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Northern senators vow to shot down emergency rule extension

By The Citizen
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If the wishes of senators from the Northern stock who met behind closed-doors for about three hours on Wednesday becomes reality, the request for extension of the state of emergency imposed on three states in the Northeastern part of the country by President Goodluck Jonathan will meet brick wall.

The senators, who met under the aegis of Northern Senators Forum, maintained that the extension of the emergency rule was not the best way to combat the insurgency which had paralysed social and economic activities in the affected areas.

Chairman of the forum, who is also the senator representing Sokoto South, Umaru Dahiru, while briefing journalists after the meeting, however said the group had set up a committee to meet with the government of the affected states on the way forward.

'Our meeting this afternoon discussed basically, the issue of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Everybody in attendance made contributions and a lot was said.

'We believe a lot of things ought to be addressed in order to conquer the issue of insurgency. So, our own position is that we are not going to support extension of the emergency rule in the area.

'We are going to engage the three governors in the affected states, we want to know what went wrong to be able to come up with better ways to tackle the crisis. However, the government must work for the benefits of its citizens.

'The leadership of the affected states and our forum here are saying no to emergency rule.

'The constitution requires two-third majority in terms of voting. Of course we are going to vote on the issue. If we can outnumber them during the voting fine, but of course, our position is that we are going to vote against it.

'Technically, Section 304 sub section 6, states the requirements of how the state of emergency should be declared and our own position is against it and obviously, we are going to stand by it,' he said.

Dahiru also said the way out of the crisis would be made known after the committee set up by the forum had submitted its report and conveyed the recommendations to the government.

He commended the efforts of the military in the fight against the insurgency and pledged the support of his group on what would be needed to ensure their success.

The Senator in addition expressed support for the decision of foreign powers to assist the country to rescue the school girlsabducted by the Boko Haram sect but maintained that such support must be on the terms of the Nigerian government.