Personal Memoirs

An Account Of A Nigerian Youth Corper’s Experience During The 2015 General Elections Part 2

So you’d think that I would not go for the second election after all the suffer head wahala I went through at the last one but lai lai!

I wanted to get my complete money from INEC serve my fatherland.

For this election, just notice the difference between this time and the previous time.

Firstly, I didn’t leave my house in the morning, I left in the afternoon. After all, a girl cannot just be stressing herself when they did not pay her her 3000Naira the last time.

So I jejeje left my house by past 3pm and didn’t wear my khaki this time around.

 

Just before I left my PPA State

Just before I left my PPA State

Hopefully the smile stayed o my face throughout the election...

Hopefully the smile stayed o my face throughout the election…

 

Got to the park and the drama started from there. The driver almost hit another car and was claiming right. Another passenger called him to order and they both started quarreling. So the driver was quarreling and shifting his eyes away from the road to exchange words with the passenger at the same time.

On the way to INEC brouhaha again..

On the way to INEC brouhaha again..

We told the passenger not to talk to him anymore as he was the one at the wheel, only for her to reply that “na once them dey die”

I quickly told her that if she wants to die, she will die alone because I will not die with her. My papa and mama dey wait for me after nysc and I won’t die ontop NYSC/INEC brouhaha.

People can just say some stupid things without thinking sometimes.

We got to my posting area safely(thank God) and I proceeded to go and ask for my 3k – the 3k that had me blowing an empty road at night in the last elections.
And Keke, you guessed right, the lady in charge said that they are not even supposed to pay us that money, bla bla bla. Well, it’s alright, no problem.
Since I got there late(on purpose), I didn’t have to arrange materials with them, I just chilled and waited for buses to take me to my P.U as I didn’t have any dime to spend on extra tfare.

So pictures time at INEC office..

So pictures time at INEC office..

talk talk...

talk talk…

ajuwaya
I got to my P.U safely too and surprise, me and my P.O didn’t quarrel this time around.
I did meet one or two people who recognized me as the girl that quarrelled with her P.O the last time sha.
Kai!
I was so sad and pained.
Like Lord, is this the way to represent you? You have got to help me oh. I’m so sorry about that, I wish that I had kept my mouth shut, but oh well…

me and my P.O, all good and dandy

me and my P.O, all good and dandy

I and my P.O talked for a bit, double checked the materials we were given and all went well.
Finally had to go to bed by past 12am and I couldn’t sleep because the class chairs were something else!
I kept tossing and turning.

My chair…bed for the night

Even when I was doing awoko at the University and sleeping on the chairs in the classroom then, life still wasn’t this hard.
What is this???
All for what biko?
My back pained me eh…

Well, I got up all bright and early to have my bath and guess what? I carried a torchlight this time!
Who wants to fall down from a fence the second time around? Definitely not me.
I walked carefully on the road and made sure that my torchlight lighted up everywhere around me. Ehen, no time for story story.
Had my bath, freshened up and tried to steal a bit of quiet time by plugging in my earphones, reading a psalm and praying in a dark classroom.
My P.O found me still in the class room and asked that I join him to count ballot papers. *sigh*
I just finished off, glad that I had a bit of time with God(because it can get crazy without that time out with God) and I went off to my duty post.

Me writing stuff I wanted to remember for this blog post

Me writing stuff I wanted to remember for this blog post

But this time, nobody carried election on their head again, we all started snapping pictures after we were done with checking the ballot papers and all.

I and my APO 1

I and my APO 1

Me and my P.O

Me and my P.O

With a friend

With a friend

 

After all, this would be my last time as an officer during the elections – yes oh,yes Lord!

I’m saying yes Lord because I know that people that worked as officers during the elections who weren’t corpers did so because they don’t have jobs… God is in charge of that aspect for me.
Afterwards, we set up our unit, and accreditation started at 8am.
The voters that came in weren’t that eager like they were at the presidential elections. They came late and trickled in little by little. I even slept for a bit sef(sleeping on duty? Not really, I was meditating)

already tired...

already tired…

Voting kicked off by 1:30pm and I got to work with signing, stamping and issuing ballot papers as an APO 2 and yep, my P.O helped me again here. See how we totally settled our grievances? Hehe.
In fact, my P.O declared soft drinks and snacks for I and the fellow officer in our unit (weight loss be damned for then, I was hungry jor so I accepted it)

