The day for us to choose our governor.
The downpour was sudden and so heavy that it stripped the streets of animals; the flood carried soaked posters that bore now-familiar faces of people, who had only recently come around, begging for votes.
One bore the face of my ex-husband, Barr. Kofoworola, who was the gubernatorial candidate of his party – The People’s Banana. We got estranged from each other due to his incapability. I wondered how he intended to manage the affairs of a whole state.
The downpour didn’t discourage the electorates. As the rain poured, so did they pour onto the streets in droves to their respective polling stations to spend their votes as well as they wanted. Some were told how to, anyway!
Soaked to the knickers, I trudged along the path leading to the Famesi College Polling Station, undecided. The night before, I had entertained doubts as to how to spend my vote. But I had to put myself together and walk more decisively, when loyalists began to shout my name, “Dr.”, “the Chief”, “Mary Kofoworola”….
With that attention, I had to feign decisiveness. I approached the electoral officers, went through the required protocols, collected my ballot paper and went off to decide after inking my thumb, of course. I directed my ‘vote-empowered thumb’ to where Madam Just Aduke would have it, but stopped on a second thought.
I had contested as a gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of The People’s Banana, along with my ex-husband and three others; only to be dropped to allow my ex become a clear winner.
It was ridiculous but I had no choice! I cross-carpeted to the rival Megaton Party of Nigeria. There, I became the undisputed though unofficial leader. I called the shots!
I garnered massive support for Madam Just Aduke, the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Months before, she had won my vote and my loyalists’, whose number increased daily.
I never had the opportunity to critically compare notes on what each candidate had to offer until recently.
In my camp, right under my nose, were atrocities committed in the past that remained uncovered; and in the present that remained unchecked.
Aduke was complicit in the murder of the party’s strongest gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Majekodunmi. Her faithful husband, Olonikoko, who was sponsoring her campaign, had also been fingered in a number of unspeakable atrocities in the state.
On the other hand, my ex-husband, whom I detested greatly, had not much uncovered about him in the negative; maybe nothing, for now! Yet, it all boiled down to party allegiance.
To worsen the matter, Madam Just Aduke’s manifesto was written – not by me per se, but – by a cerebral university writer, who cared less about viability.
However, Barr. Kofoworola’s manifesto spoke volume about practicality. Again, it boiled down to personal interests. With the Barrister, I get nothing. But with the Madam, I get contracts, good pay and power.
I didn’t have to tell my thumb where to print, it swiftly covered with ink the space where the Barrister would have it, someone I detested so badly. In spite of that, I was greatly relieved!
Just about then, the Barrister drove in; throwing up dust as the tyres screeched to a halt. I made to go, at least with a smile dancing on my face. He passed by me without a wink and without a grin. Not even an acknowledgement of my stupid smile, which betrayed my long-suffering pride.
I went home satisfied, anyway; untroubled that I gave my vote to the opposition.