Sunday, 30 November 2014

VOTER'S CARD PALAVA


If you are like me, Sunday is the most busy and productive day of the week and is usually packed full, with every meeting almost as important as the other and attendance mandatory. So I took out what I thought was going to be a few minutes from my very tight Sunday schedule to pick up my permanent voters card, all I can say is thank God for favour.

The first group of people I approached to enquire about what the process was, all had a look of agitation and pent up anger on their faces, so I threaded carefully as I approached them. “this thing is not rocket science” one of them kept repeating, “for crying out loud, I have been here since 11.30 and this people are making it seem like there is no better way to handle this voters card ****”.

In situations like this, I have learnt to step back, observe and respond only when comments are passed my way. But as I stood there and a few minutes turned into a couple of hours, I began to feel the frustration of the crowd, anger began to well up within me… I pause for a second and thought about it again, this nonsense is happening because people like you and I have refused to take responsibility for our governance and wellbeing. We have abdicated power to old greedy men that should be in retirement homes waiting for their great grand-children to come visiting and the few young ones that have been privileged to walk that corridor of power, have been blinded by the corruption of office and like he-cocks in pursuit of a hen, have lost all sense of direction and common sense with focus on only one thing; grab, grab and grab some more before the oil dries up.

I have a few questions:

1.      Why did it take FOUR years for a voter’s card that I registered for to be produced?

2.      After the eventual production of the card, why did INEC have to cut it so close to election-day to “eventually” share the voter’s card?

3.      The passport photograph that is being collected from people who registered for a card FOUR years ago, whose faces also appear on the permanent card, who have come in person to pick up their cards, what is it going to be used for?

4.      If you tell me it is for record purposes as I assume some of you might be thinking, what happened to the biometrics data that was obtained from me FOUR years ago? Or is that one history now?

5.      Why were those INEC officials taking records on sheets of paper in this 21st century? Isn’t there a database with the information of everyone that registered for this exercise FOUR years ago that the officials could refer to online and verify the details of citizens?

6.      What stops us from doing like an online pre-verification exercise and make the collection process a walk-in exercise?

Okay, let me stop ranting and let’s talk solutions.

I think it is time we start taking actions, we need credible leaders, that fact is no longer up for debate. And like someone clearly pointed out yesterday, I don’t know how many of you reading this right now that know the name of their constituency councilor. Posters are already flying around of people we do not have a clue what their credibility is, some of these contestants don’t have a track record from anywhere be it private or public enterprise but their pictures keep popping up every other four years. We need to hold someone accountable for their words and take responsibility of following through to ensure that they meet their obligation to the populace.

I have decided that I will start with my constituency(I don't even have a clue yet which constituency I belong to lol, but I will find out), then move on to my local government. I will find out what the four year agenda of the contestants are, listen to their manifestos, make my choice and VOTE. After the elections, I will also follow up to ensure that the person in office (whether or not he/she is the individual I voted for) will keep to the dictates of his/her manifesto. We will use all legal means possible to follow through on our demands; it is high time we hold our office holders responsible for their actions.

You will hear more from me on this matter, trust me on that. But I implore you to take responsibility of the welfare of this nation, if not for yourself, for the sake of generation after you. Let us all go out and vote come 2015, and make our votes count.

I remain @IamOluwaObinna, I am committed to your Peak Performance.
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