When a Nation Loses Faith in Her Institutions

On Wednesday, October 25, all litigations trailing the 2025 Presidential Election in Nigeria came to a close as the country’s apex court, the Supreme Court, finally upheld the judgement of the lower court which affirmed Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the Presidential Election. But just as was the case after the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT, there was no joy among Nigerians who appeared to have long accepted their fate.

We congratulate the litigants, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP; and Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, for exercising their rights within the law to challenge the result of that election in court, rather than resort to violence or take any action that could have over heated the polity.

Their action was a far cry from that of former President Muhammadu Buhari, who had threatened blood and fire after his last failed bid to be President of the country. It is always good to respect the laws of the land and take whatever comes in good faith. This, the duo of Abubakar and Obi have done and it is highly commendable, especially when many believed that they knew things would not go their way.

It is this doubt by Nigerians about the ability of the courts to impartially dispense justice that is very worrisome. Indeed, many Nigerians believe that getting justice when one is up against the establishment is as difficult as a camel passing through the eye of the needle. This was probably why many no longer had interest in the court matter after the tribunal judgement.

In any society, the judiciary is the last bastion of hope for the common man, such that one is always certain that one’s matter will be addressed in court. But in Nigeria, and most African countries, the reverse is the case. Many interests determine the outcome of petitions, regardless of whether it harms the country or not.

Most Nigerians have taken exception to the conduct and outcome of this year’s presidential election and they became even more disappointed with the outcome of the judgements. What it means is that many have lost faith in the judiciary. Many have also lost faith the credibility of the electoral process and what will follow will be massive apathy in the next elections; a situation that will further benefit those who rig elections.

While those who benefited from the heist of the people’s mandate are celebrating today, they should also know that no condition is permanent. They should learn a lesson from the fate of the opposition PDP which once proclaimed that it would rule for sixty years only to lose in the next elections.

Besides, there is also a limit to which a people can be pushed beyond which chaos erupts. It benefits everybody to strengthen public institutions as it makes for a stable society. The current scenario in Nigeria will ultimately do no one any good. It is just a matter of time.