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Published On: Thu, May 15th, 2014

Reps okay extension of emergency rule

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  • May extend Adamawa, Borno, Yobe govs’ tenure
  • Senate debates proposal Tuesday

By Lawrence Olaoye, Ikechukwu Okaforadi & Umar Muhammad Puma

The House of Representatives yesterday approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for the extension of state of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states for another six months.

This is just as the House expressed its readiness to activate the provisions in the Constitution by extending the tenure of the governors by maximum of six months should the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) find it impossible to hold elections in the three affected states by 2015.

Explaining why the House resolved to endorse extension of the emergency rule, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed, said the firsthand information given to the lawmakers by the service chiefs who briefed them on the reality of the situation in those states, made them to endorse the proposal unanimously.

According to him, the service chiefs informed them that “Nigeria is at war”, that was why they granted President Jonathan’s request for the extension.

“We were told that there is progress that has been made in the last extension that will soon be crowned with success, especially now that they have foreign collaborators who are helping in fighting these terrorists.

“As a responsible institution, we decided to give them approval to be able to get the desired result. It is their responsibility to provide us with the security of lives and property. We know that this is the

only way we can end this terrorism. We tried to probe into whether they are adequately equipped and the armed forces seem to be on top of the situation. We have all the assurances from the Service Chiefs that they are on top of the situation”, Mohammed said.

The service chiefs led by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, had at the meeting which began at 2.08pm and lasted till 4.26pm, convinced the lawmakers on the need for the emergency rule’s extension.

Others present were Chief of Naval, Vice Admiral Usman O. Jibrin, his Air Force counterpart, Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu, Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, and

Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The Chief of Defence Staff was said to be on official assignment abroad.

Mohammed, who briefed newsmen after the closed door meeting, said the House approved the emergency extension proposal because the primary responsibility of every government is to protect life and property and the House had to support the military to end the insurgency.

Responding to a question on what would happen should insecurity persist in the three North-east states till election period in 2015, Rep Ibrahim El-Sudi, a lawyer, who jointly addressed the press with Mohammed said: “Section 180 (3) provides that if the federation is at war, as the service chiefs had told us emphatically that the country is at war, it can be civil war or insurgency war; …the territory of

Nigeria is physically involved and the President consider that it is not practicable to hold election, the National Assembly, by resolution shall extend the period of four years from time to time. And no such extension shall exceed the period of 6 months at any one time”, El-Sudi explained.

By this assertion, the three governors could be allowed continue to carry on in office through a resolution of the National Assembly even beyond their four-year tenure.

Meanwhile, the Senate has reserved Tuesday next week for debate on the proposal by President Jonathan to extend emergency rule in three North-east states.

After about five hours at a closed door meeting with the service chiefs, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, who presided over the plenary, said the Senate’s decision to suspend the debate to next week Tuesday was to enable the lawmakers consult further with relevant stakeholders.

He said that at the closed door meeting, the security chiefs had briefed them on the on-going operations in the three states, and advanced reasons why the emergency rule should be extended.

He said the Senate will go further to consult with other stakeholders to ensure that every party agrees, and that anything worth done is done to end the insurgency.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North), who is one of the senators from the region, said the necessary action is for the soldiers to be well equipped with modern military technology.

He said continuous extension of emergency in the three states would not solve the problem in the region as experiences of other countries have shown.

“I feel very strongly that sufficient consultation has not been done.

We know where the shoe pinches and we have made it categorically clear, our people have made their minds known, our elders have made their minds known.

“Our state governors have made their minds known on behalf of the people that we don’t need an extension of the state of emergency and speaking very patriotically and responsibly as a citizen and responsible as a senator, I believe that what we need is to ensure that we give our security forces the required enablement.

Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) said there was need to extend consultations with relevant stakeholders on the appropriate decision to take.

It would be recalled that the senators from the North, under the umbrella of Northern Senators Forum (NSF), had, after a four-hour closed door meeting on Wednesday, vowed to frustrate the proposal whenever it comes up to the Senate for debate.

But Nenadi Usman (Kaduna South), while speaking to journalists, said the position of the Northern Senators Forum was not to reject the emergency extension.

