A coalition of presidential candidates and political radicals under the aegis of Coalition to Save Democracy (CSD) Monday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to recall the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, or face mass resistance.
The coalition, which was convened by former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, among others, said it would mobilise political leaders, civil society groups, labour activists, professionals, women and youths against civilian dictatorship in the country.
This was revealed in a statement the coalition’s Protem Publicity Secretary, Prof. Anthony Kila, issued yesterday, disclosing its resolve “to halt the growing attempt of the Buhari government to emasculate and compromise key state institutions before the general election.”
Apart from Agbakoba, the statement disclosed that the coalition was jointly convened by former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’aba, and the Co-Chairman of Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), Dr. Abduljalil Tafawa-Balewa, a grandson of Nigeria’s Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
Among others, the statement listed the presidential candidates that endorsed the coalition to include Mr. Donald Duke of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Mr. Omoyele Sowore of African Action Congress (AAC), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Mr. Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Mr. Tope Fasua of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Shina Fagbenro of KOWA Party, Mr. Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim of Alliance for Peoples Trust, Mr. Alistair Soyode of Yes Electorates Solidarity (YES) and Obadiah Mailafia of African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The statement said a mobilisation committee “has been mandated to shortlist and mobilise allied political parties, candidates, former presidential aspirants and select leaders of conscience in the country for a major national planning parley slated to hold this week in Lagos and Abuja to ensure Buhari reverses Onnoghen’s removal or face mass resistance.
“The latest move by the third force leaders is essentially inspired by a strong resolve to checkmate the heightening desperation and contrived plan of the Buhari regime and its collaborators and its counterparts in other political cartels from circumventing the 2019 electoral process and consequently foist a major political disorder on the country.”
The statement added that the committee “has also been mandated to contact new breed presidential candidates of the third force movement for them to immediately jettison individual ego and self interest and to join forces to save Nigeria’s nascent democracy by ensuring free, fair and credible process for next month general elections
“The committee has been charged to take advantage of the current political mood of Nigerians for a credible alternative to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to explore the possibilities of a formidable strategic political alliance and electoral synergy among ‘third force’ political parties, presidential candidates and aspirants.”
The statement explained the essence of a credible alternative, which according to it, was to neutralise possible dismal outing for the ‘Credible Political Alternatives’ of the third force’ Movement that may arise from lack of electoral solidarity of third force Candidates
It said the leaders of the movement commend the intervention and concerns expressed so far by the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) about the current political tension in Nigeria, especially with respect to Onnoghen’s suspension.
It added that the movement would not hesitate to internationalise its struggle “to save Nigerian democracy as well as the sanctity of the mandate of the Nigerian people in the 2019 general elections by all means necessary.”
It, thus, asked the National Assembly “to redress the constitutional crisis created by Buhari’s impeachable offence of illegally removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria from office, an action which clearly breached judicial due process and violated the 1999 Constitution.”
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