Like every other working-class Nigerian, I got out of bed super early to prep for my day. It’s a Friday like no other, elections are holding tomorrow and it’s been the talk of the lunch room for weeks.
Apart from the fact that it’s a half day at work, I’m super excited to wrap up my argument with the CFO (don’t worry, it’s not that kind of arguement). You see, we got into a heated argument about how INEC offices suddenly became ‘flammable’ one week before elections and how quickly tables could turn – being articulate, demanding change or how it might just be the year of the ‘underdog’.
I spent all night online trying to build my political arsenal and I was ready to face-off with him (my CFO, that is). Driving through traffic, I fantasized about how free the road would be when I close at 2pm, heading home in broad daylight for the first time in a long time. This day can’t get any better!
I got into the office and settled in, trying to close out as many pending tasks as possible; I didn’t want any work calls over the weekend. I was trying to spool data for a report when I heard my name in a loud and somewhat accusatory tone; it was my CFO! Almost like a WWF challenger, baiting his opponent.
I shook my head, willingly accepting the challenge. We go into a banter about the elections, from the presence or absence of conspiracies, to how candidates were selected/elected in the first place. At the end of the day (1:15pm to be precise) we agreed that the beauty of point-of-views is that they differ depending on where you stand. We bade each other farewell as we went to clear our desks for the weekend ahead (not really, we argued and then promised that whoever is right, at the announcement of the election results, gets bragging rights).
At exactly 2:10pm, I stepped out of the office, not bothering to check Google maps because I knew the road would be free. Heading to the supermarket to shop for supplies, the first wave of traffic hit me. It took about 45 minutes to get to a store that was 5 minutes away. Walking through the doors, it felt like I had entered an episode of ‘The Apocalypse’. There were people everywhere trying to buy up supplies for their ‘bunkers and bomb-shelters’ (it didn’t look like regular home shopping). This could not be normal. Haba! It’s the elections, not World War 3!
I got home 3 whole hours later, but you know what, nothing could bring down my spirit. I was pumped, psyched and excited to vote for the kind of leader I believed would take us a step closer to sanity and good governance.
Fast-forward to election morning…
‘The elections have been what?!’ I could not believe my eyes and ears, as I read the publication and later listened to the ‘speech’.
Coming from a country where RESPECT is at the centre of most cultures; I felt very disrespected. Time, energy and emotional investments had gone into preparing for today and now this?
I was first surprised, then angry, then sad, then dissapointed, then sick to my stomach, then resolute… even if the elections are postponed till next year, my polling unit moved to Kafanchan, and there are no card readers…I will wait patiently (and not be baited into violence).
I will stay hopeful (because hope fuels determination).
I will exercise my right to vote (because 999 is not equal to 1000 – my vote counts!).
What’s your story? Were you as miffed at the postponed elections last Saturday? Are you still determined to vote in the #Nigeria2019elections?
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