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Now, let’s begin 😄
Election day, where do I start from? 🤔
Yes! Let’s start from a day to the election.
First of all I thank God that this week’s “a day to election” was not the same as last week’s. You can find out about last week’s day to election by clicking this link http://ourreaction.com/a-day-to-election-my-exprience-as-a-copper/
There was no much difference tho, however, we were not stalled till 3am in the morning with no hope of if the election will hold or not. Another good news was that there was a lady selling snacks and drinks close to the center, so there were less hungry people amongst the crowd.
However, we still left for the polling unit at night. While enroute to the polling unit, I was praying that men in black with masks will not suddenly jump in the middle of the road and be like “the election materials or your life”.
I wonder what would have happened if such had occurred. I guess I would have been like “I can offload the materials into your car if you want sir.” (Not all die na die, life never hard reach that level 😌) Let’s leave the evil imaginations (which I overcame cos I’m a child of God 💪).
We almost had a smooth journey to the unit. Almost smooth? yes. While journeying, at a point, a truck/car got in front us. This truck/car had no lights and was smoking terribly. We could hardly see the road. We did not even know if the vehicle had front lights cos it was sorta invisible, except for the massive amount of smoke it was shooting in our faces. I was even like, “Tor, this is their plan o. They are waiting for us in the bushes.” But no body was in the bushes sha. Or maybe they were, but they just could not see us cos of all that smoke 🤔. Hmm…God works in mysterious ways.
On getting to the polling unit, which was a government primary school situated in a very remote village (yh, let your imagination paint you a picture), we offloaded the materials and went to work. After fixing the most important things, I went to sleep. But sleep eluded me 😩.
Oh! I wanna specially thank Inec for at least providing us with mats to sleep on. At least it’s something 😏
Almost everyone did not sleep. So we had sleep and food deprived humans getting ready to man the election. I ate tho, got bread the pervious day. Life never hard reach that level. Food deprived ke? Not when I can help it 😌
We used bikes as the mode of transport. And that meant about an hour on an extremely dusty and bad road. Was just jumping up and down on the bike (it was exciting and painful 😩)
One thing that touched my heart during the journey was that, the rivers we passed through were almost dried up. And one could see women and children trying to salvage what they could. And I was like, “what about tomorrow? How will you guys get water then?”. It was really sad.
Moving on, we got to the polling unit and it was like a deserted land. Few people were there quite alright. But there were no signs that an election was about to take place there. As at that time, the time was past 8 and we should have started the election 8 o’clock.
We got to work quickly, and we were able to start the election around 9am. And that, dear people is where the worst came to being.
The people did not understand what standing on a queue and being orderly meant. No apologizes when I say this, but they behaved like animals!
To make things worse, one of the card readers (used to authenticate a voter’s card) refused to work. So we had hundreds of people and one card reader.
Guess who’s side got the working card reader. Yep! Mine. Never thought I would get tired of signing my signature (that was my work. Stamping, writing date, signing and then issuing the ballot papers). Sounds easy yh? Try doing that for hundreds of people while on the clock. At a point my fingers started a rebellion and refused to obey my commands. Poor fingers 😪
We were shouted at, spat on, insulted, threatened and lots more. One of my Apo’s wanted to fly away. I wanted to run and hide too but I was like, “see crowd, where do we want to run to? We that we don’t know anywhere in this village”
When I say spat on, I don’t mean literally. Remember I said the people did not understand the concept of queuing and maintaining a queue? Yh, they gathered round us and through the shouting they were doing, they were spitting on us.
Finally, the second card reader started functioning as a result of the running up and down that was done by the second presiding officer. Two corpers presided that unit because the population was much (that is myself and another corper).
Let’s fast forward to when voting was supposed to be over. Voting starts by 8am and closes by 2pm. When 2pm came, the people said no way we were gonna stop until they all vote. After 2pm, one of the card readers ceased to function as a result of the way it was programmed. Actually both card readers were supposed to stop working at 2pm. But unfortunately, one of them continued to function. The people got to know and that increased their clamoring.
Well, after shouting in Hausa to maintain a sense of orderliness, for what seemed like hours, a number of people voted before we finally stood our ground and said “no more voting!”
After that, the votes were counted and APC had the upper hand. The people were happy and I wondered what they would have done if PDP won in that area.
After counting the votes, they went to their homes and we had the task of tasking our brains with the collation process. We decided to do that at the rac center tho cos it was already getting late and no one wanted to die or be attacked while journeying.
(Fast forward to after the tedious process of collation) We started the journey to inec’s office around 2am in the morning. The evil imaginations wanted to come to play again but they were shut down 💪. We made it to the office and that was the end of the election for us corp members. Tho we had to sleep in the open because by then it was too early to start journeying home.
One thing I want to point out that’s very bad on the part of inec, is the lack of security personnel. We had no form of security at the polling unit. We were given a police man tho ( an old man with no gun), as such the people had no one to fear and the animal in them had no one to tame it. In another polling unit, a corper reported that the people wanted to use cutlasses on them. It was terrible!
Inec needs to look into this and stop putting our lives at risk. We are serving the nation, not digging our graves for her ✌