Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Voting Experience 02/04/11

The long awaited election month is here with a kick-off of today’s voting to elect candidates into the National Assembly (the House of Representatives and the Senate).  I woke up with elections on my mind, prayed, did some household chores, ate and got ready. My husband registered in a different centre so we were separated. I left the house at about quarter to 10am. I got to the polling station and saw that accreditation was already underway. There was 1 male INEC officer with two female youth corpers, 1 police man and a civil defence corp officer. Various parties also had their presence there in the form of party agents. People were already on a queue to exercise their franchise. There were two lines, one for males, and the other for females. I really am not interested in the segregation right now, it’s not a life-threatening situation just yet; the leaders who will represent us are really something to worry about. I joined the queue.

The method the INEC officers were using to accredit was such that when it gets to your turn, the official will collect your registration card and start to browse through the registered voters’ printouts on their table (about 20 pages). We waited patiently under the sun; some went to nearby kiosks for shade. Some were discussing in small groups. I tried to read the expressions of most of them. I saw a little bit of willingness to persevere and make the necessary sacrifice on some while others were simply buy-outs and were discussing money. I thought a canopy would have protected the people from the scorching sun. The accreditation continued rather slowly. An elderly woman spent close to 10minutes at the table because her name could not be found. According to INEC’s timetable, accreditation was supposed to end at 12pm. I was accredited at about 10.45am. I surveyed the situation and approached one of the INEC officers with a solution. I told her that I thought the method they were using wasn’t effective and if they would adopt a better method of calling out the names, the accreditation would proceed faster. She told her colleagues who bought into it rather quickly because it was obvious they were not proceeding as fast as they would have wanted. Many people acknowledged this to be a better method. Accreditation continued till about 12.30pm but some people’s names were just not there. The INEC officer told them to contact their office to lodge their complaints. We were asked to be on a queue so that we can cast our votes. One by one, people cast their votes. I cast mine at about 1.20pm and stood aside and observed while I waited. At about 1.30pm, some young men came and announced to everyone that the elections have been cancelled and postponed till Monday the 4th of April 2011. People warded them off with thoughts that it was a distraction by a losing party to get people to leave and then manipulate the papers. It wasn’t until 10minutes later that INEC officials got the message that indeed the election had been cancelled. They passed on the information, packed up their materials and made to leave. Many people were disappointed but there were lots of comments about their readiness to come back and re-cast the votes. Some complained about the productive time lost for their businesses. On the whole, I observed that some have taken monies from parties and were urging their friends and relatives to vote a certain party. Other progressives were talking about desired change. I left the polling station at about 1.45pm and headed home with mixed feelings and questions on my mind."Were we been fooled this April?" was one of the questions on my mind.


  1. Dear Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your Voting experience with us. I admire your courage. My sympathy goes out to many of our citizens across Senatorial districts all over Nigeria, who took it upon themselves to go out and cast their votes for the REAL CHANGE they believe in. Many of our people left their businesses and family unattended, so they can contribute their quota to the building of Nigeria that we anticipate.

    Today, let us proclaim an end to the false promises; that for far too long have strangle our politics.

    We can no longer sit on the fence of hope and allow Nigeria to become a nation of no good at the hands of those who are meant to build a country that we can all be proud of, our time is now to search for the flint of hope that will ignite the REAL CHANGE that we hanker for.

    READ FULL NOTE HERE:!/notes/daniel-sync-olusanya/how-dare-prof-jega-say-election-material-did-not-arrive/10150149688732592

    WATCH AT:!/video/video.php?v=1878588679817

  2. Well done Mary! Nigeria needs more women like you! Women of impact; women of history! I really get really grateful when I meet women who carry the burden of nation building in their hearts. May God bless you and your family.
    I'd like to say, with privileged knowledge that we should be grateful that the elections were cancelled. Jega is a great guy, in having the courage to cancel that election.
    A particular party, which I am sure you know, had colluded with numerous INEC officials across the nation and had already perfected their rigging before 2am in the morning. Had those elections not been cancelled, it would have been more scandalous than even Iwu's own.
    So let us be patient till Monday, better to get it right that hurry but get it wrong.
    Again, I say God bless you my sister. I am so proud I know you.

  3. Tx Daniel and J1,
    I was disappointed when I got the news of the cancellation but having gotten all the details of the explanations, I'm satisfied that we are still on course and victory will come sure for us. I believe God is on our side this time and the enemy will be defeated hands down. Jega seem to me to be determined to give us a free and fair election but many of his officials want to undermine his desire. I pray daily that these people will soon meet with their waterloo and for Jega that wisdom from on high will come to him.

    Many thanks for your encouraging words. It's just a passion in my heart that I'm following and I know that God will continue to inspire other women to stand alongside the men to bring this country to a place of honour.
    God bless you!