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President Jonathan Extends Emergency Rule In Adamawa, Borno, Yobe By Another Six Months

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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..Writes Senate, House for Approval
. Some Northern Senators Kick
SAN FRANCISCO, May 13, (THEWILL) â€' President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday announced the extension of the one-year- old state of emergency in the troubled States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe by six months.

This was done through a letter he wrote to the Senate, asking it to approve the extension.

He said the development has become necessary because of the growing activities of the insurgents in the North-east region.

In the letter addressed to Senate President, David Mark, and read on the floor by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the President further said his action was based on the fact that terrorism was yet to abate in the affected states.

The letter read in part: 'May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe Staes, 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 senate 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 Senate 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.

'Distinguished Senators, 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.

'In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request Distinguished Senators 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.

'I look foward, Distinguished Senate President, to the usual kind expeditious consideration of this request by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.Please accept, as always, the assurances of my highest consideration and esteem.'

There are strong indication that the Senate would debate the request on Wednesday though Ekweremadu was silent on when the letter would be discussed.

And following the President's request to the House of Representatives for further extension of the emergency rule, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal directed the House committee on rules and business committee to list the emergency extension request on the Order Paper for consideration on Wednesday.

The president in the letter dated May 5, 2014 and addressed Jonathan to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said the extension became necessary as the security situation in the affected states was 'yet to abate.'

He stated in the letter: '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 would 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.

'Honourable members, 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.

'In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request Honourable members 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,' Jonathan said.

But the receipt of the letter was not without drama as after Tambuwal read the letter at the plenary, Hon. Aliyu Sani Madaki (APC, Kano) raised a point of order under Rule 47 of the House, apparently to speak against the extension.

However , the speaker ruled him out of order and instead asked him to put his explanation in writing and send to him.

However, the feeling around the senate on Tuesday shows that a cross section of Senators from the North may oppose the request. That notwithstanding, most senators who would not want their names in print for now declared that there is no better way to sustain the fight against insurgency than extending the state of emergency in the affected states.

But the senator representing Yobe North, who is also the secretary of the Northern Senators Forum, Ahmed Lawan, (APC,Yobe) vehemently opposed the extension.

In an interview after the plenary, Lawan said he would however support any move by the senate to increase funding for military operation in the affected states.

'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 Northeast 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 creation of an enabling environment for the military especially those in the battle front to operate and to be equipped with state of the art technology and weapons,' he said

Lawan further said the military should be motivated so that the soldiers could produce results adding that; 'The government does not need to declare another state of emergency before they continue. They are already there. The obsolete arms and ammunition should be withdrawn from them and be replaced with modern ones.

'The National Assembly has always expressed willingness to support further funding for the military operation.

'The Senate President, David Mark, who spoke on our behalf last week, told President Goodluck Jonathan that the senate was prepared to approve supplementary budget to further equip the military and boost the morale of the soldiers.

'Therefore I am completely opposed to the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe but I support further funding for the military operation in the area.' Lawan added.

Also opposing the extension, Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) said the state of emergency has not served the purpose for which it was declared one year ago.

'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 tackle the sect and the 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 specially said he needed another extension to finish up the war against the insurgents , 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 re-evaluate the whole thing and come up with a better alternative approach.

'We must emphasise on deployment of more troops in implementation of provisions of section 14(2b) of the 1999 constitution which states that the security and welfare of the citizen shall be the primary purpose of government instead of section 305.employment of troops does not necessarily require state of emergency.'

Similarly, Ahmed Zanna (PDP, Borno Central), vehemently opposed the extension.

'I vehemently oppose the extension. There is no need for it because even without an emergency, they can deploy troops and operate and we have given them one good year and two chances and they refused to do anything. There's nothing emergency in the troubled areas in the last one year. Except is there's a political undertone it should not extended', he said.

EMME UCHE AND SAINT MUGAGA, ABUJA