She said, rather, the resolution of the senators from the North was that they should advise the federal government to explore other alternative means of ending the insurgency, other than continuing to extend emergency rule in the three states.

By Lawrence Olaoye, Ikechukwu Okaforadi & Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives yesterday approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for the extension of state of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states for another six months.This is just as the House expressed its readiness to activate the provisions in the Constitution by extending the tenure of the governors by maximum of six months should the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) find it impossible to hold elections in the three affected states by 2015.Explaining why the House resolved to endorse extension of the emergency rule, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed, said the firsthand information given to the lawmakers by the service chiefs who briefed them on the reality of the situation in those states, made them to endorse the proposal unanimously.According to him, the service chiefs informed them that “Nigeria is at war”, that was why they granted President Jonathan’s request for the extension.“We were told that there is progress that has been made in the last extension that will soon be crowned with success, especially now that they have foreign collaborators who are helping in fighting these terrorists.“As a responsible institution, we decided to give them approval to be able to get the desired result. It is their responsibility to provide us with the security of lives and property. We know that this is theonly way we can end this terrorism. We tried to probe into whether they are adequately equipped and the armed forces seem to be on top of the situation. We have all the assurances from the Service Chiefs that they are on top of the situation”, Mohammed said. The service chiefs led by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, had at the meeting which began at 2.08pm and lasted till 4.26pm, convinced the lawmakers on the need for the emergency rule’s extension.Others present were Chief of Naval, Vice Admiral  Usman O. Jibrin, his Air Force counterpart, Air Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu, Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Mr. Ita Ekpeyong, andInspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The Chief of Defence Staff was said to be on official assignment abroad.Mohammed, who briefed newsmen after the closed door meeting, said the House approved the emergency extension proposal because the primary responsibility of every government is to protect life and property and the House had to support the military to end the insurgency.Responding to a question on what would happen should insecurity persist in the three North-east states till election period in 2015, Rep Ibrahim El-Sudi, a lawyer, who jointly addressed the press with  Mohammed said: “Section 180 (3) provides that if the federation is at war, as the service chiefs had told us emphatically that the country is at war, it can be civil war or insurgency war; …the territory ofNigeria is physically involved and the President consider that it is not practicable to hold election, the National Assembly, by resolution shall extend the period of  four years from time to time. And no such extension shall exceed the period of 6 months at any one time”, El-Sudi explained.By this assertion, the three governors could be allowed continue to carry on in office through a resolution of the National Assembly even beyond their four-year tenure.Meanwhile, the Senate has reserved Tuesday next week for debate on the proposal by President Jonathan to extend emergency rule in three North-east states.After about five hours at a closed door meeting with the service chiefs, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, who presided over the plenary, said the Senate’s decision to suspend the debate to next week Tuesday was to enable the lawmakers consult further with relevant stakeholders.He said that at the closed door meeting, the security chiefs had briefed them on the on-going operations in the three states, and advanced reasons why the emergency rule should be extended.He said the Senate will go further to consult with other stakeholders to ensure that every party agrees, and that anything worth done is done to end the insurgency.Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North), who is one of the senators from the region, said the necessary action is for the soldiers to be well equipped with modern military technology.He said continuous extension of emergency in the three states would not solve the problem in the region as experiences of other countries have shown.“I feel very strongly that sufficient consultation has not been done. We know where the shoe pinches and we have made it categorically clear, our people have made their minds known, our elders have made their minds known.“Our state governors have made their minds known on behalf of the people that we don’t need an extension of the state of emergency and speaking very patriotically and responsibly as a citizen and responsible as a senator, I believe that what we need is to ensure that we give our security forces the required enablement. Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South) said there was need to extend consultations with relevant stakeholders on the appropriate decision to take.It would be recalled that the senators from the North, under the umbrella of Northern Senators Forum (NSF), had, after a four-hour closed door meeting on Wednesday, vowed to frustrate the proposal whenever it comes up to the Senate for debate.But Nenadi Usman (Kaduna South), while speaking to journalists, said the position of the Northern Senators Forum was not to reject the emergency extension.She said, rather, the resolution of the senators from the North was that they should advise the federal government to explore other alternative means of ending the insurgency, other than continuing to extend emergency rule in the three states.

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