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Reps approve emergency rule extension in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe

By The Citizen
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The House of Representatives, on Thursday, approved President Goodluck Jonathan's fresh request for an extension of partial emergency rule inĀ  Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states.

The House had, on Wednesday deferred voting on the president's request till Thursday.

During the Thursday plenary session, the House Leader, Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola, moved for the suspension of order XIX, rule 217 (1) of the standing orders of the House to admit the Chief of Defence Staff, the service chiefs and Inspector General of Police into the House on the current security situation in the three North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe currently under the state of emergency.

The House later admitted the service chiefs into the chamber, after they had earlier briefed the Senate on the same subject matter.

However, after meeting with the service chiefs in a closed-door session, the House unanimously approved the emergency rule.

Immediately the Speaker put the question to vote, most of the members present at the sitting voted in approval of the request.

The service chiefs, in a closed-door interaction with the members of the House, disclosed that there was urgent need to extend the emergency rule, saying the country was at war.

Honourable Ibrahim El-Sudi, at a press briefing addressed by the chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Honourable Zakari Mohammed, disclosed this after the closed door meeting with the service chiefs.

Giving reasons for the approval of the extension of emergency rule, he said since the constitution of the country allowed the president to declare state of emergency in any part of the country during a war, the House saw reason with the request and the explanation of the service chiefs that Nigeria was at war, based on the situation in the states.

The duo disclosed that the service chiefs had also impressed it on the House that the current foreign assistance the country was enjoying to fight the insurgents was as a result of international treaty that allowed such, but added that the treaty was yet to be enacted, and, as such, extension of the emergency rule was needed.

On the fear being expressed in some quarters over whether elections would hold in the affected states in 2015, Honourable El-Sudi said the constitution allowed the president to seek for renewal of the emergency rule for period of six months without changing democratic structures in place, saying that, the president as a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) man, would not want to have the emergency rule in the affected states stayed longer than necessary.

Honourable Mohammed also disclosed that the service chiefs promised that within six months, they would consolidate and finalise their operations in the affected states.

On the missing Chibok girls, Honourable Mohammed said that the service chiefs told the House that they were making progress, adding that very soon, they would reunite them with their families.