took his exams and made his papers at once. He got his admission that same year to study Political Science. He was proud of himself, and he was sure his parents and uncle would be proud of him too.

He struggled to make ends meet in his first year, doing menial chores for his mates like washing their laundry and sweeping their room. One of his friends, Damola, takes pity on him most times and shares some of his allowance with him. They say a friend in need is a friend indeed. That’s Damola for you. He sometimes gave him food too, and Ibukun made sure he rarely visits him so as not to become a pest on his benefactor. In his second year, he sat for a scholarship exam that qualified him to receive free tuition and some allowances. How relieved he was. His condition had been alleviated a little.

Living in the hostel nearly throughout, other times squatting with a friend in an apartment, swallowing lumps of garri adorned with groundnuts day after day, he kept reminding himself, and the few friends he had, and all those who cared to listen, that he would one day become someone great and influential. Of course, no one believed him or took him serious. No one except for himself and Damola, who would even offer him pieces of advice from time to time.

On the day of his convocation, while receiving his award for the Best Graduating Political Science Student, the governor of the state, who was in attendance, granted him a scholarship to study in any school of his choice abroad, in front of the whole crowd, to thunderous applauses. He also got gifts including money in cash and cheque from the cream of the society that was in attendance. How happy he was.

He flew abroad, got his Masters degree and Doctorate degree, came back home and got a seat at the Senatorial Table. From there, he climbed up to become a governor. His acts in office touched the life of many so much that his party gave him the Presidential ticket, and when the elections came, he won by a landslide. He, Ibukun Richards, the orphan, the labourer, the squatter, the one that drank garri for breakfast and dinner, even missing lunch, would now be addressed as Mr. President. These were tears of joy coming to his eyes, he thought.

He looked round the crowd and his eyes caught the eyes of someone familiar. That person was smiling at him. That was the person he had in mind to be his Chief Of Staff. No one was better qualified. That person gave him a thumbs up from afar. That thumbs up said it all – “We Started From The Bottom, Now We’re Here”. That person was none other than Adedamola Fakunle, his long-time friend.

The title for this piece was submitted by Ibukun. Though tricky, I’m glad I could pull something like this off. I hope you all like it. Thanks.


5 thoughts on “Started From The Bottom

    ibk said:
    July 5, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Well said…..impressive and ur choice of words clicked……..#turnup


      Christopher responded:
      July 5, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Anything to please a nice reader like you. As always, you weren’t easy. 😀


        Brysen said:
        January 9, 2015 at 12:40 PM

        Your’s is a point of view where real ingnillteece shines through.


    Richieyoms(yomscurt) said:
    July 6, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    love your write up


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