Civil Robbery

Civil Robbery

I hate elections. Well, not quite. After all, no one desires to be an onlooker when important decisions are being made. But Nigeria elections, in my opinion, are an elaborate charade woven in expensive foolery, needless violence and deliberate corruption.

At twenty three, I had never voted neither did I look forward to doing so. Until a succession of strike actions, occasioned by a retrogressive governor who called himself the Zion of the West, which threatened to extend my four-year course at the state-owned university, suddenly threw me a chance to be part of the electoral process.

That fateful Saturday in April 2007, I made for the polling booth, determined to perform my civic duty.

“The idiot must go,” I said to myself as I strolled to the polling unit.

The queue of prospective voters stretched like an abandoned train on a desolate track. The rising sun, with its golden colouration, gave a friendly ambience to the setting. I was impressed at the turn out. I only hoped the people shared my sentiments for a change of government. It took a few hours to confirm that.

Six hours later, the queue was much shorter and the whole electoral process had less than an hour to go. A lot of voters waited around, ostensibly to witness the collation of the ballots. When the hour came, polling officials emptied the ballot in the open and proceeded to sort them. With hushed tones and apprehension, we all watched as the electoral official counted the ballots one after the other. That was when the idea, like the proverbial thief in the night, dropped in my mind.

“Why don’t you record the proceedings?” came the soft, prompting voice. “That’s true o,” I answered as I fished out my phone. Stepping back from prying eyes, and pretending as if I was receiving a call, I started the voice recording.

“NPP, NPP, NPP, VDP, VDP, NPP, VDP, NPP…,” the official announced as the ballots were sorted. After sorting, the counting began. It took just over seven minutes to collate the result and it was just as expected: “The candidate of the NPP polled 1,322 votes while the VDP candidate polled 211 votes…” Her voice trailed off in the euphoria that greeted the announcement.

Like everyone else, I was happy that I was part of the process that would contribute to the potential downfall of the unpopular governor.

Later in the evening, as other results were being collated, it was clear that the incumbent would be jobless in the next political dispensation. But it was never to be. A flurry of activities altered the direction of victory. It began when the sitting governor, in an unmarked vehicle, suddenly showed up at the DNEC headquarters. A couple of Ghana-must-go bags exchanged hands and the results were sealed.

I stood, mouth agape, as the chief electoral officer declared the incumbent re-elected by practically swapping the polled votes between him and the leading opposition candidate. While party agents and supporters jubilated, I pulled off my ‘Polling official’ ID, submitted it to the person in charge and walked out.

As I walked away, I slowly brought out my phone and deleted the recording. However, when a similar result in a neighbouring state was upturned three years after the elections, it dawned on me that my recording could have aided the quest of the cheated candidate to getting himself declared as the rightfully elected governor.

Who knows, I might have graduated instead of remaining stuck in final year for two straight years. No thanks to the Zion of the West.

Comments

comments


19 thoughts on “Civil Robbery” by Da Writing Engineer (@banky)

  1. Profile photo of Jaywriter
    Jaywriter (@jaywriter): Junior Writer - 1925 pts

    Nice one. Loved his determination to vote and watch the votes counted.

  2. Profile photo of Lawal Opeyemi Isaac
    Lawal Opeyemi Isaac (@easylife2): Scribe - 11285 pts

    Nice one.Don’t have anything against the story, but having read other stuff from you, this felt weak somewhat.

    Maybe its just me sha.

    Well done!!!

    1. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
      Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 33093 pts

      Thanks for reading this and lending your voice to it. Like every creative person, consistency is what I strive for but if this feels weak, I’m just being human; like the rest of us.

  3. Profile photo of Gboyega Otolorin
    Gboyega Otolorin (@guywriterer): Head Wordsmith - 50405 pts

    I agree with mr. Lawal, you’ve written better. But this is still good though. A few descriptive sentences felt a bit too much though..

