For the first time in his three years, plus government, President Muhammadu Buhari, may have the real test from the civil society confrontation, like his predecessors.
That is if the threat from The Third Force Movement under the auspices of Nigeria Intervention Movement (NIM), which has given him seven days ultimatum to reinstate Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), is carried out.
The group, said in a statement, on Friday, January 25, 2019 shortly after the President announced the suspension of Onnoghen and swearing in of Justice Tanko Ibrahim Mohammed as replacement that it was already mobilising Nigerians to move against the President.
The group, led by former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) and the son of former Prime Minister of Nigeria, Dr Abduljalil Tafawa Balewa, in a statement by its spokesman, Debo Adeniyi, as a threat to Nigerian democracy.
The statement, said: “The third force movement under the auspices of Nigeria Intervention Movement, NIM have given President Muhammadu Buhari seven days to reinstate the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen or face an unprecedented mass action from the third force movement and its allies until the President’s unpopular decision is rescinded
“The NIM being jointly led by a frontline civil right activist and legal Icon, Dr Olisa Agbakoba SAN and the son of former prime minister of Nigeria, Dr Abduljalil Tafawa Balewa profoundly views the suspension of the CJN and the precipitate swearing in of the President’s Kinsman, Justice Tanko Ibrahim Mohammed as a threat to Nigeria’s fledgling democracy and the feasibility of the 2019 general elections as well a desperation to compromise all relevant Institutions of state ahead of the 2019 elections
“By this statement, we wish to put President Buhari on a strong notice that at the end of seven days from today, if President Buhari fails to reinstate the CJN we shall be compelled to mobilise a Coalition Forces of Nigerian Civil society and leaders of conscience across the country to confront the Buhari regime with an unprecedented mass action to save Nigeria’s democracy.
“We wish to assert that the action of the President today is subjudice, smacks of crass dictatorship and a setback for constitutional democracy in our country, just as it is a clear descent of civil rule to the dark days of military jackboot in Nigeria as recently alerted by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and we in NIM, who fought with our lives to restore Nigeria’s current democracy, have vowed to resist the dastardly move of the Buhari regime to cage all institutions of State ahead of the 2019 elections, with every resources at our disposal”
“The meeting of the coalition of forces against civilian dictatorship in Nigeria has been slated to hold on Thursday 31st January in Lagos to kick start a nationwide mobilisation to save democracy ahead of the 2019 elections.”