The Nigerian presidential elections of 2023 have once again shown a basic issue that has plagued the nation for decades: the absence of penalties for misbehaviour and wrongdoers. From ballot box theft to security officers participating in the disruption of elections, such irregularities have become the standard in the electoral system of the country. One of the most disturbing parts of this predicament is that Nigerians forget the past too quickly. Many hoped that the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Yakubu Mahmoud, would provide a free and fair election after his speech at the Chatham House in the United Kingdom, despite the fact that earlier pledges and expectations had been shattered in 2019. Also an example, President Buhari, who failed to fulfil his campaign manifesto commitments, pledged to promote open and transparent elections, yet he is oblivious to national events and even his immediate surroundings.

It is not just the leaders of Nigeria who are problematic, but also the people. Numerous Nigerians are susceptible to cheap political blackmail and glorify political criminals, thieves, and “yahoo boys” This has resulted in the development of a culture of impunity in which criminals are not held accountable for their actions. This has resulted in an increase in impunities such as police brutality, political thieves, thuggery and bandits. The solution to these difficulties is not simple, but it will involve the participation of every citizen. The first step is for Nigerians to keep their leaders accountable and to hold them to their word. Increased civic education and knowledge of the importance of the rule of law can accomplish this.
Second, the Nigerian legal system needs improvement. Since the common man’s hope is now the power of the oppressors and that of the highest bidders. Improving the accountability of judges and lawyers is the solution. This could be accomplished by improved transparency in the selection and advancement of judges, as well as better control of their behaviour outside the courtroom. In addition, better public knowledge and education on the significance of the rule of law and the judiciary’s role in upholding it are required. This could include initiatives to promote civic involvement and participation in the legal system, as well as campaigns to educate citizens on their legal rights. In order for Nigerians to respect honesty, integrity, and transparency in public service, there must be a transformation in culture. This can be accomplished by increasing campaigning and education about the significance of these principles, as well as attempts to hold public officials accountable for their actions. Through changing the legal system, enhancing accountability, raising public awareness and education, and fostering a culture of honesty and openness, it is feasible to ensure that all Nigerians receive justice in a fair and transparent manner. Being the highest court in the country, the Nigerian Supreme Court plays a key role in upholding the rule of law and providing justice for all citizens. Nonetheless, there have been worries regarding the court’s recent judgements, which some have suggested place a greater emphasis on technicalities than on actual justice.

Thirdly, the role of the media in holding leaders and other public authorities accountable for their conduct is crucial. Without fear of retribution, journalists should be able to investigate and report on cases of corruption and other criminal actions. Nigerians must reject the celebration of wrongdoers and instead honour those who promote honesty, integrity, and accountability in the public sector. This can be accomplished through expanded media and school-based awareness efforts. In conclusion, the problem of impunity in Nigeria is a formidable obstacle that requires the participation of every Nigerian. The only way the country can evolve towards a more just and equal society is via a concentrated effort.

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