I had just flown into the Oil City of Port Harcourt to see the four walls of my house for the first time in weeks. Rivers state have been a battle ground in recent time for PDP and APC. The Governor had defected from PDP to APC and have continuously thrown stones to his former camp.
How does that directly affect me? Politics in Nigeria is like a seasonal movie where cross carpeting is the motto of the game. Different major roads and bustops had various political party posters and bill boards. Election is drawing near. Every strategy is being utilized.
I jumped on my mouka foam and attempted to catch a nap before my phone beeped. I looked at the screen and i saw “APC 2015”. APC? To me? How do i connect to any political party? How did they get my number? I have never entered their secretariat.
I opened the sms and it read:
Collect your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) at your INEC registration center in Lagos from Nov. 7th-9th 2014. DON’T sell your card, it’s your power – Asiwaju BAT
INEC information from Asiwaju BAT? Hmmm. I appreciated the information but was still perplexed as to how he got my number. Did INEC give him my number? Did MTN share my number with him? Or does he own MTN?
I travelled back to the commercial city of Lagos to pay some visits. On arrival, i requested for a young chap to get me MTN airtime. “Is it APC?” He asked me. With a twisted eyebrow, i demanded an explanation. “Don’t you know that MTN is now APC?” He responded. I got the airtime and lo and behold it was not coloured yellow like the regular MTN i knew. It has been ages since i bought airtime with cash. This is what the card looked like:
I loaded the airtime but kept smiling at APC’s strategy. While the Nigerian populace prepares for the Valentine showdown, the parties are leaving no stones unturned.
I heeded to the sms and went to my registration center to pick up my PVC only to be told that i will need to re-register. What? Another stress? What happened to the old one? Virus, i was told. How can they allow virus to render all our efforts useless. I even sent my details to an INEC number for confirmation and they replied:
Unable to find any voter with this name & VIN. Check your spellings or otherwise register during the CVR Exercise For help call 070-9811-5257
I shook my head and decided to re-register.
The re – registration was hell. I stood for about 11hours to be captured. It was the last day of the CVR exercise and it was a do or die affair for some. The Bale of the area was above the law of the queue as he brought people that made us look less Nigerian. Our complains fell on deaf eyes as the the INEC personnel succumbed to his demand. They had no choice, he had provided some of the materials they were using. INEC didn’t even give them papers to print the temporary Voters card. The laptops had useless batteries and needed a tiger generator to provide power. How can they perform to expectation. Money exchanged hands, tribalism and nepotism played their parts as the exercise came to an end that day.
I left the unit at about 7:30pm with my temporary voters card. I was happy but still pondered as to how APC got my number.