First, it was a snake swallowing N36m. Next, it was, reportedly, monkey snatching a whopping sum, N70m, and jumping into Sambisa forest (?) with it, to go and give to those who kidnapped the Dapchi schoolgirls? Now, the worse has happened, Brothers and Sisters in Crisis: a goat has swallowed my voter’s card.
Abeg, did you see it? Those who saw the goat say it looks white, some say brown, others swear that they what they saw is a black goat. Now, whose report do I believe? I have been using God to plead with you people to help but I am willing and ready to use Satan to beg una, if that will move your heart to help me find my voter’s card.
Ask anybody who had the opportunity of registering in the ongoing continuous voter registration campaign (CVR) being organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the wahala we went through before we could obtain the permanent voter card (PVC) and they would tell you that it was not easy.
Do I begin to talk of the merciless sun that beat us while I stood in line, with other equally frustrated and unhappy applicants, waiting for our turns, which took a long way in coming? Or, the insults added to it by the saucy, touchy and over-stressed INEC staff? Which of the woe-betide-me stories do I tell you and leave out the other? Do I begin to tell you how I encountered ghosts, spirits, demons, witches and armed robbers on days I arrived the registration centre as early as 2am in order to get a vantage position on the applicants’ list? I don’t want to bore you with details.
But to lose it just like that after practically snatching the voter’s card from the jaws of death is what I won’t accept. Ah, I will not agree o. No way. I want the authorities concerned to set up a panel of inquiry to find out which of the goats swallowed my voter’s card.
Which kind goat will swallow plastic card? No, this must be my enemy at work. They don’t want me to vote for a party of my choice. Which kind goat is this? All other creatures or animals or their human counterparts in our country are swallowing better things –pension funds, defence money, oil subsidy funds – and, this goat chose to swallow my voter’s card?
Ha, ha, ha, Nigerians and rumour (rue more?)-mongering. Who told you that I want to use the card to vote in the forthcoming 2019 general elections? God is my witness. I never told anybody that that is the reason I am seriously looking for it.
Contrary to what you are thinking, not all those who are looking for or dying to get a voter’s card are doing so with the intention of voting for anybody – Nwosu, Nwankwo, Nweke, Nworie, Nwafo or for any party – APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier?), SDP (Senior Dinosaurs of Politicians?), APUGA or Pee Di Pee (This gadfly of a political opposition party has been disturbing us ever since it left power or power left it, saying ‘it wants to pee’, ‘it wants to pee’ (please, tell it to pee di pee, (PDP?), and let’s rest, o jare).
Since voting does not count any more in this country because whether you vote or not, angels will vote and whoever is bent on winning will win in any case, I guess, some people had discovered a better way of utilizing their card.
The way authorities, small and great, are asking for voter’s card before anybody can do anything for you, these days, don’t be surprised to hear of members of the National Assembly coming up with a bill that says you cannot buy or sell except you present your voter’s card.
Watch out, suffering-hardened Nigerians! To collect your change from the bus conductors, petrol station attendants, policemen at checkpoints, market women and traders, from the tomato, pepper, pure water, orange, onion, or groundnut seller, one of these days, you might need to present your voter’s card to whoever it may concern!
Believe me, that’s why I am seriously looking for my own everywhere – in case the goat they said swallowed it had vomited it somewhere. I don’t think that this goat is an ordinary goat, do you? A goat that would leave pensions funds, defence contracts forms, daily oil subsidy payment papers to swallow my voter’s card must be anything but ordinary. I am suspecting it to be a human-being-turned-goat, from the very pit of hell or from witches’ coven.
I belong to no party and I belong to all parties: SDP o, APUGA O, APC O (I usually take two tablets in the morning, two in the afternoon and two at night) Labour Party (I will surely need their help whenever my wife goes into labour or whenever I am looking for wage increase), Pee Di Pee (do that now or remain silent forever).
Could this goat of a witch or witch of a goat swear that it has not heard about the ongoing Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME)? Since it is interested in swallowing something, I expect it to have swallowed the JAMB scores, postings, results, biometric machines, and even the UTME answers, not my voter’s card.
Having searched for it everywhere without success, I was directed to INEC. “A valid voters’ register with each voter having a voters card is a must to ensure that elections are free and fair (really? in Nigeria or America?,”) a voice at the other end of the phone told me.
“A person must possess a voter’s card in order to be accredited and allowed to vote during an election (I know, but is there any way of making it stop the rigging that takes place after the voting?). The card identifies the voter. Thus the voter’s name can be checked easily by the Presiding Officer or his Assistant.
“It is therefore important that a person keeps his voters card safely, to prevent loss or damage (officer, believe me, I was keeping my own safely until that witch of a goat went into the other room and made away with it, in short, swallowed it!).
“However, if a person loses his card or if it is damaged, the Independent National Electoral Commission can replace them. The procedure for replacement of lost or damaged voters cards is as follows:
“The voter shall apply in person to the Electoral Officer or any other officer duly authorized for that purpose by the Resident Electoral Commissioner.
•The application shall be at least 30 days before an election
•The applicant shall state the circumstances of the loss or damage (Trust me, I will not).
•Then he shall be issued with another copy of his original voter’s card.
•The word “DUPLICATE” will be marked or printed on it clearly.
•The date of issue will also be printed on the new voter’s card.”