Clinton had been waiting at the gate of the staff school for several hours. The ‘University of Benin Staff School’ was the only voter’s registration point in the campus. Clinton wondered how the INEC chairman or whoever was responsible would think one centre enough to serve over seventy thousand people, and that is excluding staff of the University.
While Clinton waited at the gate, disregarding the mild but purposeful early morning sun, two other students walked up to him, both of them male.
“Excuse me”, said one of them, “What time would the registration start?”
Clinton stared briefly at him with a blank expression on his face. Then he turned to look at the other fellow who seemed quite uninterested to hear his reply.
“It depends on when the INEC officials get here.” Clinton replied, turning his gaze back to the one who had asked the question.
“Osaze, I told you this was a waste of time”, said the uninterested fellow.
“Be quiet John.”
“Look man, until I’m able to register for the damn elections from the comfort of my home on my computer, you can count me out of the entire process.”
Osaze made to reply him but Clinton beat him to it.
“So your best option is to forfeit your right to vote?”
“I beg your pardon”, John retorted, sounding slightly irritated.
“Would you rather have the wrong person lead the country than help put the right candidate in power, simply because the process is not comfortable?”
“Listen man, the entire process is messed up, we both know that; so why would I commit myself to it?”
“Bro, I have been at this gate since 5:30am and my name is number 35 on the list we would give the officials when they arrive. The list would help them carry out the process orderly; would you consider me stupid for doing this?”
“I do not see how that is relevant to the matter.”
“C’mon bro, indulge me a little. Do you think I’m crazy for sitting out here for hours just to get registered?” Clinton insisted.
“Well, not exactly, but I do wonder why?”
“Why? I’ll tell you. If I do not participate in the process, then I should have no right to benefit from the outcome of the process, abi?”
“No. I do not agree. Your citizenship entitles you to the dividends of any leadership the country provides.”
“Hm, rightly said. Hence, wouldn’t it be the wise option to support and vote for whom you consider to be the best of option for our nation?”
“Well, yes, I think so. But the conditions we must bear to register and vote are so not cool. Imagine having to wake up by 4am so one can get here in time to put down your name in a list, and then sit for hours under the scorching sun for the INEC officials to arrive. That’s not nice at all.”
“That’s true, but that is the more reason we must endure to ensure that we put the right person in power, so that we can all enjoy proper governance and better process next time around.”
“I see your point man, and it makes quite some sense.”
All the while, Osaze stood enjoying the debate. “John, John, I no know say you sabi speak English like this sha”, he teased.
“Abeg, make we find beta place sidon wait for dis officials dem”, John replied.