7 November 2013

Nigeria: Emergency Rule Extension - It's Declaration of War On Adamawa - Nyako

Photo: Amanda Voisard/UN
President Goodluck Jonathan (file photo).

The decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to seek an extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states was sequel to a meeting held with the Security Council on Tuesday. The council asked the president to extend the state of emergency in the three states because of the ongoing attacks of the Boko Haram insurgents on soft targets like schools and villages, LEADERSHIP can now reveal.

But Adamawa State governor Murtala Nyako has faulted Jonathan's request, saying that any move to extend the current emergency rule in the state is archetypal to declaring war on the people of the state.

The director of press and public affairs to Nyako, Mallam Ahmed Sajoh, made the remark during a telephone interview with LEADERSHIP.

Sajoh said from the outset the emergency rule was conjured in bad faith as the security indices prevailing in the pre-emergency rule days did not warrant its imposition on the state.

He added that the people who have an axe to grind with Governor Nyako should have the courage to openly attack the governor as it is wrong to extend the aggression to the innocent people of the state.

"Those that are fighting Nyako should have the courage to fight him alone but should not drag innocent people of Adamawa into another round of hardship by extending the emergency rule in the state," Sajoh said. "It is an affront for the federal government to contemplate extending the emergency rule on the state as the one earlier imposed was not justified. We call on the National Assembly to do all they can to protect the innocent people of Adamawa from the wrath of power mongers who want to punish the whole people of Adamawa in order to get at Nyako."

He added that if the proximity of the state to Borno and Yobe states was one of the factors justifying the extension of the emergency rule, then, other States like Bauchi and Jigawa should also be included.

Meanwhile, many residents of the state said any move to extend the emergency rule in adamawa would be considered as punishment, because the state is currently experiencing peace and tranquillity.

Anything can happen in 2015 if PDP crisis persists - Kwankwaso

Kano State Governor Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso has expressed fear that if the current political trend continues in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, only God knows what will happen in 2015.

According to Kwankwaso, lack of listening ears and other undemocratic activities by the PDP's leadership are some of the major problems bedevilling the party.

The governor stated this while receiving the Chairman, Senate Committee on MDGs and Leader of the joint committee of the National Assembly on MDGs to Kano, Senator Ali Ndume, at the Government House in Kano yesterday.

The Director of Press and Public Relations to Kano State Governor, Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, also quoted Kwankwaso as saying that what happened last week, when the police asked five out of the G-7 Governors, to disperse from a meeting in Abuja was unconstitutional.

Why security chiefs okayed extension

Jonathan has written a letter to the National Assembly asking for extension of emergency rule in the three states, as advised by the Security Council made up of the national security adviser (NSA), all service chiefs, director-general of the State Security Service (SSS) and the inspector-general of police. Other members are the ministers of police affairs, interior and defence.

According to an informed presidency source at the meeting, Jonathan briefed them about the report of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of the Security Challenges in the North and called for their reactions, and all the service chiefs agreed on the need to extend the emergency rule.

The source said, "Initially, three months was considered but later it was six months that was adopted. "The Security Council did not spare words in condemning the Boko Haram insurgents for the attacks on schools and villages where innocent people were killed for no just cause. The service chiefs disclosed that the insurgents have been attacking soft targets as a reaction to the activities of the newly created army command in Maiduguri which has reduced their attacks to the barest minimum."

The source further disclosed that President Jonathan urged the military to "ensure these people stop their attacks on the innocent as we are approaching December. He said every effort should be made to ensure that the Boko Haram became a thing of the past".

The SSS and the police were asked to work harmoniously with the military especially in Yobe and Borno states in order to strengthen the activities of the army in the zone.

The meeting was also said to have considered and rejected the call for the dismantling of the Joint Task Force because of some vices identified with them but agreed that all the security agencies must team together in the war against the insurgents. Jonathan seeks 6-month extension, Senate receives probe report of Apo killings

Meanwhile, President Jonathan has written a letter to the National Assembly - House of Representatives and the Senate - seeking a six-month extension of the emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The president's letter came as the Senate yesterday received the report of the joint committee on national security and intelligence and judiciary, human rights and legal matters on the investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings of "squatters" in Apo Quarters in Abuja by security agents. But the senators did not debate the report.

At least nine men were shot dead by soldiers and members of the SSS, in an early morning raid mid-September. Military authorities claimed the men were members of Boko Haram, claims that have been rejected by witnesses and survivors.

Jonathan, in separate letters to Senate president David Mark and House speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal dated November 5, said the six-month extension request has become pertinent to "fully" restore normalcy to the crisis-ravaged states.

Jonathan's request, if granted by the National Assembly, indicates that the extension will take effect from November 12, 2013.

Jonathan said as a result of the laudable efforts of Nigeria's security agencies and the support of the citizens in the affected areas, his administration has achieved considerable successes in containing the activities of the terrorist elements. However, some security challenges still exist in a few parts, he added.

Boko Haram terrorists have been blamed for most of the violence that has left over 4,000 people dead since 2010.

The president's letter to the Senate entitled "Re: Extension of the Period for the Proclamation of a State of Emergency" reads in part: "May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which was approved by the National Assembly.

"By virtue of the provisions of section 305(6) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the Proclamation aforementioned will elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval except the period is extended by the National Assembly.

"As a result of the laudable efforts of our security agencies and the support of the citizens in the affected areas, we have achieved considerable successes in containing the activities of the terrorist elements. However, some security challenges still exist in a few parts".

We would wait for the NASS action first - APC

The opposition All Progressives Congress' (APC) swift reaction to the request of President Jonathan for the extension of the emergency rule in the three affected states was that of "wait and see".

Its spokesman Lai Mohammed said since the letter was directed to the National Assembly, courtesy demands that the legislature should act first before the opposition would make its position known.

"We want the National Assembly to treat the letter of the president first before we would react. You would recall that before the National Assembly passed the motion for the state of emergency six months ago, it gave some conditions and we expect the National Assembly to review the implementation of its directive, if they were all carried out to the fullest or not. This would guide them on how to treat the new request. So, we in the APC are waiting."

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