The 2023 elections for the presidency, nationwide meeting, governorship and state homes of meeting have concluded apart from just a few areas the place the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee is but to conclude proceedings. Nevertheless, the method is but to be accomplished as individuals who really feel aggrieved by the outcomes nonetheless have the chance to file claims within the Election Petition Courts and observe them as much as the appellate stage in each the ultimate and supreme Supreme Courtroom. However there are nonetheless unresolved points after the election. It’s about constructing peace and consensus, reconciling and uniting the nation so that the majority if not all Nigerians will assist the federal government at varied ranges for the duty of improvement and nation constructing.
The above is the central problem of post-election governance. However the problem is big and might not be straightforward to cope with if the conflicting events don’t perceive the why and the way of reconciliation. The primary is to grasp why unity and reconciliation are wanted. Unanimous objective and joint work are vital. Nations are constructed by the frequent objective and contribution of all teams and stakeholders within the state group. Every group must really feel a way of belonging, that its contribution is valued and that its membership as an entire is specifically acknowledged. It’s about the truth that citizenship, human rights and elementary freedoms are the inspiration of nation constructing. Nobody provides his final contribution in an area the place he or the group he belongs to is oppressed, the place his particular person and id are profiled, his humanity and persona belittled. Certainly, nobody does their finest in a society that denies them citizenship and treats them as second- or third-class residents.
The primary 4 paragraphs of the preamble to the Common Declaration of Human Rights set the tone for the connection between human rights and nation constructing. It states: whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human household is the inspiration of freedom, justice and peace on the planet; Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbaric acts which offend the conscience of mankind, and the approaching of a world during which human beings shall get pleasure from freedom of speech and perception and freedom from worry and need has been declared the best aspiration of abnormal individuals; As a result of it’s essential, if man doesn’t need to be compelled to resort, as a final resort, to revolt towards tyranny and oppression, that human rights must be protected by the rule of regulation.
The foregoing establishes that respect for elementary rights, together with the fitting to vote, is the idea of justice and peace, that are conditions for improvement. Once more, Article 21 (3) of the UDHR states the next: The desire of the individuals shall be the idea of the federal government’s authority; this may shall be expressed in periodic and actual elections held by common and equal suffrage and by secret poll or equal procedures of free suffrage.
When residents are denied, undermined the fitting to vote or votes are usually not counted, then the foundations of improvement are undermined.
It’s on the idea of this extensively accepted understanding that reconciliation and nationwide therapeutic are vital that this discourse examines the best way of nationwide therapeutic. President-elect Bola Tinubu’s latest assertion calling for nationwide therapeutic seems at first look to be an acceptable message for the nation at the moment. However it raises the query of the idea of the decision for reconciliation and therapeutic. To ensure that this message to have the specified impact and have which means within the lives of Nigerians, crucial foundations have been laid. The primary is the popularity that folks and teams have been wronged and that their rights have been violated. These teams have to be particularly recognized, and the individuals and teams who’ve dedicated violations should admit wrongdoing. The second step is an apology for wrongdoing, not only a superficial one, however an apology that exhibits repentance and acceptance that what was accomplished was mistaken. For instance, the individuals who orchestrated the denial of the fitting of the Igbo to vote in some components of Lagos should confess their wrongdoings. The MC Oluomo of this world should acknowledge their sponsors.
The apology shall be accompanied by clear ensures of non-repetition. These ensures won’t be mere phrases, however embrace the mandatory legal guidelines, coverage frameworks and enforcement mechanisms that empower focused people and teams to activate preventive mechanisms to defend their rights. Such mechanisms should not have to attend without end for biased regulation enforcement brokers to implement the regulation or activate enforcement avenues. It should additionally present for extreme punishments for perpetrators and officers who don’t carry out, refuse or neglect to carry out their duties. The final stage is the consideration of potential compensation for the victims of the violation of the fitting to vote. The authorized maxim is ubi jus ibi remedium the place there’s a proper, there must be a treatment.
What Nigeria requires is real peace and reconciliation that are crucial for progress, improvement and nation constructing. It’s not the peace of a cemetery the place the lifeless are buried or the peace of a jungle the place a lion or a tiger merely eats its victims and there aren’t any extra challenges. Nigeria is just not an animal kingdom. Human beings don’t thrive in such enchanted consensus and peace. Contemplating that Nigeria has gone by means of seven elections since 1998, we can’t proceed to justify the newborn and childish steps within the election marketing campaign that might have been justified within the first three elections from 2007 to 2011.
Those that will repeat the story of studying classes from the errors of the present or previous elections are mistaken. What occurred within the 2023 elections weren’t errors or just issues bordering on negligence. They had been premeditated, deliberate and punctiliously executed. Contemplating the human, monetary and different sources accessible to Nigeria and to date engaged in electoral reforms since 1999, we now have hardly improved our electoral efficiency and once we appear to appropriate one wrongdoing, we pave the best way for different wrongdoings to occur. An impoverished nation like Nigeria can’t spend N305bn solely to reap poor high quality elections.
The President-elect should come clear and prepared the ground of nationwide reconciliation by acknowledging what occurred beneath his watch in Lagos and ask different gladiators throughout the nation to observe swimsuit. This would be the foundation of nationwide remedy. However this can’t be achieved when his chief spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, is spouting ethnic slurs and insults, and when he’s known as to order by distinguished Nigerians, together with members of his personal occasion, he doubles down and declares that he’s not apologetic.
Individuals who’ve dedicated misdemeanors must be tried and punished in accordance with the regulation. They shouldn’t be shielded from prosecution. Nigeria is on this mess at present as a result of individuals who have dedicated electoral and different offenses prior to now haven’t been delivered to justice, thus normalizing crimes and impunity for misconduct.