My PVC Story episode 1- Have you got yours?
It was lecture free week in school. I am sure every Nigerian student anticipates that one week because it is when you catch up on the neglected books and topics and plead with the ‘god of permutation and combinations’ to lead you the best places to read where exam questions would be set.
It was the day after Fela Durotoye announced his presidential ambition. We had a political conversation in my room on the pros and cons of his candidature. Then, we all suddenly remembered our frustrated attempt to get the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) previous semester. As a result, we decided to go to the registration center to get our PVC the following day.
We left campus and off we went to town to locate the nearest registration point. Due to NASU strike and incessant unrest on campus, transport fare has skyrocketed. A bus of N150 has now become N300 and for students that we are, it was a painful experience. To worsen the case, we are already nearing end of semester.
On getting to INEC Centre, the queue we met was crazy; makes one wonder why there is no center on campus. We got to the center and took positions (six of us) by door sides but the people we met felt threatened for no particular reason. Probably because we are students, they felt we would override them and jump queue. The crowd alone got me asking why I bothered to leave campus to suffer myself all in the name of PVC. Am I so excited in voting for the same people who don’t even care about my existence? Or the ones who steadily misappropriate public funds?
The man in charge of registration came out to call in the next people on the disarranged queue. He instantly recognized us, the thrill we felt was huge. Phew!!! We would leave soon; we thought. Suddenly, there was this noise from the crowd behind us shouting and mounting pressure on the officials. Everybody lost it including students who naturally forms sophisticated anytime they’re out of campus into town. It was becoming a fight between market women and men on the disfigured queue.
The Great Ife spirit in us emerged. The people around starting bantering and for every ‘aro’, there was a clap back from the students. Looking back, I couldn’t believe I was the one who displayed such banter. The pushing and pulling became so real, banters flying all around and then a woman shouted from the back; ‘Aunty onirun goolu yen yen’ (the lady with the gold hair) – that was what she referred to me. By the time I looked back to see who was talking; a lot of ‘mago mago’ had started in front. The pushing, the irritating body contact, the stench of mixed sweat, the stylish elbow placing on my breasts (this was the crazy part). Then I took a deep breath and ask myself some pertinent questions again;
‘Are these people truly here for Nigeria? Or just for the cup of rice they would be offered in months to come? Or the N5,000 they would be paid to sell the PVC? Are they truly concerned about the future of their children in public schools who have zero access to quality education?
Finally, we got a chance to enter the registration room. To our surprise, the entire process took less than 20 minutes but because typical Nigerians are lazy and impatient, we are always in a race to outrun the next person. Hence, the reason for all the troubles outside the registration room.
I finally got my PVC and had a feeling of holding a weapon for the that time when God will send to us the right leader who will set Nigeria on the path of prosperity.
Have you got your PVC yet? If yes, share your experiences.
If no, go get yours today.
Give your voice to a new Nigeria.
Adegbami Focus is a student of Obafemi Awolowo University and a volunteer with Hopefield Network