LALAM: My friend, what are you doing here?
UDAMA: I have bothered myself a lot about government not doing its job. Maybe it is time I bothered myself with doing my job.
LALAM: Really, don’t tell me you have started yet another business.
UDAMA: No, not something serious. Only that our boss tied this month’s salary to workers’ possession of voter’s card.
LALAM: So what! Don’t tell me you haven’t got yours yet.
UDAMA: Trust me now, with all the noise in the air. I have got two in the kitty.
LALAM: Two? What for? Didn’t you hear that double registrants will be identified and punished?
UDAMA: Punish? Who? Some people have about seven or eight voters’ card and for your information, it is going to be a money spinner in this period. Election dividends, you know.
LALAM: I take it that you are one of those messing up the polity!
UDAMA: Me, your friend of many years? No, in fact if someone says this sort of thing, you should be the first to defend me.
LALAM: Why not? You’ve been a nice man all the while but I have never seen you vote in the last twenty years that I have known you.
UDAMA: And what makes you think I am going to vote this time? Not me O!
LALAM: Even with your possession of a voter’s card? Udama, you have to vote, 2011 is for real.
UDAMA: (laughingly). Was there a time that the election wasn’t real? Didn’t you participate actively in ’93, ’99, 2003, 2007 and the 2008 bye-election in your State. Were the results a reflection of your choices?
LALAM: Well, not really. But you have to exercise your franchise this time. If not, then all your years of education will amount to nothing.
UDAMA: Lalam… let me tell you; my life more than any other thing, is of paramount importance. My family needs me badly. That is why I had to do extra-curricular work to make up for family provisions. I can’t become a news item because of election.
“10 die in queue, trying to vote”.
Only for my wife to be unjustly widowed with the challenge of five disfathered children. I only registered to secure my wages.
LALAM: Not your future!
UDAMA: Which future? Did you ever hear that a governor’s child was a casualty in the recent bombings or that a serving legislature was shot while going about his business?
LALAM: There are cases of kidnaps and assassination attempts (which were political). Even religious leaders aren’t spared.
UDAMA: Yes, because they weren’t minding their job. Pastors and Imams are in concert with poli-thief-icians. Live and let live.
LALAM: So, you are inadvertently saying we should allow the present crop of men to continue to direct our state affairs? I am highly disappointed in you.
UDAMA: You are at liberty to feel disappointed. But I promise that I will not adopt any of your children in the event that you get voted by some stray bullets or by machetes. The best I can do is pray for a good leader to emerge.
LALAM: And voila! A good leader would just emerge? Why not sit at home and pray for money without going to work? Keep praying. Listen my friend, every good change the world has ever seen, was championed by men. Not men who just sat at home but men who stood and fought the best way they could. Whether your vote counts or not, you have done your job by voting. Vote!