Wednesday, 1 April 2015

CHANGE: Experience of a first time voter

It’s a very confusing start to this post as I have a lot on my mind that I yearn to write down; too much if you ask me.

I almost forgot it was my birthday yesterday morning until I saw my sister’s birthday surprise (as usual) waiting for me in bed. I had too much on my mind, most particularly the presidential election results. Regardless of my birthday surprise however, I still spent the day before the television, with pen and paper, collating the election results. I barely responded to pings wishing me a happy birthday, and I honestly didn’t notice that half of my friends had forgotten my birthday. If you ask me today which friends actually remembered my day, I would go cheat by searching for my chat histories. In all, it turned out to be a magnificent day even through the emotional/physical stress I subjected myself to.

I’m alive; I’m beautiful; I’m healthy, I’m living by his grace; I have the most amazing sister, and family; I’ve got great friends; and I’m still hawt @ 26 years! Alhamdulillahi..

Change- that’s the word on every Nigerian’s lip for some months now, whether they support it or not. As  you may have guessed, I am a firm supporter of the “change campaign”, and I not only advocated for General Buhari on social media, I also encouraged people to vote him as President. This is why I made the decision to actually go out and vote for my candidate, making it the first time I ever cast a vote as a Nigerian citizen. I was so excited weeks ahead the election, that not even an illness could bring down my morale. I called the election day; the judgment day, as it would decide our fate as Nigerians. Come 28th March, 2015- the judgment day, I initially disagreed with my mother over what I wore (mostly about the hat on my head though). She said I looked like a party agent, and although I knew she was just concerned for my safety, I thought it absurd that I couldn’t just wear what I wanted. When we eventually got to the polling unit, no INEC official was present and I picked my number [350]. When it was 12:30pm, a good Samaritan had gone to pick up the officials assigned to my unit with his vehicle. Upon their arrival, they took their time setting up, and informed us that only one of the three card readers they brought was working. They had forgotten the pass codes of the remaining two. Regardless of the time, frustration, and anger going round then, people still insisted on going on with the accreditation and subsequently voting. I didn’t even get in line for accreditation until 17:30, and I was accredited within seconds around 18:00. Accreditation ended with 448 accredited persons, and voting finally commenced at 20:00. It was a slow process, but orderly. Residents of the estate supplied a generator, wire, and bulb to lighten up the voting area. The funny thing is that people were so determined to cast their votes, that they went home and brought chairs. We all sat around, and started gisting like it was the most natural thing to do. I finally cast my vote at 1:10am for my now-president-elect, the APC presidential candidate.  We strolled back home, and I went to eat my second meal, at a time that should be considered the next day.

I was so proud of myself, that it felt like I was floating in a bubble all day, when I wasn’t sleeping that is. I was so scared, that my first vote wouldn’t count, that something fishy was being planned by the opposition party, that the change I had yearned for wouldn’t be realised.Most importantly though, I felt like I had done something very important by voting and nothing could erase that feeling from my mind. The result collation started on Monday afternoon, and I had been obsessing over the figures since. Eventually, I got the best birthday gift I could have gotten from Nigerians, and INEC when General Muhammad Buhari won the 2015 Presidential election, and I was even more happy when the incumbent President conceded to defeat and congratulated our President elect.

Nothing could stop me from feeling fly that I voted for the first time, and it not only counted, but dream for a change in the administration was realized on my birthday!



  1. I guess I could say that your birthday this year is one that will change your life forever in a most beautiful way. Wish you lots of blessed years ahead dear

    1. Tnx sweets. I hope it does too o, Insha Allah.