Okay, it would only make sense if I say this today. And it’s probably gonna be my last post about the presidential elections.

If you’re hoping for relatively free and fair elections in Nigeria, stick to the cities and major towns. Anywhere else is a sham. I don’t know, the PVC and card reader might help – a bit. I hope so. I also hope a lot of heads won’t be bashed in, in the process.

No I am not going to vote. No it isn’t because I don’t want to. It’s because I can’t.

You see, I did my voter registration 4 years ago in Ukanafun Local Government, Akwa Ibom State, Ward 4, Unit 6 precisely. Transferring proved to be hectic and I’m just gonna chill till INEC gets it right. It’s only common sense that people relocate.

Now this isn’t even the point.

Back then I functioned both as a Registration Officer 1 and Presiding Officer. Fortunately, I had to work in my local government and my village home in Ikot Oku Usung happened to be in the same ward 4. A few people already knew me, I taught their children in school even though I was really supposed to be at the Local Government Secretariat.

Registration was a major headache because people would bring 13-year-olds and you dare not question them. “Corper, nsido, you sabi my pikin age pass me ni?” So you shut the hell up and register the kid. I’m not gonna get my head broken for some town I really had no stake in. No. Once I asked my ward supervisor and he said, “Please do, for your own safety,” I registered em all and ate bush meat while at it.

Then elections came and I was still gonna work in Ward 4 but another polling unit. The man who took us there later called me aside into a Qua Iboe Church nearby and offered me 20 grand, 15 for my assistant and 10 for another official. He said the governor just wanted to ensure we were well taken care of. That wasn’t my problem but hey, if you are gonna bribe me, it shouldn’t be inside a church (I remember seeing that same man two Sundays later at the Winners Chapel I used to attend in the town, seated in the corner exclusively reserved for elders – but that’s a story for another day) I think I told him to hold on and let me finish my job first.

I thought it was just us. I was wrong.

Everyone else had been paid! Even agents from opposition parties who now rallied everyone they were canvassing for, to vote the ruling party. He was their man and it didn’t matter if he was in another party. He’s Annang. They’re Annang. He will get 100 percent votes in Annang regions.

Same thing happened at the presidential elections. He’s South-South, they’re South-South. Their kin must get 100 percent. CPC and AC agents rallied their people to give 100 percent to ‘Their Man’. It was a blatant sellout and i saw tribal politics at its best both for state and national level elections. This was for a governor who only came to campaign and didn’t do shit for those people but 200 Naira per voter was all right to sway them. He’s their man!

So I gave up. Wait up sir, I’m coming for our money!

One dude, came over at some point and snatched the box and ran off, the others pursued him and brought it back “den never put anything officer, everything dey there.” At some point they took the ink pad and ballot papers and created a desk for themselves to thumbprint at will -PDP. It was messy. Well I heard the others did the same at their strongholds. Some dudes were there with cutlasses and hoes, “We dey go farm after voting oga. No worry.” Yes sir, by all means. No, nobody is gonna farm on my head. I don’t live here. I won’t pay taxes here. I don’t have a Chihuahua in this fight. I will siddon look and go home to my family when the time comes.

When we got back to the collation centre, I realised some of my colleagues had been badly beaten for being ‘too stubborn.’ Oh oh, na so dem go kill person for matter wey no be my own? Iyo!

Now what also worried me was that there was basically a 100 grand budget for every polling unit per election. We had about 10 per every ward in that LG – 20 wards, about 200 units. Do the maths, the. Do the same for the remaining 29 local government areas. When salaries wasn’t paid on time that month end, I laughed.

It was more violent in some other areas. Some colleagues lost lives. Over what? Bullshit. Sure it was fine in the more accessible areas where the observers camped out. But in the far flung villages, it was something else. The people didn’t know their right or what to do. And this is why I believe that you don’t wait 5 months to the general elections before sensitising people. What do you have 4 years for?

Despite our reports, nothing was canceled. Not even places where friends were beaten up. They wanted 100 Percent, they got it.

It’s all about numbers and those in the cities don’t really count for shit. Now tell me where the bulk of the voters are and you’ll realise that what we have so far is a sham.

Free and fair elections? Not until we install sense 2.0 in our heads in this country. As for the candidates we have, its a shame on us that there seems to be only two to pick from. Darn shame. Why didnt APC go with Rochas and seal the East? Why not KOWA? Ah yes, she’s a woman with no ‘experience’.


Vote wisely, your life isn’t worth losing for this. Friends shouldn’t be lost because of political differences. I hope we get it righter. Receive sense! Amen.



We’re tired
We’re worn
Faces ground to ground by tyrants’ boots
But we turn the other cheek
And embrace the caress of Italian shoes
Welcomed into arms proffering rotund bellies

We’re suffocated
We’re chocked
Tarrying for the gutsy wind of transformation
Wasn’t it called a ‘breath of fresh air’?
Still we await a draught
Slipping through a sliver of hope
To assuage troubled pharynx

So we grow restless
And chant
Backing the new dark horse on the track
Hoping to outmanoeuvre the loathed stallion
We just might win
This just might work
The odds look good, don’t they?

We want change
That unyielding constant clothed in variance
What if it’s garbage-in-garbage out?
Leave that worry for the dirt cart pusher
A flushing of faeces with clean water is welcome
Even if to await impending shit

We pray for our champions to take over
Robes for robes, rogues for rogues?
A change of colour with the vagaries of location
But remaining a chameleon still
Oga tabi Oga?
O ga!

Barabbas is freed
Silver Judas is damned
Ole ji, jaguda gba
A rogue for a traitor
Jesus is slain
Salvation has come


PS: Yeah we’ve cheered the registration of the Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) as being good for Nigerian democracy. It just might be. But I wonder if they’re the change we really need or if we just want any kind of change – anything to get the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party out. Is it a matter of any change being good; same roguish intent but different affiliations? Till then, fingers crossed.

PS 2: Native language use:
Oga tabi Oga? (Verse 5, line 5): the two words have the same spelling in Yoruba language, but are pronounced differently and mean different things too. The first word means chameleon; the second, master. The sentence is roughly translated to mean, “Chameleon or master?”

O ga in verse 5, line 6 is just for effect. In the context in which it is used, it indicates a feeling of resignation, like saying “Oh well…”

Ole Ji, Jaguda gba (verse 6, line 3) is a Yoruba saying used to imply a common thief stealing for a robber to claim. In essence, nothing’s changed.Apologies for the lack of a Yoruba keyboard to include the different markings indicating a change in the application of stress and sound variations.