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House Okays Emergency Rule Extension In Borno, Yobe, Adamawa

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, May 15, (THEWILL) â€' The House of Representatives Thursday approved the request for the extension of emergency rule in the North-east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states after meeting with the Service Chiefs.

For over two hours, the lawmakers met with all the service chiefs except the Chief of Defence Staff who was absent and after the meeting went straight into voting on the issue. The voting was however a voice vote and it was not difficult for Speaker Aminu Tambuwal who presided over the session to decipher the winning side.

Addressing journalists after the plenary, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, explained that the lawmakers decided to endorse the extension because there was absolute need to provide secure lives and property in the nation.

'We had a session with the service chiefs on the progress reports on the emergency extension as to how far it has gone and what are those things that have been defaulting their operations. Having listened to them for the interest of stability and stable nation, we have decided as the House voted unanimously for the extension of the emergency in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state for another period of six months.

'We were told that there are progress that has been made in the last extension and they will soon be crowned with success, especially that they have foreign collaborators who are helping in fighting these terrorists.

'As a responsible institution, we decided to give them approval to be able to get the desire result. It is their responsibility to provide us with the security of lives and property. We know that this is the only way we can end this terrorism. We tried to probe into whether they are adequately equipped and the armed forces seem to be on top of the situation. We have all the assurances from the Service Chiefs that they are on top of the situation,' Mohammed disclosed.

Another member of the media and public affairs committee, Hon. Tukur Ibrahim El-Sudi, also explained why the House supported President Jonathan on the emergency extension. He said the extension became imperative since the Service chiefs had told the House that Nigeria was at war and only an emergency situation can salvage the terrible situation.

'Section 180 (3) provides that if the federation is at war as the service chiefs had told us emphatically that the country is at war, it can be civil war or insurgency war; if the federation is at war, the territory of Nigeria is physically involved and the President considers that it is not practicable to hold election, the National Assembly by resolution shall extend the period of four years from time to time. And no such extension shall exceed the period of six months at any one time,' he said.

El-Sudi said another reason that made the House approve the extension was the pressing need to provide an enabling legal framework to accommodate the presence of foreign countries in Nigeria to assist with the security situation. He explained that the foreign countries are insisting that their assistance must be made legal.

He disclosed that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not make provision for the security assistance that Nigeria is receiving today, so the House would have to amend the relevant sections to make it constitutional.

On the fears of governors of the affected states that there might be no election with the emergency extension, El-Sudi disclosed that should there be no election, the tenure of the governors would be extended by six months since by virtue of section 180 (3) of the Constitution, their tenure can only be terminated by impeachment, incapacitation or death.

'Coming to the issue of election and the fears being alleged by those affected areas, that they will be disenfranchised, the constitution is not silent about it. We made them to understand that section 4 (2), section 105 (2), section 135 (3) that deals with President, particularly section 180 (3) which talks about the tenure of the governors says that the tenure is four years, unless they are impeached, or they are permanently incapacitated or by death.