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Friends, please continue to pray for Nigeria as the country prepares for presidential elections on February 16. Nigerians are hungry for peace and stability, but no one feels safe.
Just weeks before the elections, President Buhari—who is seeking a second term in office—thrust the country into a constitutional crisis when he suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Nkanu Samuel Onnoghen. Chief Justice Onnoghen, who is a southern Christian, is now facing charges of allegedly failing to declare his assets.
Because disputes over elections sometimes reach the Supreme Court, Buhari is facing criticism for his decision, with many pointing out that his action against the Chief Justice is unlawful. Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki said Buhari cannot act alone in a process that involves all three arms of government. The Nigerian Bar Association called his actions against Onnoghen an “attempted coup against the Nigerian judiciary” and directed its members to boycott courts across the country in protest.
Atiku Abubakar, Buhari’s top election opponent, agreed the suspension is illegal and stated, “This act of desperation is geared towards affecting the outcome of the 2019 presidential elections.”
The U.S. and European Union added that Buhari’s actions could undermine the credibility of the vote and could incur repercussions, including visa restrictions, for election interference and election related violence.
Please pray for the country as the race to the elections continues.
Pray the armed forces will be able to maintain peace and that people will be able to vote in peace.
Pray for calm amid the storm surrounding the suspension of Chief Justice Onnoghen and the appointment of Justice Muhammed in the interim. Pray that justice will prevail in this matter.
Pray for Christians to be able to live out clear testimonies during the time leading up to the elections.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.