International Passport vs. Voters Card
(The Brilliant Citizen walks past hurriedly in an urban city in Nigeria)
Economist: My brilliant citizen, where are you rushing to? No time for pleasantries?
Brilliant Citizen: (Looks back) Oh, I did not see you. My mind is on renewing my international passport. It has expired and I really need to get a new one.
Economist: Oh, I see. I hope you can get it soon. What about your voters card? Have you gotten that?
Brilliant Citizen: I am talking about passport so I can get a visa and you are talking about voters card? What is the connection?
Economist: There is a connection. No matter where you are in the world. You will always be a Nigerian. Please go and get your voters card.
Brilliant Citizen: My prayer is that I will not be in Nigeria by February next year, during the elections. God would have answered my prayer! Please join me in praying.
Economist: I will not join you until you get your voters card. We need all the votes to get good leaders in this country. Later, you will complain about Nigeria’s economy, now it is almost time to vote and …
Brilliant Citizen: Vote, you really think that it matters if I vote or not. I have not voted for 12 years, since I have been eligible. So, you think my one vote matters?
Economist: We have thousands of youth saying the same thing. If all of you get the voters card and ensure you vote, it can make a difference. I am not saying don’t renew your passport. You can renew your passport and get your voters card.
Brilliant Citizen: Emmm, I will still prioritize my passport to voters card.
Economist: That is fine, it is not an either or, it should be a combination. Get the two of them.
Brilliant Citizen: So, for passport, I know where to go. For this voters card, where can I get it?
Economist: Earlier, you could do it online. Now you need to go to any INEC office close to you.
Brilliant Citizen: Ok after I get my passport, I will work towards it.
Economist: Just note, it is expected to close by the end of June, 2022. Unlike passport, you need to register before the end of this month. Otherwise, you will miss next year’s election and that is till 2027.
Brilliant Citizen: Please I would have left the country by then. But do not worry I will try to get it next week. I hope it will not be stressful…
Economist: Go and try it. Work as hard as you are working to get your passport (grinning).
Brilliant Citizen: I have heard you. Let me go now. See you later with my passport.
Economist: and your voters card!
Special thanks to Wale Olusi & Abraham Afariogun for their contribution to this article.