Leadership (Abuja)

28 April 2014

Nigeria: Why We Oppose Extension of Emergency Rule in North-Eastern States - APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has expressed opposition to any further extension of emergency rule in the three troubled North-eastern states.

The APC opined that the consequences of any plan to extend emergency rule in the three states may not be in the interest of people that should be protected or that of the country.

The major opposition party warned those trying to stampede President Goodluck Jonathan on the extension of the emergency rule or sacking of governors to have a rethink.

Speaking with journalists after the conduct of Kwara State APC congress in Ilorin at the weekend, the interim national publicity secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, pointed out that "you can't fight insurgency without democratic structures being in place.

"The extension of emergency rule is between the president and the National Assembly. The president cannot declare emergency rule without securing two-third majority of the National Assembly and there are certain issues to be considered by the National Assembly before they would grant the extension.

"What is more worrisome is the call by some people to the effect that some democratic structures in the states should be dismantled and the governors sacked.

"The question is when and how did governors become an impediment to fighting insurgency?

"On the contrary, you can't fight insurgency without democratic structures being in place. Those who are trying to stampede the president on extension or sacking of governors should have a rethink, because if they don't, the consequences will not be in the interest of the people you want to protect or that of the country".

Resignation Of South Korean PM, Lesson For Nigerian Leaders - APC

Meanwhile, the APC has called on those in charge of the country's affairs, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to hold themselves to higher standards of conduct as a way of ensuring good governance and winning global respect for the country.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its interim national publicity secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the resignation of South Korean prime minister, Chung Hong-won, over his government's poor handling of the April 16 ferry disaster that left over 300 dead or missing, must jolt the conscience of Nigerian officials who have been found wanting while in similar situations.

He said, "Until our leaders hold themselves to higher standards, as it is done in other democracies around the world, and take responsibility when necessary, they will continue to perpetuate impunity, celebrate mediocrity and cling to power at all costs, even when it is clear that they are not serving any other interest but theirs.

"Till date, President Jonathan has not visited the families of the abducted school children to offer them support and succour, neither has he visited the families of the students who were brutally murdered in Yobe in February. We cannot continue like this if we really want our country to be seen as a worthy member of the comity of nations."

APC said the resignation of Hongwon was the culmination of widespread public criticism of the government over the handling of the ferry disaster, especially the slow pace of recovery of the bodies of victims and the conflicting information given by the government over the tragedy.

The Prime Minister also stepped down even though he had paid a visit to the families of the victims, just like the President of South Korea."Compare this with the situation in our country, where about 20 job seekers died in a stampede that was directly caused by poor planning and execution by a government agency on March 15th 2014, and for which the supervising minister blamed the victims instead of accepting responsibility."Compare this with the aftermath of the killing of 75 citizens and wounding of over 200 in a bombing at a bus station in Nyanya, after which the President quickly embarked on an illegal campaign rally in Kano during which he was dancing 'Skelewu' on the graves of the victims, or his trip to Ibadan for a birthday party."Compare this with business-as-usual posture of the Federal Government and the playing up of the controversy surrounding Tuesday's political rally by the PDP in Adamawa State, even as over 200 schoolgirls have continued to languish in the den of the insurgents in the Sambisa Forest.

"Till date, President Jonathan has not visited the families of the abducted school children to offer them support and succour, neither has he visited the families of the students who were brutally murdered in Yobe in February. We cannot continue like this if we really want our country to be seen as a worthy member of the comity of nations,"the party said.

It called on President Jonathan, who has been disingenuously portrayed as Nigeria's equivalent of Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and other great leaders of our time, to lead the way in showing that Nigeria is indeed a part of the civilized world, where every human life is considered worthy and sacrosanct.

"Politics must not stand in the way of decency and human sensibilities.

Re-election campaign must not take precedence over the welfare and security of Nigerians. It is time for President Jonathan to show leadership," APC said.

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