Vanguard (Lagos)

15 May 2013

Nigeria: Can Hails Jonathan As Reactions Trail Borno, Yobe, Adamawa State of Emergency

Reactions yesterday trailed the declaration of State of Emergency in three Northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

We are in support -- Senate, PDP

THE Senate yesterday threw its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan on his declaration of State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States following the level of insecurity in these states and other parts of Nigeria.

Reacting to President Jonathan's broadcast, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media, Information and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe who noted that the Senate supports the President hundred percent on the action, said, "the Senate is fully in support of any measure taken to restore normalcy in the country."

Also reacting to the development, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP said it was in total support of the action taken by President Jonathan.

A text message to Vanguard by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh read: "The PDP supports the president on all actions that will restore stability, peace and progress in the polity. And we commend him for showing effective leadership."

Northern CAN hails Jonathan

Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN in the 19 Northern States has hailed the declaration of a state of emergency by President Goodluck Jonathan in three northern states saying that it did not come to it as a surprise considering the degree of destruction the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram had inflicted on the country.

In his initial reaction on telephone last night, the spokesman of the CAN in the North, Elder Sunday Oibe, said the action of the president had justified what Northern Christians had been saying all these years that there is an urgent need to curtail the activities of the sect in the region.

We're still studying the situation--ACN

When contacted, the National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the party was still studying the situation and would react appropriately. In a telephone chat with Vanguard, Mohammed said: "For us, before we release any press statement, we will study the situation very well."

He has not breached the law--CPC

On its part, the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, said the president, in declaring a state of emergency, has not breached the law. In a chat with Vanguard, National Publicity Secretary of CPC, Engineer Rotimi Fashakin said "the fact of the matter is that the president of the nation has a critical and wider view of matters of state. He has exercised his authority conferred on him by the relevant sections of our laws. The only thing is for Nigerians to rally round him and ensure that these measures will usher in good things and lasting peace. Under this circumstances, he has not breached any law."

Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba

"Personally, I didn't think it would come to this but I think it has become more or less inevitable. The strategy has to be changed concerning this insurgency and acts of terrorism more so with the killing of security personnel and in huge numbers. We cannot continue to address the problem in a conventional manner in which we had addressed it.

It's a setback to Nigeria's democracy --Arewa youths

Northern youths, yesterday, lashed out at the Federal Government for slamming state of emergency on three northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, describing the move as punitive and a serious setback to democracy.

They contended that the declaration of emergency rule in the affected states did not only negate the recent amnesty committee to dialogue with Boko Haram members but equally showed that the government was insincere in raising the committee in the first place.

This position was shared by the Presidents of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima and his Arewa Youth Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu, in separate interviews with Vanguard.

A welcome development-- Senator Lafiagi

VICE Chairman, Senate Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Senator Shaaba Mohammed Lafiagi, PDP, Kwara North has described the declaration of emergency in three northern states by President Goodluck Jonathan as a welcome development, just as he said that no government will sit down and watch its citizens being killed everyday.

Speaking with Vanguard, Senator Lafiagi who noted that State of Emergency was not what anyone should pray for, said the government must take a drastic step to address the security challenge in the country. According to him, "I think security challenge is becoming very serious in the country where innocent persons are being killed almost everyday. All of a sudden, it was Baga, Bama, then Nasarawa, and Benue. It requires a drastic action on the part of the government."

President has taken the right step-- Prof Itse Sagay SAN

"I entirely agree with the President. That is a right step, in my view, that should have happened long ago. You don't use soft tactics with terrorists, people who have no human feelings. With impunity they have sent thousands of people to eternity. So the security will now be controlled by the security agencies and they can take measures to eradicate this insurgency. With the way they were going, they were declaring a state within a state. Not only physical terror, but they were controlling the population. In the end, we will have another state within Nigeria, controlled by terrorists. So he took the right step."

I commend the efforts -- Ngige

"I think the speech by Mr President is okay. Unlike the state of emergencies declared during Obasanjo's regime which were made in bad faith and used to remove Governors who were in the bad books of the federal government, the present declaration was made with the best of intentions.? No political appointee or political institution was removed. To that extent, I commend the efforts of the Federal Government in stepping up its war against terrorism in parts of the North East zone. From the action of the Federal Government it would seem that the amnesty offer to Boko Haram has been withdrawn. It's now full scale war against the terrorists. I fully endorse the action of the federal government and suggest that the state of emergency declared to fight terrorism should also be extended in the fight against corruption.

It is a welcome development --Yusuf Ali

"This is a state of emergency with a difference, in that the president has left all the democratic structures intact, unlike what we were used to before, when sole administrator will be appointed in place of the democratic structures.

I think that it is a positive development but we all have to agree that the government has to be decisive in the event of the onslaughts by the disparaging groups, that had put fear in every Nigerian and exposed them to danger. No nation can make progress when people are living under fear.

It's commendable -- Falana

President Goodluck Jonathan's action is commendable for not following the antecedent of the former president Olusegun Obasanjo. He has followed the path of constitutionality, unlike the ex-president Obasanjo who hid under the state of emergency to remove democratically elected governors. He has deviated from impunity by following the provisions of the law."

Mike Ozekholome

"The truth is that it is the civilian, the half innocent populace that will suffer it because the Boko Haram people who are few in number will simply try to be hiding.

So what the president has done now is to dance to the tune of former President Obasanjo who had prescribed the same in Odi and Zakibiam."

He has criticized that step by the former president, who went demolishing villages and towns. It is not the best way of handling security situation. But he has unwittingly fallen into that same trap by doing what he has done. ?

My only window of happiness is that he did not remove the Governor or the House of Assembly which are structures set up by the constitution and erected by the people. ?

So what Mr President has done therefore is not a full declaration of State of Emergency in the way that we know it. It is a half declaration of State of Emergency. I think the right word should not have been a State of Emergency; it should have been that he has taken extra strong step to treat the security situation in those states. A full declaration of State of Emergency also envisages the removal of elected structures such as Obasanjo did in Plateau State.

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