The much-awaited end to 2023 election court cases finally ended for many states in the governorship election last Friday, 12/1/2024. It was a tortuous journey from election tribunal to Appeal Court up to the Supreme Court, taking almost a year from the day the governors had been sworn into office on May/29/2023.
Winners and losers alike have all suffered, and governance has been affected even though some of the governors tried to work as hard as possible, after all, just because your victory is challenged in court you still have work to do. The opposition mocked some with bitter words calling them administrators, meaning they would soon be removed from office.
However, the attention of the judgment was drawn to the Court of Appeal when the Supreme justices used strong words in reversing their earlier judgments, making people vindicated by being sceptical of some judgments delivered by the Court of Appeal.
This is more so where there were earlier judgments by the Supreme Court such as in pre-election matters and even in its court, yet they went ahead and ruled on it, giving contrary judgment.
In any event, there should be reforms in our electoral laws and matters that were ruled by the Supreme Court should not be ruled again by the lower courts. Those that go against that should be dealt with. We cannot have officers of the law; especially those that sit in judgment disobey the law as well either because of inducement or whatever.
To save our democracy the politicians themselves have a role to play to sustain it, not just by words, which are in many cases empty, but in action too. They have to abide by the rules and when they are defeated in an election which they know to be so; they should accept it and prepare for the next election.
They should not go to court to challenge the party membership of an opposition candidate or that he did not obey a High Court order, so on these bases the court should remove him as governor and make them!
The irony is that they are not disputing that the governor won the election, but they want to pick holes by looking through some sections of the electoral act to take what is not theirs. That is a stolen mandate as far as I am concerned.
Yet if it were given to them on these bases, the Muslim ones would quote some verses from the Holy Qur’an or translate it and say, “It is God that gives power to whom He wishes….” But in your heart, you know you have stolen the power and you can’t deceive people except the gullible. Besides, as Muslims know, God works with what is in the heart, not a show of piety, sympathy and so on.
That is why some people in power with stolen mandates are afraid to go around freely among the people they claimed to have loved and voted for them.
So they should stop wasting time and resources, causing tension and fear of what would happen after court judgments.
However, violence usually happens when the people’s mandate is taken from the owner and given to another person.
The problem is that this culture of impunity involves even those who fought for democracy in Nigeria, but the democracy they practice now leaves much to be desired.
In this regard, politicians should not truncate the democracy they are so proud of by manipulations and other underhand tactics. And the courts should not be used and allowed to support them.