Today Nigerians took their destiny in their hands. Today is the 16th of April and it didn’t start out as an ordinary day. Let me rewind to last night….
I stayed at work till late trying to beat a self-imposed deadline and being a half day as the place emptied, my thoughts soon began to echo. The security guards longed to drive the workaholics out of the building with kobokos but remembered they’d still need jobs long after the elections were over. Yes the atmosphere was charged.
My friend called that she was downstairs and I was forced out of my l’il office island and thrust into the pre-election frenzy. As I walked towards the stairs, I contemplated the elevator but remembered it had been giving problems and since the building was near empty, this would be the wrongest time to get stuck in the elevator. Note to self, get stuck in the elevator on one of the days there’s a prince charming around to rescue you.
I was snapped out of my reverie by hushed voices coming out of a closed, dim-lit office. I was transported into a scene from an action movie probably eavesdropping on some politicians doing last minute propaganda. I remembered my office was in a government building and scurried out before someone decided to throw a bomb.
My girl A was in town and the three of us oblivious to the impending curfew hit the town looking for some friday night fun.
A and I hadn’t watched the Tourist and K amidst laughter agreed to watch the film with us a second time at Silverbird.
We took the elevator (one I can trust!) and as we approached the ticket stand the woman sighting us hurried through the back door and slammed the door!
Since there was no scary-faced serial killer behind us (I checked) we asked the couple trying hard not to make-out by the ticket stand and the guy managed to offer an answer, eyes fixated on the woman’s boobs. “The cinema’s closed for today cos of the curfew.” We thanked him and I could imagine him blessing the Federal Government for the restricted movement the day after….nine months later they’d testify in church…hopefully!
We settled for ice-cream and meat pies and loads of girly gossip (Rev. Father I have sinned ;-)).
The atmosphere was charged, there were police and SSS everywhere and we had to open our boot for inspection. Guess Charley’s Angels has made it possible for three hot looking women to be fully armed and dangerous and we ain’t talking about our booty!
We spent the night gisting about men and dozed off. I had dreams of a lazy saturday but that was not to be…
Regrettably I did not place my hand under anything today. Not under the umbrella, not under the hot sun…nada! Why? Cos I registered in Lagos ages before I landed the job in Abuja and that singular move made me ineligible.
My friend K was determined to vote though she’d registered miles away from her house where we were having a one of a kind sleepover. I couldn’t imagine breaking the law. The major streets would be crawling with SSS and though we were all doctors, none of us had a valid i.d card. K had one she’d been issued in 2009 which she said along with 3 stethoscopes and doctors’ coats would fly. Now if it was mopo I would have had less palpitations but we were talking SSS and my liver failed me. I begged, I cajoled, I tried to reason with her. I wanted her to vote but she didn’t require 2 non-voting escorts. Prison bars flashed before my eyes. K was adamant. She wasn’t gonna let chick now chicken Anita ruin her plans or worse still allow either of her guests be home alone when NEPA wasn’t playing nice. So off we went…
K flew like the wind, I could’ve sworn she was doing 200km/hr. I pinged ‘him’ telling him what predicament I’d gotten myself into and gave him the numbers of my Abuja kin and backed that up with a prayer.
We got to her voting centre without incident. The armed ferocious looking guard wasn’t allowing people without voters cards enter the premises so A and I sat in the hot car and I imagined all the places I’d rather be.
After accreditation, K returned and informed us that we’d have to go home and return 2hrs later to vote. On our way home just at the city gate, we met our first band of SSS. They were dressed in plain clothes with bullet-proof vests on some of them and guns in plain sight. I closed my eyes and saw prison bars again…
We parked and as K wound down the glass, I mumbled the name of the hospital over and over again lest I forget. Imagine being asked where I work and I stammer and mumble some whimsical name. For Pete’s sake the average adult spends a greater part of the day at his/her job, how can you possibly forget where you work unless you don’t actually work there?
I was sweating like a christmas goat and even my thoughts were stammering. My throat was too dry to even attempt to form words so I stayed put clutching to my stethoscope and doctor’s coat like a medical student on his first day in clinical school. Lucky for me, they directed all their questions to ‘calm K’, checked the boot and sent us on our way.
I should testify in church right? There were cars and people already detained all around and it looked like deep s**t.
After the incidence I chopped liver mehn! We went back to vote, A and I doing supporters’ club and then we went wild. From Citec villa to Airport road to City gate to Gaduwa and then to Apo. Everytime we met the SSS, it was the same routine, we were the untouchables and though we weren’t dressed like doctors, our stethoscopes were real enough.
And as K rightly pointed out, doctors are overworked, under-paid and under-appreciated so if these are the only perks of the job we should enjoy it to the fullest. We had delicious assorted meat peppersoup at Gaduwa, shout out to O and her cutie pie, redwine and asaro at Apo courtesy my guy T and more fun than was legal at the time. Lots of toasts were made as we celebrated Nigeria and a free and fair election.
I really wish I could’ve voted but like millions of Nigerians, I had registered in a place too far away to vote. I did say a prayer for Nigeria and I hope one day it won’t matter where you vote as long as you have registered.
Now the whole of Nigeria waits with bated breaths for an announcement that will surely change our lives. It’s raining in Abuja and I can only imagine they are showers of blessings. Nigeria is truly a blessed nation. I have decided to pass my waiting time at the cinema watching the Tourist and I promise you that I will be holding my breath.
Congrats Nigerians, we’ve done our part, INEC do yours and please JEGA no stories! Have a great evening folks….xoxoxo
*Sorry I haven’t updated my blog in a long while, I was too busy sorting out my life but now can we be friends again? 😉