Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Registered at Last

Phew, I finally registered to vote. No one I know has, but I really needed to do it this week. Registration closes on November 30 according to all the public service announcements I’ve heard. It’s funny how all the PSAs tell you when the registration is taking place, but not where you can actually register. The INEC website is really no better. I found out the nearest location to my place of residence by asking around. Eventually my parents’ driver told me that he thought he saw some people registering by the Catholic church on Admiralty Way.

The process itself was very simple and straightforward (I was there all of 5 minutes). There was just one lady being registered when I got there. Maybe voting is really not a big deal to a lot of people (with our democratic track record, I could see why). Or, more likely, no one knows where the hell they are supposed to be registering. Okay, Lekki is a residential area, so maybe everyone is planning to do it over the weekend. BTW, you can register on Saturday and Sunday.

Anyway, one of the officials asks for your name, date of birth and occupation. She hands it to her colleague, who keys it into his handheld device. They take your photo. Your info and picture is printed out on a slip of paper. They fold this in two and are supposed to
laminate it for you (this will serve as your voter registration card), but I was told that I had to go and do it myself (Sigh! So nothing’s perfect).


Gbemi's Piece said...

So, they don't verify your nationality? I have been wondering how they verify people's eligibility to vote. I remember back in '95 or '96 my dad asking, no, making me register to vote so I could start performing my civic duty. It was relatively quick as well. The registration 'booth' was conveniently located at a shopping center in my neighborhood and I noticed one of my much younger neighbors who was below the voting age signing up. Are they taking any measures to prevent that from happening? I guess without a national or state ID anything really could happen.

Anonymous said...

I've been wondering where to register to vote, and as luck would have it, the Catholic Church on Admiralty Way is just up the road from me. And who says that spemding time reading peoples blogs is a waste of time?

Ore said...

No they don't verify your nationality. Strange, right? I expected that they would ask for my driver's license (which they didn't). I even thought they might ask to see a passport (no, they didn't either).

Anonymous said...

I like the tenacity with which you've pursued your registration. A lot of people I know have either given up or are plain uninterested. So sad.

Later they would complain when some crook comes to office.

Anonymous said...

I'm pleased you've done this. I second Chxta in applauding your tenacity. I sincerely hope as many people as possible register to vote. Not checking nationality is understandable but how about age, or the authenticity of you claiming to be who you say you are. Couldn't you just go somewhere else and register again. Nigeria, oh Nigeria.

houstonmacbro said...

congratulations on getting registered to vote! i think voting is really one of the only ways left to voice our pleasure, displeasure, needs or wants to an increasingly 'deaf' government, whether in the usa or nigeria.

congratulations and use your vote wisely! ... also encourage at least one other person to do the same.

Anthony Arojojoye said...

Truth is I've not even set my eyes on one in my area, and I don't want to go queueing in this hot, peppery harmattan sun for it, unless they might ask for it at the embassy.

Is there no way to pay these registrars to bring their machines to ones house to do home service for me? Sebi anything is possible in Nigeria.

Ore said...

LOL!!!! Anthony, come on!!!! Anyway, like you said anything is possible in Naija.

I am surprised that none of the political aspirants with a website has included a list of the locations of the registration booths to encourage that people are able to register. Of course, that doesn't mean that people will eventually go out and vote for them. But still, it could demonstrate the type of initiative and foresight that we might see from them if they are elected.