I have been keenly observing the goings on of the build up to the April 2011 elections. Not because I’m particularly into politics but because I’m a Nigerian lady who believes change is possible. Well, sadly, I did not register as I wasn’t around but it has been my mission to encourage as many people as I can to get up and go out and VOTE! It is not enough to complain about the terrible situation of things, instead the question should be, ‘How can I contribute to the change that is to come?’
This was my mindset when INEC officials came to the NYSC camp in Ipaja and said we were to conduct the elections this year. I felt honoured to be a part of such a noble task. Not only was I serving my nation, I was also being a part of history. It was huge deal to me. My girls however did not share my enthusiasm. They felt it was going to be a complete waste of their time and they hated being forced to wait to listen to lectures on the elections. As soon as it was made clear that it was optional, my friends immediately opted out and never had anything to do with INEC lectures again.
Well, I underwent the training, in the heat of Ipaja sun. But when I discussed participating with my mom, she yelled, ‘Temi, lai lai, you are doing no such thing!’ and so I humbly bowed out.
Right now, as I type, I’d like to blow my mama a kiss. Mothers are so wise. Thank God I did not participate o. I have a friend (also a corper) who is a polling assistant in Agege LG. It has been tales of woe since yesterday night when they were abandoned in a primary school in Agege with no arrangement made for their accommodation. Some people slept on the floor in the primary school exposing themselves to all manners of dangers. Others paid for a cheap street side h(m)otel and passed the night there. Accreditation was to start at 8 am this morning. As at 11am, they were still in the primary school in Agege collecting materials. What happened in Agege also was the case in many parts of Nigeria such as Gombe, Osun, Ogun and Bauchi.
Eventually, an hour ago, I learned that the elections have been suspended till Monday the 4th of April. People had queued up for hours only to be turned away. In the particular center my friend was in, it was actually a voter who told them the election had been cancelled. They had been conducting it as normal. The international community must be having a hearty laugh. Observers must be shaking their heads in disgust. Elections getting postponed on the set day?! This really is a shame.
INEC boss, Attahiru Jega blamed unprecedented late arrival of result sheets for national assembly elections cancellation. What is the meaning of unprecedented? They called it ‘logistics failure’. It is only in Naija that I hear that word ‘logistics’ being thrown around whenever incompetence is being displayed.
Now people, who is right? My friends who never bothered to serve or those who did and are being tossed about? By the way, they were told their pay was further reduced…
I urge people to keep on praying for this country. Nothing is impossible with God. Prayers can move mountains. Nigeria does need our prayers…
Here are some pictures that got BB-ed to me:
Get to praying people,