How will the 2023 elections be adjudged free and fair when the opposition didn’t win?
A major problem with elections in Nigeria, Africa and the entire developing world is the culture of rejection of results by the opposition political parties whenever they lose elections regardless of whether the election was rigged or not.
It appears that for any election to be free and fair in Nigeria, the opposition must win it.
When the Labour Party won Lagos in the Presidential election, it was free and fair but when it lost the Guber election in the same Lagos state, it was heavily rigged. Ditto for Ebonyi, Plateau, Nassarawa and Delta states.
The major difference between the western democracy and African democracy is that there is a culture of magnanimity in defeat by the losers in western democracy which is lacking in Africa.
In western democracies, losers of elections accept defeat, join hands with the winners in the national interest. They pull back and restrategise for the next election.
You hardly hear of election petitions, the so-called ‘Supreme Court final verdict’, appeal court injunctions, federal high court judgement, election petition tribunals (which gulps huge amount of money and in
which sittings are usually beamed live on very expensive TV coverage) etc etc in western democracies.
On the other hand, some candidates in African democracies usually hire lawyers to prepare their petitions even before the election knowing full well that they are going to lose it.
Huge amount of money is spent on the so-called ‘Supreme Court final verdict’, election petition tribunals, appeal court judgement, federal high court injunctions etc etc.
To date, no bandit or terrorists has been convicted by Nigeria’s extremely weak justice system yet election cases are dispensed with dispatch.
The opposition in Nigeria has a do-or-die mentality. If I don’t win, let everybody lose.
The opposition easily forget that the overriding issue is the national interest not personal political ambition.
If you chase the President in court, where will he find the time to focus on making a successful tenure?