It was a Saturday, the election day we’ve been earnestly waiting for. The joy in my heart face knew no bounds.
We were all happy to leave the military era and practice Democracy. The election was between NRC’s Bashir Tofa and SDP’s MKO Abiola. Of course, we were ready to cast our votes in favour of MKO, my role model in politics though ethnic differs, Religion ain’t the same but a distinguished philanthropist brought us together for the very first time. The Igbos supported him, clothes with his face printed on it were worn by the Hausas.
My only Valuable possession, a small radio was at it best that morning announcing the greatest thing that’s about to happen. I took my PVC, my power, and walked with enthusiasm to the polling centre. It was like the country gathered in Lagos yet it was peaceful, I held my radio still. The queue was next to none as I saw different elites voting for MKO Abiola. The democratic election process was peaceful, free with no hurdles, after it seemed like eternity I casted my vote and waited for the election Results even tho we’ve chosen our leader in our hearts.
Hours passed by, voting was over, we waited patiently as the NEC officials collated the result. Lots of people were pacing, others calmed, I was calmed by my radio glued to my ear, so I won’t miss a word.
The time and hour mo man knew came through. That very result we awaited was soon to be announced. The NEC official started releasing the poll results, just like we predicted, like we hoped, campaigned and voted for. MKO was winning. He was at 58.36%, even Kano which was Bashir Tofa’s state voted for MKO. We were congratulating ourselves already.
Suddenly, Ibrahim Babangida, the president stood up. Everywhere became quiet. We could hear his every step as he walked to the podium. My mind was asking different questions but my face couldn’t provide an answer. Then he said “The Election has been annulled because of electoral malpractices and illegal money spent at the primary election” He went on giving us watery reasons why he annulled it. The moment he stepped down, Nigerians didn’t have it, the riots began.
The joyous faces turned bitter, the protest ensued. Nigerians started shouting “We no go gree o”. The peaceful atmosphere became a war ground as the soldiers were fighting back. I bent down to pick my fallen radio with hatred in my heart when I saw it- smoke coming from a small container, I couldn’t fathom what it was until my eyes started aching. Then I heard “Tear gas! Run, The Soldiers are here” not just a voice was sounding the warning. I stood upright to catch a view of what was going on, I saw people running, I saw people fighting, I saw people shouting, I saw the placards on the floor. I ran back to my house which wasn’t far away before I lose my sandals, my radio and my Sanity.