PHOENIX

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aerial view of white concrete buildings during golden hours
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The morning of July the 14th  felt different, in a good way: it was auspicious, with clouds that slowly scudded over lush blue sky, revealing the sun, bright; seemingly fierce, but glowing softly, tingling on the skin even: as if to say this is my son with whom I am well pleased. It was 7:00 am and electorate-feet walked past to cast votes, not aggressively but in a delicate manner like going to receive Holy Communion. It had rained all night, and the sun shun illustrious on the wet asphalt, trees, and rooftops; Vehicles that were usually late for work, rushing, weren’t on the road or rather they were but parked, stationary, Immobile basking in the glow.

The Citizen-friendly Policemen who normally refuse gratification (no matter how hard pressed) for the impressive work they do, weren’t in sight; I felt a desire to see their patriotic faces cruising in their police cars, with red and blue sirens so attractive to the eyes. Come to think of it, when was the last time we needed visible policing for election? It’s laughable to think of pathetic countries with citizens who kill themselves over politicians Who rob them bare, after all the blood spilled in their name. A crevice into their mind will reveal them thinking:

Compatriots, thank you for killing yourselves to put me here, now I will just go ahead and loot your commonwealth so you can be more uneducated; more jobless; more impoverished, and kill yourselves some more for my second tenure Haha God bless.

Then tons of policemen and soldiers are deployed, with the citizen’s wealth , to contain the violence. 

 The rage of Caliban of not seeing his face in the mirror; don’t they see what this is doing to their society? I get worked up thinking about it, democracy has really helped my country, I believe in its philosophy; it fruits. It fills me with teary rage that runs me blind when i read about vote-buying in  such countries; imagine selling your vote to the highest bidder who, obviously, won’t have any regard for you, the electorate. 

I bought them,’ he would brag to himself, ‘so here accept this pot-holed road, lack of industries, poor electricity supply, lack of security of lives and property. What did you say? No water supply? Poor health care? Where did you think I got the money to buy your votes from?’

i remember the day Gubernatorial Candidate Chief (Dr) Jumping John, sprayed money during his campaign, and the crowd, angry pounced on him yelling ‘Give us back our money!’   We were tired of the wide gap between rich and poor; tired of poor governance. Good lord, a lot of politicians ran from the county, it was like what happened in Ghana with the General who killed the country’s top government personalities, only this time we the people took it upon ourselves to salvage the country. And who would have known it would start with a politician spraying money. in the midst of all that want, a depression in its fourth quarter, and the Chief spraying so much money felt unrealistic; it opened our eyes to how much we had made this select few powerful and wealthy. The contrast was overwhelming, and fuelled rage, impulsive at first but later systematic.     

I was almost at the polling booth now; tip tap my feet made slapping the wet asphalt. I reached the roundabout with the statue of an Icon in its centre. It was made of bronze and muscular, hands stretched towards the sky as if giving praise, I stared at the inanimate Fela with his Bronze afro, immaculate under the sun. There was an emblem at the base with the caption

My people are scared of the air around them, they always have an excuse not to fight for freedom.

There was a time this aptly described my country, its tyranny and our lack of resolve to realise the people had the ultimate power. Those days we carried the burden of our ignorance, indifference and inaction on our shoulders like Atlas. What a time; the bitter memories are behind us now,  alongside the mediocrity of yesterday and the villains of democracy; we renamed all public buildings and institutions named after those villains; took their filthy faces off our money. Our “new” beginning,  in hidesight, has proven to be worthy of the brightness we symbolised it with . Indeed, this a country with whom God is well pleased.

The polling booth, sat like a king on a throne under an infinite chandelier;  it beckoned to your soul, in a proud healthy manner, not the obsessive ring kissing thing. i felt gratified walking towards it. The auspiciousness of the morning found its purpose in the space of the booth. Inside, computers were neatly arranged on tables. You accredited yourself by scanning your fingerprint on the device provided, beside the mouse, thereafter you imputed your pin in the computer. 

I scanned my fingers, and entered my Pin. The necessary information appeared on the screen, I chose my preferred candidate. It was swift. Easy. Smooth. you could leave Indomie on fire and come out to vote and go back and finish cooking.  Actually, that’s exactly what I did. So I walked back home (whistling a homely tune), past the statute in the roundabout, past a teeming group youths opened the kitchen door just in time to add  curry, carrots and peas to my noodles, and stirred it till it looked like fried rice. What a wonderful day to vote.

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One comment

  1. I admire the consciousness of this work, you have shown what ‘is’ and ‘not’ of the Nigerian electoral system. There are a lot of issues plaguing our electoral process; ecloctoral violence, time consumption ,vote buying among others, these issues  have  undermined our democracy. The writer have also shown that it is possible to behold a good electoral system that will be tied to a true democratic state, but this is only possible if the citizens stand up against deceptive politicians and conduct themselves in a patriotic manner.  Indeed its high time we have elections in Nigeria where “electorate-feet” walk “past to cast votes, not aggressively but in a delicate manner like going to receive Holy Communion”. Very educative @MichaelAyua, God bless your pen.

    Liked by 1 person

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