The die is cast, the battle line drawn. Nigeria is now on the brink, sitting on the keg of gunpowder, ready to explode at any time. What we now seriously need our prayers, that the Almighty God would intervene and deliver us from this impending anarchy, this steady road to Golgotha.
As it currently stands, we seriously doubt whether the general election billed to start on February 16, this year, would actually hold. Were this not to be so, it might spell doom for the country’s democracy and draw us back on the various gains we already made
How can Nigeria be talking about holding elections in February when everything currently points to the negative, when the institutions of democracy are systematically being emasculated or subverted at will?
What we currently see in Nigeria is unprecedented in the history of the country. This brazen rape of democracy, the impunity, the attempt to subvert the will of the people, had never been witnessed even during the dark days of General Sani Abacha.
A few months ago, we were all witnesses to the invasion of the National Assembly in a democracy, by some masked operatives of the DSS with a view to forcefully removing its leadership. The aim, no doubt, was to emasculate the legislature and reduce it to one of the parastatals of the executive arm of government.
As if that was not enough, we have just been told that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, has been removed by the executive arm of government, without following the due the process of law, while a new acting Chief Justice has been appointed to succeed him.
The implication, for us, is that Nigeria now has two Chief Justices, one that was not constitutionally removed, and the other that was appointed without following due process.
Now, there is a problem. Justice Onnoghen had told us that he would today inaugurate various election petition tribunals, which is the main issue of contention. That was before his so-called suspension. But now that he has been suspended, will he still go ahead to do the inauguration?
On his own part, the impostor appointed by President Buhari said he would equally inaugurate the same election petition tribunals today. Supposing both of them inaugurated different election petition tribunals, which one would prevail?
No doubt, we are currently facing serious constitutional crisis. I am not a lawyer, but the Nigerian Constitution clearly spelled out the modalities for appointing and removing a judicial officer, which any barely literate person can read and interpret. But our government chose not to follow this process.
Even before the Justice Onnoghen saga, we had been entertained with sordid stories about how the homes of some of these honourable men who serve in the temple of justice were invaded in the middle of the night by some security operatives, thoroughly searched, and valuable documents removed.
Ever since 1966, when the military began to assault our democratic institutions, they had always spared the sacred institution of the judiciary. It is not because the men and women who constitute membership of this arm of government were angels, or that they were insulated from the ills of society, only that the judiciary represents the last hope of the common man, and therefore, should not be trampled upon at will.
We are not interested in the rightness or wrongness of Justice Onnoghen’s case, only that we want due process to be followed before his removal. Look at the undue haste with which his removal was being pursued, which clearly shows that there are some ulterior motives behind it.
Those who are now hell bent on plunging Nigeria into crisis, into darkness, for their own selfish ambitions, should better beware, else when the fire they are currently stoking engulfs the house, we believe, that nobody would be spared.