“Livinus, I’m telling you that this time around, things go dey different. This new candidate don talk sey him go dey show face well. Sey all the things wey our community need, him go make sure sey him do something about them when him enter.”
Livinus wasn’t convinced. Over the years, they had heard different variations of the same lie, and at the end of the day, nothing changed. The politicians they had voted in the past had let them down. Once they secured the mandate of the people, they instantly became inaccessible, and now their constituency was a mess. Nothing worked. The roads were in a deplorable state, power supply was worse than ever, children of school age were out of school hawking wares, and the youths were idle.
“Clarus, abeg leave me alone. Na so you tell me that time when that yeye Senator Akpobore dey contest. Wetin we see when him win finish? Abeg, just leave me as I dey so.”
Two weeks later, they were in Fidelis Akum’s house. He was the People’s Political Party State House of Representative candidate who was looking to wrestle power from the incumbent.
The first thing that came as a surprise to Livinus was how well they were received. Fidelis himself had shown up almost as soon as they got there, ushering them into his private living room.
“So, you see guys, things are going to be different from now on. I need you to help me mobilise the youths for this election so we can send that clueless Boniface packing.” He had ended his submission by assuring them that even after the elections he would operate an open door policy. They would be able to call him at any time and even visit to air any grievance they had personally.
“Livinus! Livinus! Fidelis has won o!” Clarus could not contain his excitement
“You don’t mean it! Wow, congratulations to all of us, mehn. Thank God sey our efforts no waste.” Livinus replied.
“At last, Riverside don get able rep, I sure sey Fidelis no go fall hand.” Clarus said.
The emergency general meeting of the Landlord’s Association was about to commence.
“I’m sorry for coming in late, I ran into a ditch, and even as I speak, some boys are still trying to get it out. Had to leave my driver behind to monitor things.” It was Mr Williams, the Chairman of the Landlord’s Association of ten estates within the Riverside constituency.
“Eeya, sorry o! Even I just came in, the power and water supply situation in our area is getting worse by the day. Our transformer is faulty and the new one we were forced to contribute money to buy has not been installed yet. I had to quickly iron some clothes at my brother’s place.” Elder Chuks said.
“It’s sad, to think that after all the promises Fidelis made to us during the campaign, we are yet to see any sign of development. He specifically gave me his word to sponsor a bill to end child labour, and now, after one year, we are yet to hear from him.” Mr Williams said.
“Mrs Smith, why don’t we try to reach him through your nephew, Clarus? He is quite close to Fidelis and should be able to register our complaints with him.”
“Hmmm, Chairman, he stopped picking Clarus’ call o. In fact, the last time, Clarus tried to reach him, his aide spoke to him rudely on the phone. Since then, calls to him haven’t been going through. Maybe we should send a powerful delegation to his house at this point.”
“Yes, yes, that’s what we should do.” There were nods and grunts and echoes of yes in agreement with Mrs Smith’s suggestion
“What are you people saying?” The voice belonged to the youngest house owner in the community. 32-year old Efe, an architect who had relocated to Nigeria only two years ago.
“Fidelis and his family moved out of the area about three months ago, he bought a mansion in Amakri GRA. He doesn’t live here anymore.”
P.S: We go to the polls once again this weekend. Vote wisely. Our collective future depends on it.