Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Two weeks ago, I decided to take advantage of INEC‘s registration exercise to get a voter card. What’s all the activism for if I can’t vote? And so far, the chances that I will be in Nigeria during the elections in 2015 are very high.

So it was off to Government Secondary School in Lifecamp that Monday morning to get it done.

Got there about 8am, and if I had any sense, I would have known (from the crowd I met there) I didn’t stand a chance. I would also have known that heels on the day wasn’t the smartest idea. To be fair to myself though, I actually believed I would be able to get it done and then head off to a training I had fixed for past noon; looking back I’m sure even God must have been giggling at me and my plans.

9am and INEC guys still hadn’t come. There was no place to sit and my shoes were starting to hurt. People were gisting with the Police guys and promising them heaven on earth. Me? I was sipping lipton.

9.31am. INEC guys came in a white van, and as they were unloading their stuff a police truck came (siren and PSA included). A lady (whose appearance, voice, and intonation reminded me of Dame Peshe) announced that people who had registered before should leave or they would face the “full wrath of the law”. If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard that phrase in this our Nigeria I’d be super wealthy.

Anyway, noise warnings from the lady lasted another 20 minutes, and then the police truck left. By this time we’d been asked to write our names on a list so we’d be attended to.

The men seemed to get theirs done without a fuss, but we ladies had to have two separate fights over the order of names on the list. #CatFightTinz

One torn list and a few exchanged curses after, our list was sent in to the INEC guys and the wait began. About noon and no where getting close to getting registered, I left. Plus I had a visitor (and the attendant cramps) that demanded I leave and sort myself (forgive the TMI).

Got back about 2pm, and it still wasn’t my turn. Matter of fact, it became even clearer that it wouldn’t get to me. I chatted with various groups of people and apart from the INEC guys still dealing with lists they collected on Saturday and Sunday, I learned from more than one group that the police (who were at the doors to ensure people were orderly) were collecting money to facilitate quicker entrance to meet the INEC guys.

Still, I waited. Most of my day had been wasted anyway. I was content watching everything from a safe distance.

About 3pm, people started getting testy. Being the last day of the registration, with no extension in sight, people were agitated. The police started using belts and things to get people to disperse. Was really disturbing for me to watch for a number of reasons.

1. Ebola – as we all know, body fluids are a vehicle for the transmission of this virus. The sun was scorching so of course people were sweating. Some others were spitting (yuck), and a few others were cleaning out their nostrils on every inch of ground they could find. Now people were thronging, pushing, a few of them fell, it wasn’t pretty. Absolutely disgusting.

2. Whipping people. Really? Really? Why on earth? Do you blame the people for becoming restive when some of them had been there since 6.30am and then because some others who came about noon had ‘tips’ for the police, they got bumped to the top of the list for registration?

I spoke to one of the policemen whipping people, and the conversation is reproduced below.

FGS – Sir, it’s 4pm. Won’t it be better to tell these people what their options for registration after now are, instead of whipping them?

Police – Did you see me whipping anyone?

FGS – (A little shocked at his question) Yeah! I’ve been standing and watching you for the last 30 minutes. I feel like…

Police (cuts in) – You are making allegations against my person! I am an officer of the law! Do you know what we are doing here?

FGS – Yes I know you’re supposed to keep the peace, keep the people orderly, but you’re not supposed to whip…

Police (cuts in, super incensed now) – Did you see me whip anybody? If you talk too much I’ll take you to the station…

FGS (cuts in, a little ticked off) – stop spitting on me. And are you threatening me? Are you actually threatening me? (To be honest I was a little flustered, but I don’t know why I was smiling)

Police – You can write anything you want to write! I don’t care! I am an officer of the law…

FGS – (cuts in) This is not a productive conversation, you’re not listening to me, and you’re still spitting on me. (And I turned and walked away).

I tweeted.

Screenshot 2014-09-01 16.04.09

And yes, I took a picture.

2014-08-25 16.47.39Good thing was, he didn’t touch anyone else (least till I left about 5pm), and I caught him stealing glances at me from time to time.

No, I didn’t get registered.

