Voting for the Nigerian Presidential Elections was held this past weekend, and I am happy to say that I was "Obidient." In addition, I was also a first-time voter. Having recently secured my Personal Voter's Card (or PVC) as we call it, I was curious about how the experience would be.
I had watched multiple videos:
- About getting the PVC,
- Which finger to use when voting,
- How to fold your ballot paper after voting to prevent it from being invalidated,
- and so on.
So I felt mildly confident that I would be able to figure things out when the time came.
But when the time did come, things played out slightly differently. First of all, after queueing for a little bit of time at my polling unit, we (that is my parents and I) discovered that I was not at the right polling unit. Unlike them, whose Polling Unit was just down the street from our house, I was three streets and a considerable walk away. Luckily, this was still within walking distance.
Yet at the same time, the walk was going to take us out of my neighbourhood and into a more densely populated one.
- Would the queue be long?
- Would the environment be safe?
These, and other questions equally populated my mind as we walked to my new polling unit. Our destination was a bit of a run-down school in a neighbouring community. When we got there, we were kindly helped by one of the INEC officials to check that we were at the right polling unit. Surprise #1. Then I was directed to join a not-so-long queue. Surprise #2. And finally, the line moved smoothly and it wasn't a long time before my turn came up. Surprises all around.
Here they Identified me with my PVC and the BVAS machine, provided me with my ballots, and directed me to a booth where I could do my imprinting. Finally, I dropped my ballots in the clearly labelled ballot boxes and headed home with my Dad. Despite a few hiccups, my experience was basically painless. I am really thankful for this because as I heard on the news, there were a number of locations where this was not the case.
So that's my story of casting my very first vote. As I said at the beginning, I was Obidient.. meaning that I voted for Peter Obi for President. If you are reading this and are a resident of Nigeria, did you vote? What was your experience? And who did you vote for (if I may ask)?
That's it from me for now. May the best candidate win.