When did you start paying attention to elections?
I mean, when did that switch from elections being what other people do, to being something you actively participated in or follow in the news?
It was a swift process for me, because one day I didn’t care about who became President, the next day I was writing campaign slogan on social media encouraging people to vote my candidate of choice.
Until now, I have never voted because Nigeria finds a way to disenfranchise citizens.
The first time I registered, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on strike and I couldn’t go back to school to vote.
The second time, I couldn’t register in the polling unit near my house, so I went to my Mum’s village to register.
Guess who couldn’t find transportation on that day to go vote? Yes, me but this time, I am ready, ready!
All the talk about elections brings to mind my horrible election experience during the last poll in 2015.
So I was home with my folks who had just returned from voting, it was about 4pm in the evening so they decided to take a walk and visit their friends.
I was home alone with my sisters, we were watching a movie or something when we started hearing voices outside.
A girl, a Corps member was running towards our house clutching a ballot box to her chest, behind her were men, thugs, chasing her with cutlasses and woods.
Fear has never held me immobile until that day, because I know if I let the girl into our house, the thugs behind her would break our door down to get her and the ballot box.
If I lock the door, they might kill her.
Our house was thefirst on the street.
With one look at my little sisters, I locked our door, and prayed someone in our compound rescues the girl.
Luckily our neighbour did, he let her pass through his house, which sorts of leads into another compound, to confuse the men chasing her.
Then someone called some soldiers, and it was non-stop gunfire for a while, I have no idea how long.
It seems so long ago.
The NYSC girl was fine, safe. They said she was escorted home by police but everyone was shouting at her,
“why you carry the ballot box dey run?” “You wan make dem kill you?” “How much INEC/NYSC dey pay you wey you wan die put?”
For a long time, I saw that NYSC girl in my dreams, running.
What kind of training did they give them, who asked her to run with the ballot box? She could have been killed like that, is Nigeria worth it?
There is no moral lesson to this story o, but please after voting tomorrow go home.
I don’t know about this talk of staying back to protect your vote. Those who want to rig will find another 101 means.
Do they still ‘snatch’ ballot boxes in this age of smart card readers and whatnots?
Trust me, the riggers have many other means. Go out and vote, vote confidently and go home.
May the best candidate rigger win!