URGED TO DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY
Following killings in Borno State, the latest being yesterday's murder of the governorship candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the state, Alhaji Modu Fanami Gubio and seven others, Dr. Haruna Yerima, a former member of the House of Representatives, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in the state.
Yerima, a doctor of Political Science and one of the initiators of the '2007 Movement,' a group of federal lawmakers that fought against the third term plot of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, insists that the best way to solve the Borno security problem is to declare a state of emergency.
He said that his position was consistent with the earlier warning by the militant Islamic group that they would only stop the killings if Governor Ali Modu Sheriff was out of office.
The former federal lawmaker argued that if a state of emergency was declared, the new helmsman in the state would engage the militants, in the hope that peace would return to Borno State.
Yerima, who noted that he was not speaking as a politician, but as a Borno indigene desirous for the return of peace in the state, noted that every politician should be ready to make sacrifice by supporting the call for the postponement of election in the state by two months or more, as alternative to the declaration of a state of emergency.
Decrying the state of insecurity in Borno State, he said that free and fair election would not be possible in 'an atmosphere of fear and intimidation,' adding: 'Right now, campaign is almost impossible in the state because it is in partial curfew.
'Politicians are afraid of losing their lives following these killings. We should put our ambitions on hold by putting the state first. We should forget about elections in 2011 and embrace the state of emergency, which will last for just six months, going by the constitution.
The people of Borno can sacrifice two or three months without elected officials if peace will return. And it will also give the governor a soft landing by way of easy exit.'
Yerima lamented that the Boko Haram militants came about because of bad governance, even as he alleged that the governor rules the state with an iron hand, without being challenged or advised by anybody.