By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
Former Vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has cautioned the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government to desist from taking actions that may cause a major constitutional crisis and derail the electoral process.
Atiku gave the warning while addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, in reaction to the controversy arising from the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The former Vice President and Waziri Adamawa regretted that the country is passing through a difficult moment.
The suspension of Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari, he pointed out, falls squarely within the pattern of executive lawlessness that has now been firmly turned into statecraft by the APC government.
The PDP Presidential flag bearer stated that no mission or goal, no matter how noble or well intended, should be used as a pretext for the subversion of democracy and its institutions.
According to him, “How we react to this challenge in the following days will determine the fate of our democracy, which has been brought to great peril by this needless crisis engineered by a government that is unwilling to subject its conducts to the requirements of our constitution.
“Meanwhile, I commend all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria who have expressed outrage over the unlawful removal of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, an action, which constitutes a flagrant breach of our constitution and a frontal assault on our democracy.
“I want to note the universal condemnation of this unlawful act by all Nigerians, as well as the international community.
“I need to state that this latest action by General Muhammadu Buhari falls squarely within the pattern of executive lawlessness that has now been firmly turned into statecraft by the APC government.
“The serial disregard of court orders, and consequent violation of constitutionally guaranteed human rights of our citizens confirms beyond all doubt that General Buhari and his government would rather obey their own whims and operate by separate rules outside the well-established constitutional order and the rule of law. “It scarcely requires emphasis that this behaviour is alien to democratic rule and more in line with that of a military dictator”, he said.
Atiku maintained that the fight against corruption is crucial to good governance and the progress of the country, adding that the issue of corruption as it relates to the institution of the judiciary is even more crucial.