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Jonathan Seeks Extension of Emergency Rule in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa

Jonathan Seeks Extension of Emergency Rule in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa
President Goodluck Jonathan


President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tueday, approached the Senate with a request seeking the extension of the one-year-old state of emergency declared in the three north eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

The president, in a letter dated May 5, 2014, said the development became necessary, in view of the prevailing situation in the area.

In the letter read on Tuesday by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Jonathan said terrorism was yet to abate in the affected states.

President Jonathan, on Tuesday, also sent the request to the House of Representatives, seeking for an extension of partial emergency rule declared in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states.

Speaker, House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, read the president’s correspondence during plenary session on Tuesday.

The president’s letter read in part: “May I respectfully draw your attention to the state of emergency proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which was approved by the National Assembly.

“By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the proclamation aforementioned would have elapsed after six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly.

“However, after due consideration of the representations made to the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the effect that, while substantial progress had been made to contain the situation and restore normalcy in the affected states, the security situation that necessitated the proclamation of a state of emergency was yet to abate.

“It will be recalled that the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had, upon consideration of the realities of the security situation in the affected states that had been placed before it, graciously approved by resolution, the extension of the state of emergency for a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the subsisting period,” the letter stated.

To this end, the president noted that “the security situation in the three states remains daunting, albeit to varying degrees, in the face of persistent attacks by members of the Boko Haram sects on civilian and military targets with alarming casualty rates.”

Consequently, he appealed to the lawmakers “to consider and approve by resolution, the extension of the proclamation of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states by a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the current term.”

Meanwhile, the House, on Tuesday, urged Federal Roads Maintainance Agency (FERMA), and the Nigerian Army Engineering Corps, to urgently repair and fix the bridge linking Gamborun-Ngala town in Borno State and Cameroon, which was reportedly bombed by the Boko Haram insurgent.

The House resolution was sequel to a motion moved under the matters of urgent national importance by Honourable Abdulrahman Terab, entitled: “Need to condemn the act of arson as a result of burning down of the entire market stalls, houses, vehicles, destruction of the only bridge linking to the Nigerian border communities and the entire economic life of the people in Ngala Local Government area in Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.”

While moving the motion, Honourable Terab noted that while the country and the entire world was grappling with the Chibok girls’ abduction, Gamborun-Ngala, a border community which serves as one of the commercial centres in Borno east, came under attack.

According to him, “on Monday, May 5, 2014, Boko Haram insurgents invaded the busy town in broad daylight, killing over 300 people and burnt down the entire market, including 50 trucks loaded with grains and other economic valuables, in addition to other smaller cars and valuables.”

He added that the latest attack was the third on Gamboru town by the Boko Haram, stressing that the affected communities had threatened to migrate to the neighbouring communities in Cameroon, should the Federal Government fail to stop incessant attacks on their town and the mindless killings by the Boko Haram.

The House also called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to immediately provide relief materials to the victims of the Gamboru arson and also urged the federal government to increase military presence in Gamboru town and the neighboring towns to avoid further attack.

When the motion was put to vote by Honourable Tambuwal, who presided over the session, it was unanimously supported and subsequently referred to the House Committee on FERMA and Army for further legislative action.

North-East senators oppose extension

One of the senators from Yobe State, Senator Ahmed Lawan, said he was opposed to the fresh declaration of emergency in the area.

The Senator said: “The state of emergency had been operated for 12 months now and will end on the 19th of this month. I think that should be the end.

“That is not to say that the military operation in the North-East should cease. Instead, the Federal Government should deploy more military personnel and modern equipment to the affected states.

“What is crucial, essential and imperative is not the state of emergency, but the enablement of the military, especially those in the battle front, to have state-of-the-art technology and weapons,” he said.

Also speaking on the planned extension, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno South) said the state of emergency had not served the purpose.

“We are not in support of extending it, because it has not served the purpose for which it was declared one year ago. The president asked for powers to enable him to tackle the security challenges in the three states but, unfortunately, instead of improving in the first six months, things got bad and after the second extension, which the president said he needed, things got worse. More people were killed and displaced and the insurgents grew stronger.

“So we begin to wonder if they are asking for the extension so that the things will get worse? I think it is time to reevaluate the whole thing and come up with a better approach,” he said.

Senator Ahmed Zanna, who represents Borno Central, also opposed the extension.







Source: Nigerian Tribune

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