On December 31, 1983, a putsch coordinated by General Buhari and his associates led to the demise of a democratic government. He was 41 years old at the time. And at the age of 76, Buhari has not lost the taste for “plotting”. He is still the same ol’ G.
President Buhari has cast off all pretences. He has emerged from the smokescreens. He has shredded the “uncomfortable raiment of constitutionality”, donning is beloved military fatigues. And he has dark shades on, to blind his eyes from the consequences of his summary execution of the rule of law and all that democracy represents.
Buhari has always shown his detest for democracy. He blames democracy for his ineffective, dubious and conflicted fight against corruption. In fact, he blames the all-round failures of his government on this system of government. He often cites following the due processes in the system as a drawback to his performance.
This retired general once said the “rule of law” was subordinate to national security. He once ordered a nocturnal attack on the houses of judges, and his regime once descended on the legislature, scandalising the institution and stripping it of dignity. Now, it is the head of the judiciary that is being guillotined.
The charges against Walter Onnoghen, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), are weighty and cannot be dismissed. But there is a case in court, and legal processes have commenced already. It is then suspicious that Buhari abandoned the constitutional provisions, which stipulate that the CJN can only be suspended by the president acting on the resolution of two-thirds majority of the senate, in removing Onnoghen.
Clearly, Buhari “suspended the constitution and invoked martial law” in suspending Onnoghen. It is even more ridiculous that he based this illegality on an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal. Is the CCT order superior to the constitution? Or is it a case of national security being superior to rule of law?
And by the way, the chairman of the tribunal is facing allegations of bribery and extortion filed against him by the EFCC, but why has he not been compelled to “step aside” to face the charges? Perhaps, he is serving a purpose now.
And really, how can one arm of government remove the head of another arm of government? When did the CJN become the appointee of the executive? This is an aberration; a violent violation of decency.
Also, there are speculations that this illegality was executed to clear the path of the regime of all obstacles in the courts after the elections. This is portentously valid. The 2019 election is already rigged.
The pattern is obvious now. It is not about Onnoghen, but about a systematic attempt of an autocracy to ensconce itself. This is why “they struck”. This is why they executed this coup against democracy.
At this time, all Nigerians must band together to resist this kraken. This is not about the APC or the PDP; it is about the survival of our country; it is about resisting a descent to fascism; it is about you.
No one is safe.
Fredrick Nwabufo, firstname.lastname@example.org