by Atiku Nafisa

It had been raining for the past two days in Abuja and there hadn’t been light in my estate. My phones and any other technological device I had were dead and I was beginning to feel uncomfortable. For some strange reasons, I can’t stay without social media, unless you pay me to do it.

The generator just decided not to work, so I packed a bag with a book and my charger and headed down to the estate restaurant so I could charge. I was relatively new in Abuja, so I did not have friends I could hang out with.

As I arrived the shopping complex, I sat outside and plugged my phones to an extension of a young man working on POS machines. I remembered him. I saw him every day whenever I came to get something from the store or pharmacy. He was always seated there with his green shirt and black jeans with sneakers. Taller than me but had the face of a young secondary school boy.  I always thought to myself that he was well behaved. So that evening as I sat down with him outside the restaurant charging my phones and reading a novel, I wondered why he was always there. Shouldn’t he be in school?
I introduced myself and asked what his name was. ‘Musa’ he said.
‘What are you doing here Musa, don’t you go to school or you’ve finished?’ I asked in return.
‘I have finished secondary school. I want to study law but I don’t have enough money to go to school. So I will work here and save enough money so I can pay my school fees. I want to be a lawyer someday.’ He said with confidence. I didn’t doubt he was a focused young man.
‘I’m a lawyer as well. What state are you from Musa?’ I asked trying to get to know him better. ‘Plateau state Ma.’
I put down my book and had a very interesting discussion with him. We discussed law, books, education, he told me he wasn’t surprised I was a lawyer because I was holding a book in my hand.
When the sirens rang at a distance indicating that the light has been restored, I was almost sad to go.
‘It was nice to meet you, take good care of yourself,’ I said to him as I walked away.
I dwelt on his circumstances and pondered on how lucky I was to have had a good education in one of the best universities in Nigeria and want for nothing throughout my stay in school. Others couldn’t afford to go to school.

I remembered Awolowo who introduced free primary education in the Western Region at considerable expense but years later, the region is more developed because of that decision. Germany is one of the countries where we have free university education. Then the question came to mind, if it’s not impossible, then why don’t we have leaders who can assure us of quality and free education? Education should be a right and not a privilege.
It all boils down to evaluating the plans, policies and manifestos of our duly elected leaders before office and once in office. Your vote is not just for you alone, the choice you make affects the society at large and even generation unborn.

It’s not just about getting your PVC and exercising your right to vote on election day, but making the right decision to vote the right candidate. Not according to political, religious or ethnic bias.
It might just be one vote, but it has myriad of effects. Vote wisely.


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