- Senate still undecided on extension
- Summons service chiefs
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, yesterday alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan plans to extend the state of emergency in the three insurgent-ravaged North-Eastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, so elections would not hold in those states.
He said by that action, about five million people in the states would be disenfranchised and the president’s re-election bid a foregone conclusion.
Mr. Oyegun, who made the allegation at the APC ‘Salvation’ rally in Abuja, said President Jonathan daily engaged in idle talks about a total war on Boko Haram, but wondered what the government had been doing since the first time emergency rule was imposed in the states.
“Without doubt, the war against Boko Haram has become a tool for self-enrichment and a tool to disenfranchise Nigerians who are perceived not likely to vote for President Jonathan’s re-election especially in the North East,” Mr. Oyegun said.
He said once President Jonathan obtains the green light from the National Assembly, there will be no elections in the North-Eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. “By this singular act, some five million Nigerians will be disenfranchised, making Jonathan’s re-election a foregone conclusion.”
Oyegun alleged that the handling of the abducted Chibok girls and the ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram were deliberately designed to aid President Jonathan’s re-election.
He also alleged that the recent distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards, PVCs, and continuous registration in 12 states was a fiasco. And the official explanation of computer error from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is a farce.
“But we know this is a lie. The truth of the matter is that the ICT unit of INEC, which is working hands in gloves with the Presidential villa, deliberately corrupted the system in order to disenfranchise voters and wipe out their names from the voters register in APC controlled states,” he said.
According to him, even those who were able to vote in 2011 could no longer find their names on the register.
Meanwhile, the senate yesterday summoned the service chiefs to appear before it to answer questions on why the insurgency is worsening despite all logistic and legislative support which has been extended to them.
The lawmakers summoned the service chiefs’ sequel to their inability to, for the second day in a stretch, arrive at a consensus on whether to approve or reject the request from President Goodluck Jonathan for the third extension of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states.
Speaking to journalists, one of the senators who was in the closed door meeting of the senate yesterday, Kabiru Gaya, said there is no justification to further extend the emergency rule for the third time as the Boko Haram insurgents in the north east region have taken over the governance of fourteen out of the twenty seven local government areas of Borno state and several in Adamawa.
He said currently, Borno state has the largest refugee camp in Africa, with between twenty seven thousand to thirty thousand Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), who are being cared for by the state government.
He also disclosed that out of the eight conditions which the Senate agreed on with President Jonathan before it approved the last extension, none of it was kept by the President.
Gaya also alleged that most of the arms which the insurgents fight with were got from the Nigerian army. “So, I believe that we have to wait until we hear from the Service Chiefs, if they are able to answer our questions, then we can take the next step”, he said.
Also speaking, senator Ahmed Lawan (APC, Yobe), said in the closed door meeting, many of the senators still opposed the proposed extension, adding that he personally opposes the plot vehemently.
Meanwhile, the Senate spokesman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, while briefing journalists, said “for the purposes of having further information, the senate invited the service chiefs to be available today to also brief us on the efforts that have been ongoing in the past six months when the emergency was declared.”
He hoped that a decision will emerge today in the interest of this country”, according to him.
In another development, APC chieftains yesterday defied old age and marched to the streets of Abuja in protest to draw the attention of the government and Nigerians to the insurgency in the North-East.
Among those who marched the streets includes, former head of state Gen Muhammadu Buhari, National chairman of the party John Oyegun, Ogbunnaya Onu, National vice chairman south west Olusegun Oni, and all the national leaders of the party.
Buhari, expressed concern over the performance of the PDP led federal government from 1999 to date, describing the Jonathan led administration as corrupt, inefficient and indiscipline.