Hope in Ballots

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Hope is the engine for tomorrow.

Hope allows us to create visions for our future.

On Feb 25th 2023, my home country Nigeria , the giant of Africa, held elections to determine its’ future.

This was the most anticipated election of our time, as millions had their hopes for a better future hanging in the balance.

The youth poured into the streets , to those voting polls to cast their hopes for their future into ballots.

The older generation also went to have their voices count , in the form of votes.

There were MANY deterrents that day, such as long lines that took some literally all day to vote, rain that interrupted these lines, dust storms that choose to dance and scatter INEC polling stations, sun and heat that made voters question their resolve to continue to wait in the hot sun.

Through it all, Nigerians waited patiently to cast their votes. Many were voting for the first time in their lives. Some who had started in the lines early that morning with the sunrise , could not cast their votes until the sun was down from the sky.

Finally the votes were cast. The ballots were collected , and we waited.

Nigerians at home and those in the diaspora, waited on pins and needles for the election results.

Then the silence was deafening. Days after such a hugely anticipated election, and no results ??

I was in Mexico with my American in laws and they would ask me “ any news from Nigeria?”, and I had nothing . Crickets.

This was unusual and very much unlike American elections where projections are typically displayed on TV, literally at all hours following elections.

But this was different..

I too waited , then I called family at home in Nigeria .. they too had nothing .

We were ALL waiting.

Then on March 1st, while people were asleep , the INEC * reported a winner, shocking the whole world.

This was NOT what the youth of Nigeria expected. To have their hopes dashed by reports of corruption and inappropriate handling of election ballots. To hear of many cases of election interference in the forms of violence at election polls, voter intimidation , mismanagement of the ballot counting with faulty machines that could not “ upload” election results and outright election fraud.

This was NOT what we had hoped for as we anticipated and dreamed of a new Nigeria, all those months ago.

Those ballots promised us of a new Nigeria, one with less corruption.

Now those ballots threatened to take away HOPE from us and for our future generations.

We will not let it. We must hang on , even if with the tips of our fingernails to hope for Justice.

Hope now for Justice to challenge the recent electoral process.

Now more than ever , we need HOPE for our beloved country Nigeria!

I will continue to HOPE

As always, thank you for reading my blog and of course I welcome your comments and any shared experiences .

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***Independent National Election commission.