‘Don’t extend emergency rule’, Jonathan urged

President Goodluck JonathanFrom Umar Dankano, Yola

President Goodluck Jonathan has been called upon not to extend the State of Emergency declared in three states in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, but rather focus on permanent and long-term solution.

The call was made by a Human Rights Group, Rights Monitoring Group (RMG), which is a coalition of 45 Civil Society Organisations stressing that, the Boko Haram Sect has increasingly carried out terrorist acts in the three states resulting to the killing of hundreds of residents, including college students. Reports say no fewer than 1,500 people were killed in March alone.

The group also objected to any plan by the Federal Government to extend the emergency rule in the states, namely Borno, Yobe and Adamawa by the time it expires on April 19, explaining that the emergency rule slammed on the three states was not necessary.

Speaking in Yola, during a fact-finding visit yesterday, the national coordinator of the group, Mr. Olufemi Aduwo regretted that with the death of over 1,200 Nigerians, from January to March 2014, as a result of

insurgency and counter-insurgency measures by the military, Nigeria now ranks high among the countries with high rates of deaths from insurgency in the world.

This, he said, is a pointer that the emergency rule imposed has failed to achieve the desired result. ‘’ The spate of gruesome killings and the destruction of lives and property in the north-eastern part of the country brought us to make these findings.

“It is obvious that the declaration of the State of Emergency in the North-East has failed to improve the security situation in the region,’’ the coordinator has said.

While opposing extension of the emergency rule, the group appealed for new strategies that would address issues of insecurity in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states.

It further regretted that there were security reports on the impending attacks, but that the reports were either ignored or not promptly responded to by the security agents. “Are the authorities unaware of helicopters dropping arms and ammunition, food and medical supplies to areas well known to be strong holds of the insurgents?” they asked.

“How were the insurgents able to attack the Maiduguri Air-Force Base and demobilize as well as burn planes and other military installations, despite existing state of emergency and curfew in the town? How could 20 to 30 Toyota Hi-lux vehicles move in a convoy freely with a subsisting curfew and still go undetected?

“How did a little band of rag-tag misguided youths metamorphose into a well-kitted, well-armed killing machine, moving freely in convoy of vehicles and supported by helicopters? How did the Shilka armoured tank, a multi-purpose self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery weapon positioned to secure Giwa Barracks fail to function resulting in heavy loss of lives both civilian and military as widely reported in the media? Are we dealing with fifth columnists in this crisis?”

The group warned the Federal Government against extending the emergency rule in the three states, saying it had failed to achieve the purpose for which it was imposed in April last year.

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