South-South Governors Forum, on Saturday condemned the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, described the removal of Onnoghen as a sad day and a sad commentary on democracy in Nigeria.
The governor, in a statement signed his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said that the action was inimical to the desired stability of the nation and critical institutions of state.
He said that Nigerians have a responsibility to be concerned about the electoral process and the critical institutions entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding democracy in the society.
Dickson stated that Nigeria would be heading in the direction of a sh*thole country if critical institutions of state failed to get it right.
He lamented that the removal of Onnoghen from his exalted position showed in clear terms that the nation’s democracy was under serious stress and test.
He said: “Talking about the unfortunate development, having read the details about it, and if the report that we are reading about it are anything to go by, then it is a very sad commentary on our nation’s democracy
“It is a very sad day, for our nation’s democracy and for the stability of our nation, and the stability of the critical national institution of which the judiciary is primus inter pares.
“We must be concerned about the process, the integrity of the national critical institutions that will safeguard and reinforce our democracy, seeing our democracy has come under very severe stress and test by what has happened today.”
The forum’s chairman stressed that while the courts would make pronouncement on the legality or otherwise on the development around the CJN, the South-South governors found the action condemnable
He emphasized the need for due process and adherence to constitutional provisions, stressing that countries are governed according to laws and mutual respect among the political class.