Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
On Wednesday 2017 May 17, I registered to vote on Day 14 of the Continuous Voters Registration at the local government of my residence in Sokoto metropolis and received my temporary voter’s card ~TVC.
For the first time ever, I registered for my voter’s card, primarily for identification purposes.
I have no valid identification card. It is such an inconvenience.
Although the temporary card might function as a means of identification for informal settings, the yet-to-be issued permanent voter’s card ~PVC is the real deal.
Nevertheless, when the opportunity to elect a new government emerges, I just might go and vote for my choice.
A poor choice Nigerians made in 2015 presidential election.
In Sokoto State, the results of the two highest scoring parties were:
All Progressives Congress ~APC = 671,926 votes
Approximately 1 in 7 persons in Sokoto voted for then incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party. That was impressive.
Given that some stayed away from the polls because of intimidation, the positive votes for the previous government may well have been higher.
Those 152,199 votes represented ballots cast by Muslims and Christians, of multiple ethnic origins, of particular reference the Hausa-Fulani.
Several Muslim Hausa-Fulani of Sokoto State origin took the side of the incumbent during the election campaigns and came through for him on voting day.
This, instead of Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress ~APC.
I did attempt to register to vote during the 1999 transition from military to civilian administration.
After waiting in a long queue at the registration centre for hours, dizzy and in the Sun, I departed never to return.
Since, I have not had any interest in the elections nor in the process itself.
For one, the voter is expected to visit the polling station on election day before noon for accreditation, go home and return to cast the ballot after 12:00 hours.
Who has the time for that?
Should the same procedure be adopted come 2019, I just might stay away from the polling centre.
The system needs to be improved to accomplish accreditation and voting in immediate successive sequence.
Should that happen, I shall encourage citizens to go and vote.
In the meantime, prudence directs that one obtain a valid voter’s card.
All that is needed for the registration process is a passport photograph.
As every Nigerian above the age of 18 years is eligible to elect new leaders, why do some reduce their age?
Just think: The staff wondered whether my date of birth was accurate, because voters usually decrease their age rather than demonstrate honesty.
In other words, in place of my 41 years of age, an age of say 22 years was the norm.
In any case, I keenly await the announcement from the Independent National Electoral Commission of dates for collection of permanent voter’s card ~PVC.
That is not just a valid mode of identification card, but also my ticket to cast a ballot in any election, local, state or federal, in Nigeria.
Let us work towards a violence-free election period.