Mark Denies Calling For State Of Emergency In South East

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ABUJA, July 16, (THEWILL) - President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has denied reports that he called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the South-Eastern states.

Mark who has come under criticism over reports credited to him, that he called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the South East, also debunked allegations that he betrayed an emotion that suggests hatred for the Igbos.

An obviously distraught Mark described the said the allegation by the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Lagos and Obi-Igbo organization as misplaced adding that the such accusation, which is premised on reports that he called for the declaration of state of emergency in the South East because of the raging kidnapping cases ‘is at best absurd and repugnant’.

In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Mumeh, Mark said the statement credited to one Oliver Akabueze of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Lagos Chapter and Chief Charles Ahize, who claimed to be the leader of Obigbo published in The Sun newspaper of Saturday were pure mischief and tantamount to blackmail.

"First, the President of the Senate, worried like any other responsible leader, condemned the increasing cases of kidnapping and urged that necessary measures be put in place to halt the trend. The abnormal situation occasioned by this development should worry every right thinking member of the society. For avoidance of doubt, the President of the Senate did not call for a state of emergency in the South-Eastern states nor did he display an emotion to suggest his hatred for the Igbos", he said.

Senator Mark’s submission it could be recalled followed a motion moved by Senator Anthony Manzo and 16 others on the state of insecurity in the country compounded by the cases of kidnapping.

Mark also clarified his thoughts in his statement saying, "I think there is a requirement for the Federal government, the state governments and the local governments to come together and arrest the cases of kidnapping. The way I see it, if we can declare a state of emergency on this kidnapping and armed robbery that are going on, we can arrest the situation.

"The Federal government has really declared state emergency to get power back and it should, in similar vein, declare a state of emergency in all areas where we have armed robbery and kidnapping. I think, we have a misconception on the issue of state of emergency. It does not mean that we should remove the governor and then take over. No! Federal government, even in our constitution can declare a state of emergency and they have done so in power sector, we should do so for kidnapping and armed robbery.

"No one should agree less that we all in danger of this twin menace if armed robbery and kidnapping are not brought to an end. I think this is a wrong time to pretend about this matter or reduce it to ethnic issue. It is a national embarrassment and all rational human beings must stand up and be counted among those who stopped these evils.

"Crime of any kind is condemnable and there should be no sentiment expressed. So, Akubuezes and Ahizes who are championing ethnic card should re-examine themselves whether kidnapping and robbery should become acceptable ways of life", he said.