I have been thinking of a way to publish my experience while trying to get registered but I have not been able to come up with an ingenious way of stating it. So here goes my thoughts on this exercise.
For a week, the registration officials were absent from my neighborhood on the premise that the DDC machine was faulty. I had to drive down to Magodo to register. I still don’t understand why INEC has insisted you can only vote within the location you were registered. If these machines are purportedly linked to a server, it really does not make any sense restricting voters. Since this exercise commenced, more emphasis has been placed on the pivotal role youths play within the country. We have been told that it’s time for the youths to take their destinies in their hands.
At the various registration centers observed and based on media reports, I saw youths who were largely unread and uneducated. It took me 1 hour 15mins to register and during the course of waiting, I had to write out names, addresses and determine date of births for young people born within the period 1978 – 1985. It was downright disheartening and it opened my eyes to the limited opportunities available for these individuals.
For the registration officials (NYSC corp members), they kept demanding for monetary gratification but I was glad when everyone at that centre refused to oblige them. We reminded them it was a civic duty and they could not demand for more than what the government had contracted to pay them. It makes me ponder about what the electoral process would be if these teething problems cannot be surmounted now.
I have registered and would be voting for the candidate of my choice.