One of the problems of being embedded in a process is that after the adrenalin halts, there’s a chance that the memory of the entire process goes with the sigh of relief you couldn’t wait to let out. I hope that won’t happen to my involvement with the ongoing electoral process in Nigeria.
The event that prevented me from voting in 2007, the Obama campaign of 2008, the good news from upturned elections in my home state by the judiciary in 2009, and the near-crisis Nigeria found itself in because of the drama of the ex-president’s ill health, all conspired to heighten my interest in the 2011 elections. Throw in a passionate meeting of young minds in Ikoyi on that quiet February 2010 Saturday morning, and my decision to play my role as a concerned citizen in Nigeria’s 2011 elections was sealed.
I had tweeted severally about working on a technology platform that would add value to the elections and the February 27 meeting, that led to the formation of the EnoughisEnough Nigeria coalition, gave additional wings to the interest. First, it was simply a blog that helped get the word out and keep interested parties connected. Then, a website that benefited from the expertise of two additional volunteers. But if you’ve visited the EiENigeria website recenty, you would have seen a newer version put together by our in-house IT expert. He’s also developed a mobile version for on-the-go information seekers.
But it’s not been all about technology. There have been protest marches in Abuja and then Lagos; Town Hall Meetings in London, Minna, Warri, Ede, Enugu, Bayelsa, etc; and surveys — among other activities that helped spread the key message of our campaign to young Nigerians in particular: Register. Select. Vote. Protect. RSVP. That acronym, built on the popular Register, Vote and Protect (RVP) at the time, came as a joke during an evening meeting somewhere in Oregun. It was promptly adopted as a cool slogan that captured the essence of the EiE message and it’s evidently been embraced by a larger audience than we assumed it’d appeal to.
R, first of the four stages of EiE Nigeria’s 2011 campaign, is now officially over and I guess the real work is about to start.
To be continued…