    “The queue of prospective voters stretched like an abandoned train on a desolate track. The rising sun, with its golden colouration, gave a friendly ambience to the setting….”
    Like the first sentence. It’s Ok But the 2nd one, too many things– the rising sun, golden colouration, friendly ambience… o ti po ju.

    1. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
      Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 33093 pts

      Gboyega,
      I agree with him too but I still believe its part of the learning process. oh, that paragraph! I really dont know why I packed it that much…Thanks for your time man.

  4. Profile photo of Idoko
    Idoko (@julemyles): Senior Scribe - 28784 pts

    i loved this, bro… Very very good, for me…

    1. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
      Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 33093 pts

      Thanks man, thank you so much!

  5. Profile photo of Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
    Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (@xikay): Head Wordsmith - 50981 pts

    FOR ME, FRANKLY…I’M CHANGING MY MIND ABOUT SOME OTHER STORIES I’VE READ BECAUSE OF THIS ONE…HE KILLED IT, I MEAN THE WRITER…THIS WAS VERY GOOD EXCEPT FOR THE OVER-DESCRIPTION THAT WEIGHED DOWN SOME OF THE SENTENCES IN THE STORY LIKE THE 2ND SENTENCE IN PARAGRAPH TWO WHICH HAS FOUR LONG CLAUSES…

    IN ALL, I LOVED THIS BIG TIME BECAUSE IT WAS VERY REAL TO MY MIND

    1. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
      Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 33093 pts

      Xikay, yeah man. I overloaded the paragraph. I’ll ‘repent’ man, you’ll see i’ve repented of the comma use too. Thanks for dropping by, as always.
      Banky

  6. Profile photo of afro-prince
    afro-prince (@olayinka): Newbie - 226 pts

    I like the way you used ‘I’ in your story, turning it into a personalized account and I like the narration.I ditto Gboyega’s remark about the third paragraph been too condense for one sentence, although I like your descriptive powers in comparing the queue. Well done mate.

    1. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
      Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 33093 pts

      Thanks my prince! I hope the story gets within a fighting chance of winning something, abi now!
      Thanks again!

  7. Profile photo of Raymond
    Raymond (@raymond): Head Wordsmith - 48215 pts

    The queue of prospective voters stretched like an abandoned train on a desolate track.

    I love that line. Absolutely. Well done bro, but I know U’ve written better…

    1. Profile photo of Da Writing Engineer
      Da Writing Engineer (@banky): Wordsmith - 33093 pts

      Thanks Raymond. Yes, I have written better,still, that does not take anything away from this. Every piece has its associated nuances, guess this didnt just click with the expectation of guys.

  8. Profile photo of RemiRoy
    RemiRoy (@RemiRoy): Writer - 8701 pts

    You sure have a way with descriptions. I like this.

  9. Profile photo of henry c.onyema
    henry c.onyema (@ezeakwukwo): Head Wordsmith - 53742 pts

    good work, pal. wish you did not delete your recording. keep it up.

  10. Profile photo of Kukogho Iruesiri Samson
    Kukogho Iruesiri Samson (@xikay): Head Wordsmith - 50981 pts

    really, i do hope this gets to a trophy….we dey ya back

  11. Profile photo of ayodejit
    ayodejit (@ayodejit): Newbie - 3 pts

    iLike! I’m a corper in Ogun, so i totally understand you. keep it up

  12. Profile photo of Ellie
    Ellie (@elly): Writer - 9257 pts

    I like this, especially since its coming @ a time when there is controversy on the use of camera phones @ polling booths, wish ur MC did not delete the pics. Nice one…

  13. Profile photo of Scopeman
    Scopeman (@scopeman60): Head Wordsmith - 51320 pts

    Well done bro, you are not alone o, I got the same reaction for my own entry; but I quite agree with them somehow, but like you’ve explained, every piece has its own identity and should be addressed based on how well it relates to the theme provided or intended.

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