Lingering insurgency: Bid to extend Jonathan’s tenure – Allege Keyamo, Reps

Festus Keyamo (SAN)By Ali Abare Abubakar, Umar Muhammad Puma, Ikechukwu Okaforadi, Abuja & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

Renowned lawyer and social crusader, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has raised the alarm over what he termed a ploy by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to perpetuate itself in office beyond 2015 by allowing a war situation to prevail in the country thereby not allowing the general elections to hold as scheduled.

Keyamo who spoke on the lingering insurgency in the North East, occasioned by the activities of the Boko Haram, told Peoples Daily during a phone chat yesterday that there is the possibility that the Jonathan administration will perpetuate a war situation in the country so that there will not be an election in 2015.

The legal luminary, who said he had cause to raise similar alarm in the past, however urged Nigerians to be careful and watchful as events unfold in the polity.

Similarly, a member of the federal House of representatives, Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila (APC Kano), while commenting on the lingering insurgency in the North east which has so far led to the loss of hundreds of lives with many displaced, said it was totally wrong for the federal government to allow the issue of Boko Haram to escalate up to this level in the first place.

On the purported plan by the Jonathan administration to seek to extend its tenure through the back door by allowing the Boko Haram crisis to linger, Rep Sumaila said,

“We as members of the House of Representatives that were elected by the Nigerian people will not allow that to happen, we would do everything within the ambit of the constitution to make sure it never happens.

“I’m advising the federal government to do all it could to end this menace, this has become necessary because this issue has become a disgrace to this country, it has seriously affected our image abroad.

“On our part, we will make sure peace returns to this country; I don’t see any reason why the National Assembly should increase the tenure of any elected officer in the country.”

Also speaking on the matter, Rep Aliyu Sani Madaki, (APC Kano), equally shared these views, saying:

“There is lack of political will on the part of the federal government, otherwise how could you tell me that with over 100, 000 Nigerian army personnel, with all its might, cannot finish Boko Haram members who are less than 10, 000. That is not possible.

“The federal government wants to use this crisis to remain in power beyond 2015. Look at what is happening now, over 200 schools girls were kidnapped at their school for over five months now, and now it has become a mere story. Now the insurgents are in control of Bama, Gwoza Gamborun-Ngala and other communities in Adamawa and Yobe state, and the government is behaving as if everything is normal.

“There is no doubt that the federal government will want to use this to say that the country is at war so there is not going to be an election in 2015.

This is very sad for a country like Nigeria.” Responding over the same allegation, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Chairman Senate Committee on Information, however said that he is not in position to comment on the matter since the Senate is on break.

“We are going to resume next week. It is only when the Senate resumes that we can consider the various reports about the security situations of the north east and which way forward. It is only after we have met and listened to the security chiefs that I can respond to your question, but for now, we are yet to be briefed. I cannot tell you anything now officially from the senate” he explained.

On the purported attempt by the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to extend its tenure beyond 2015 by failing to conduct elections either nationally or in the three most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, Keyamo, maintained that based on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, “you can’t declare anyone a winner if you don’t hold elections in three states out of the 36.”

Section 134 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitutions, states emphatically how a president is expected to emerge in a contest involving two candidates as indications point to the fact that the 2015 presidential election could after all be fought between the two prominent political parties; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

(1)    A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected, where, there being only two candidates for the election –  (a) he has the majority of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(2) A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election- (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Efforts to get the reaction of presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, did not yield any positive result, as he did not respond to calls nor text message sent to his mobile phone.

Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of exhibiting a shocking act of indiscretion by hobnobbing with an alleged Boko Haram sponsor, Ali Modu Sheriff, who is not known to have been investigated and cleared of the weighty allegation against him.

In a statement issued in London yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party wondered what message President Jonathan was sending to his compatriots

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