Oladokun Olajide
“Aseju ni e–voting, ballot paper na ti wa okay”, this was the final resolution of the animals at their attempt to elect a new king. To this effect, AKIEC chose a new date for the animals to exercise their franchise and this afforded the aspirants the opportunity to further strengthen and enlarge their camps. AKIEC got the election budget approved a day before the election and some animals wondered how the election would be successful. The reason for their doubts were not farfetched. It took the electoral commission over a month to prepare for the cancelled election, how possible is it then to plan another one in less than 96 hours. Well, the chairman promised that it would be successful no matter what; even if it meant overworking his team members- which was just what he did.

On the day of the new election, animals trooped into the village square. Unlike the previous election, this was quite peaceful; a clear indication that AKIEC had gone back to the drawing board. The village square was devoid of long queues. The ballot system proved to the faster and it appeared as though the animals were better off without technology.
The aspirants could be seen walking round the village square. Some looked optimistic and some looked as though knew they had no chance but were awaiting a divine intervention. After all, history has it that the incumbent king was no match for his opponents during the last election yet emerged victorious, against all odds.

The election ended at exactly 4:00pm, Animal Kingdom Time, and the ballot boxes were carried to a coven to count. Present with the electoral officers were some higher authorities, agents of the aspirants and two parrots. This was necessary so as to as prevent tales of how the votes meant for lion got into the ballot box meant for Tiger- cock and bull stories.
The votes of 971 animals for 15 aspirants were counted for over 8 long hours- one of the defects of the ballot system.
At the end of the day, Lion beat the Tiger with a wide margin; the former had 596 votes while the latter had 358 votes, a clear indication that the animal kingdom is a stage. You can study Socrates’ philosophy and Plato’s ideology but the throne belongs to only those who can act their script well.
The Leopardess also couldn’t measure up to the Vixen who had learnt politricks from the Europeans. 416 animals voted Leopardess while 113 more animals preferred Vixen so she’ll be the new king’s assistant. When you hear the word luck, who comes to your mind? Camel, right? Yes, he won by sheer luck, Donkey gave him a good run for his money, a single vote sealed the victory for Camel; 444 for the him and 443 for the Donkey who was advised to try harder next time.

Peacock, Rat and juvenile Bear had a smooth sail; they were elected with 827, 814 and 883 votes respectively as they ran unopposed. Then there was Ant, also unopposed, who was the overall best in void votes. 140 animals would rather not vote for him. And if he had an opponent, he might not stand any chance of winning. Nonetheless, he was able to gather 814 votes. It was a close chase between Koala and Squirrel too, but Squirrel’s voice was the loudest, at his voice 489 votes were delivered into his ballot box while Koala’s could only fetch her 428. Cheetah definitely remains the fastest land animal, he was able to amass 412 votes while his opponents, Hare and Marlin, had 365 and 172 votes respectively.

While many villagers did not come out to vote, the voting process started and finished without them and history will never forget that the election was a peculiar one in the history of the Animal Kingdom. The result margins were thrilling. In the end, we can only say that the animals live happily ever after??

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