“What Should I Be Afraid Of?…Choosing My Leader Is In My Hand.”

What Should I Be Afraid Of?…Choosing My Leader Is In My Hand.” Bizun Aduwah, Kaduna State

On Saturday, Nigerians went to the polls to select the next leader of the most populous country on the African continent. It was a chaotic day as the new smart card readers used to verify voters failed in some polling units and delayed arrival of election materials forced the accreditation process to start late. Because of these issues, the election in some locations were pushed back until Sunday. The process tested the patience and strengthen of Nigerian voters but did not dampen their resolve.

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Despite all the challenges, the people of Nigeria came out to vote. In polling units where there were no officials, the people regulated themselves and formed queues. They waited until officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) arrived to set up the polling unit and provide instructions.  The men and women of Nigeria would not be deterred by the mishaps of INEC. In some states, the queue at polling units was as far as the eye could see. They waited in 90 plus degree temperatures to cast their votes. And when the sun went down, they brought out their smart phones to shine their torches (flashlights) on the voting process. It was an exercise in resilience…

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Regardless of the outcome, the people of Nigeria are the winners of the March 28 exercise. They showed the world that despite what is reported in the media, the people will not be deterred. Sadly, there was Election Day violence but it was isolated and quickly taken care of by Nigerian police and military. The country stood tall on Election Day and showed the strength of its people. When I arrived in Nigeria, I was told the country often finds its self on the edge of a cliff but each and every time the people find a way to bring Nigeria back from falling over. Now we wait to see how the people will respond to the results. But for this brief moment in time, let’s congratulate them for another step forward towards a full and inclusive democracy…

Voting Line Photo

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2 Comments on ““What Should I Be Afraid Of?…Choosing My Leader Is In My Hand.”

  1. Agreed in full! there are a lot of positives for Nigeria to take from their elections including their willingness to get out and vote, their use of technology and social media, and their adoption of citizen based observations. Such a great event to observe- let’s hope that the days which follow continue in similar vein and any transfer of power is done seamlessly. Nigeria is a massive country housing multiple stories, it deserves to have as many of them told as possible. Thanks for writing- really been enjoying your blog.

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