The End.


Our ‘Honorables’ tearing at each other….

Some days are good; others are sad, others are ‘not so good’ while some are downright nasty. Today is one of those. It’s amazing the way life goes; a woman gets pregnant, carries the baby for the full term successfully (without any issues) and then dies on the delivery table (for whatever reason). That’s nasty.

A friend of ours wanted to be a doctor, desperately. He got into university, scaled the first year examinations easily and then was faced with the ‘devil’ called 2nd MBBS. One peculiar thing about the MBBS exam is that there are three courses, and you must pass at least two to move to the next class where you resit the one you didn’t pass. If you pass only one, you repeat the year, and there is a limit on how many times you can repeat a class. Ok? So my friend wrote the exams like four times and failed, in different degrees; bottom line is that at the end of the day, he was still in his original class…

He wrote the exam the fifth time and the day the day the results were released, he was in a village on one of these community outreach visits, teaching best health practices, etc. when his phone rang the first time, the second, third and ninth times, he nearly had a coronary, and didn’t pick out of fear. He finally did and was told he passed all three exams! To add to it, some oil scholarship they applied for years before had come through and his name was on the list pasted outside the Student Affairs Office! Talk about blessings in baskets. Home boy took permission from the coordinators, and then took a bus back to the campus, promising not to believe till he saw for himself. On the way, he had an accident.

Yes, an accident; I’m sorry, there was no way to sugar coat that. My story doesn’t end there though. The accident was ghastly yes but he didn’t die. He was rushed to the hospital lucid but bleeding profusely. The issue then became who would sign for the blood for transfusion, was there blood in the bank at all, what his blood group was, who would pay the deposit, on and on and on, till he died.

Let us leave the overwhelming lapses in the medical sector, forget about the tears I shed that day (and I’ve heard I have a lot of cry in me), and face the truth: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. We can’t keep running around the issues when our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and getting swallowed up by the day by monsters that range from unemployment, delayed (or totally withheld) pensions, corruption, police brutality, death traps (a.k.a roads), child abuse, even PHCN is an issue! At some point (and I daresay that point is now), we have to call it. We have to say we are tired of a lying and thieving leadership that tells the youth to eschew violence on the one hand but with the other hand signs away tax payers money to import weapons for the same youths. Bear in mind that we’re not even talking about the violence they perpetuate themselves.

In the recent past we’ve been inundated with reports of our lawmakers behaving like they didn’t read their job descriptions; as if they were elected (or rigged) into the National Assembly to take advanced classes in warfare, with promises to air the practicals on international TV! Or did they just get the wrong document?

The National Communications Commission recently submitted a budget of 13billion naira to the National Assembly; it was found out later to be in error and the actual budget, 800million. NCC said it was a typographical error. Are you kidding me? It must have been a magical typo to have successfully eluded a whole commission, from the person who typed, to the person that approved! Haba!

Still on budgets, Niger Delta Development Commission submitted their own budget with a whopping 90million allocated to marriages and funerals. Oh My God! Even if everyone in the whole NDDC planned to get married on Monday and die on Tuesday, they still wouldn’t need that much! After ten years of existence and the monies sunk into the Commission, what tangible development can we point to? What justification do they have to even include marriages and funerals in their budget; or did they get the wrong document too?

Still on the front burner is the fracas between the number four man in the country and the Chief Executive Officer of Ogun State over who should take the glory of commissioning a road that neither of them started, and took 10 years to finish. Let’s leave the major embarrassment both of them were and note that the Speaker showed up at the event in a convoy of 16 cars. Again, someone must surely have handed him the wrong document on how the human body should function because I am a fairy, and even I cannot divide myself into 16 cars!

I could go on and on and on but I won’t waste your time and mine, neither do I want to spoil your day. Enough is enough people, Wafi pesin go talk say, ‘it haff do’! Posterity will judge every young person who doesn’t register to vote and put an end to this insanity. Posterity will judge every young person who partakes of their blood money to the detriment of a vulnerable, less privileged brother or sister. Posterity will most definitely judge; because we live in out-rightly nasty days.