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Northern Senators Reject Emergency Rule Extension

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SAN FRANCISCO, May 14, (THEWILL) â€' Northern Senators on Wednesday rejected the fresh six months extension of state of emergency in the three North East states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The lawmakers, who addressed a press conference, said they will vote against the motion on the floor of the Senate .

President Jonathan had on Tuesday asked the Senate to approve the extension of the one-year-old state of emergency in the troubled states in the Northeast region of the country because of the growing activities of Boko Haram in the area.

However, rising from a three-hour closed door meeting, the Northern Senators resolved to vote against the extension of the state of emergency

Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum, Senator Umaru Dahiru, who briefed the press hinged their opposition on grounds that the extension of the emergency rule was not the best way to combat the insurgency which had crippled all socio-economic activities in the affected areas.

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

'The majority position is basically that we are not going with the state of emergency. That is our categorical position because we are not convinced that it is only the issue of emergency rule that could make the security personnel to achieve success in the area.

'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 out number 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.

The Senator however 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.

'We are addressing the issue, we set up a committee and it's coming out with a resolution, ' he explained further.

On the decision of the international community to help in the rescue operation, he also expressed support but maintained that such support must be on the terms of the Nigerian Government.