ABUJA – Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has commended the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the European Union for voicing out their concerns about last week’s suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement he personally signed on Sunday, the former Vice President called on Nigerians to resist every form and shape of dictatorship saying Nigeria is a country governed by laws in a constitutional democracy.
“My thanks especially go to the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union for standing shoulder to shoulder with the Nigerian people. This is most appreciated and on behalf of the voiceless, I say thank you.
“And to those who accuse these governments of interfering, I remind them that they made no such accusations when they celebrated a statement from the US/UK/EU calling for free and fair elections in 2015, just after the postponement of the 2015 elections to make room for a final assault against Boko Haram. What has changed between then and now, except that they are now in power,” he wrote.
While noting that his fight was for the protection of the nation’s constitution, Atiku accused incumbent administration of acting outside the provisions of the law.
He continued: “I am not fighting for Justice Onnoghen. I am fighting for the constitution. Once we open the Pandora’s Box of unconstitutionality, we cannot tell where it will end.
“This scenario appears to me like déjà vu. Under a particularly brutal military dictatorship, Nigerians witnessed the illegal and arbitrary removal of many innocent people from their positions of authority and many said nothing because they were not from the ethnic group of those affected.
“I remember speaking up then that what we know is when the rain begins, but we do not know when it will end. My warnings were ignored by some until they woke up one day and that dictator removed no less a personality than the Sultan of Sokoto.
“It is worth pointing out that Muhammadu Buhari was by his side when he did that. He obviously learned very well from his teacher.
“If they come for the heads of the legislature and we keep quiet because we are not legislators, if they came for the heads of the media and we keep quiet because we are not journalists, if they came for the head of the judiciary and we keep quiet because he/she is not from our area, there may be no one left to speak up when they come for us.”