My P.O's handwork.lol

My P.O’s handwork.lol

Closed voting when everyone in the queue had casted their votes and we started sorting, counting and all.
It was all free and fair at my P.U. The only snag was that I heard one party agent telling my P.O to organize votes from people from him so he will give him something. Thank God, my P.O didn’t even give him any face, I for fear if he did because we were all just discussing Nigerian youths, corruption and all when the man came in with that proposition.
Well, sorting and declaring results went all well and forms were filled and materials submitted – All was done easily enough, except that our S.P.O refused to sign our clearance papers till corpers carried the materials to the buses outside.
In fact, he said he would only sign when we get to INEC office.
Corpers were begging him at first till they got angry.
I sincerely thought that they wanted to beat up the man. The boys were mad, raging and railing at him.
He could have asked us to carry the materials instead of placing us under duress. More so because people still had to fill vouchers before traveling back to their respective houses.
So most of the male corpers got mad and the place was hot!
The police man had to go and tell the S.P.O to  our clearance papers, else anything he sees, he will take it like that.
Me I kept quiet oh, I nor sabi fight. I just held my bag tightly and siddon look.

The boys were railing, “if na query, we go take but una nor go fit dey use us as slaves again”
The man finally signed and we left the P.U for INEC office but the lady with the voucher had already gone home.

Look behind me, we had our baths in front of those classes and somewhere down there is where I had a big fall...

Look behind me, we had our baths in front of those classes and somewhere down there is where I had a big fall…

Most of us decided not to travel at night/not to spend double tfare and then come back the next morning again so we slept at INEC office.
This time though, thank God, I didn’t sleep under a tree. I slept at an office with the voting cubicle as my bed and my bag as my pillow.

I almost got angry at the way some INEC officials were treating corpers anyhow – like seriously, all this rubbish for what?
The next morning, I wanted to snap the cubicle and some men decided to hold it up for me to snap picture with it. They said it’s for remembrance for later on.lol.

the voting cubicle/my bed...

the voting cubicle/my bed…

The rest was a breeze. Got to local Government, filled my voucher and off I went back to my PPA town.
So I still spent 3days for this election.
It wasn’t as stressful as the last but I need a massage.
There’s only so much that a back can take from sleeping in hard benches and voting cubicle.
But more than a massage, I need a break from this khaki life.
I am itching to travel somewhere for my April 12trip challenge(preferably to an African country I’ve never been to before), and just write, blog, laze around, sight see, snap pictures and just #REST!
Oh, dreams and dreams!
Yep!

Corper shun....

Corper shun….

My next personal memoir will be on chronicles of my March 12trip challenge.
And just a sneak peek for you… I entered one chance!

Where I went to ended up not being a tourist centre. blehhh!

But I have pictures of banga soup I made with the fish gotten from the place, so no worries(a girl cannot lose out all round)
For now, I’m signing off from my memoirs of the first and last election I will ever work in as an officer.
Yes oh. I’ve got only one year as a corper and God has settled future job things, I will never be a returning officer in another election again abeg.
The stress is too much… but it makes for a nice experience doesn’t it? Or it will make for a nice experience when I re-read it some years from now.
For now, I’m happy to just write about it. I will rehash the memories later.

Laughter all the way, thank God for safety...

Laughter all the way, thank God for safety…

Till next time on my personal memoirs,
Much love,
Frances.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Ugochi
    April 17, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Well done Frances! I am glad you look at it all from a bright side.
    Serving is God’s expectation when occasion demands.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      April 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I hope I did serve according to God’s expectation ma’am, Aunty Ugochi, cuz sincerely, I think I’m chalking it all up to experience…
      But it was great!

  • Reply
    Chinomnso Precious
    April 17, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    You make a girl miss home! Thanks for sharing your experience. Even though, it wasn’t all rosy, you had fun all the way. Looked at the bright side. You’ll never forget this experience.

    Oh! I love your purple lipstick. Really nice.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      April 18, 2015 at 8:24 am

      I’m certain I will never forget this experience indeed Princess, will keep remembering it everytime we have elections in Nigeria in the future…

      and thank you! Had to make up small in the morning + home misses you tooo!

  • Reply
    keke
    April 18, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I am laughing so much my sides hurt. We thank God that this was better and you didn’t suffer as much as the last time. No more election officer suffer suffer again Nysc or not, God has ordained a job/position for you already.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      April 19, 2015 at 7:03 am

      AMEN Keke!
      Amen!

      And yes oh, I was mega glad that the 2nd election wasn’t as “hot” as the first 🙂

  • Reply
    Adaolisa
    April 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    Hahaha!

    Very interesting stories with even more interesting pictures.
    Abeg… that chair (bed) no follow at all…….
    But i think its all a great experience anyway…..
    cant stop smiling at my beloved Nigeria….It will be well with us!

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      April 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

      ah, it is well with Nigeria indeed Adaolisa…

  • Reply
    Highly Favored
    April 22, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    The thing that stuck out for me were the lessons you learnt from the first experience seemed to help you in Part 2.

    • Reply
      Frances Okoro
      April 25, 2015 at 2:31 am

      yes oh Highly favoured.
      Cant make the same mistakes twice.

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