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EMERGENCY RULE: Again Senate Suspends Decision On President Jonathan’s Letter



The Senate, on Wednesday, for the second time, suspended deliberations on the President Goodluck Jonathan’s letter seeking another extension of the emergency rule in the three North – Eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The letter was read by Senate President, David Mark, on Tuesday and the senators went behind closed doors to discuss it but could not take any decision on whether to approve or reject the proposal.
At the  resumed plenary on Wednesday, Senate leader, Victor Ndoma – Egba, moved a motion for the continuation of the letter’s consideration in a closed session.
At the end of the session which lasted about two hours,  Mark explained that his colleagues have an extensive,  frank and exhaustive debate over the issue but had to postpone further discussions on it to Thursday.
Mark said, “We had a very robust and detailed discussion and we will continue the discussion tomorrow. The senate also resolved that we will invite the service chiefs to be part of our discussion by appearing before the senate”
Speaking with journalists shortly after plenary, Senators Ahmed Lawan ( APC Yobe North) and Kabiru Gaya ( APC, Kano South), said they maintained their opposition to the extension of the emergency rule through out the meeting because they were not convinced that it would achieve the intended objective.
Gaya  noted that the last time that the extension was granted before the extension, none of the local governments was under the control of Boko Haram but that now, in Borno State, there are 14 local governments out of 27  under the control of Boko Haram.
He said, “The state of emergency did not work there in that case. We have problem also in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, we lost two or three local governments in Yobe State and almost five local governments in Adamawa State.
“So the whole thing is retrospective, it’s going backward, it’s reducing. The problem is escalating, Borno camp has the highest number of refugees in Africa, I believe and we have over 25,000 to 30,000 people being paid daily to take their three square meals.
“So we believe there are a lot of questions to be answered by the service chiefs. We can’t just simply grant the state of emergency just like that without inviting them to tell us what really happened, because we gave eight conditions before when we granted the last request and no condition has been met.
“That is one of the problems. When you see an army officer hiding under a bed in your dormitory, and by the sound of Boko Haram, he runs out of that place, what would you do.
“The Nigerian army had high respect before, we fought the Liberian war and in many other places and we succeeded and now, up to 90 percent of the weapons and armory of the military are in the hands of Boko Haram.
” 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.”
Lawan said, “We have granted two requests for extension in the past but for 18 months,  the state of emergency did not work and we believe that there is no point going through the same process again.”
He insisted that the military did not need an emergency rule before it could successfully deal with the  insurgency situation because there was no such proclamation in the Niger Delta region  before the militants were flushed out of the place.
Meanwhile it was reported yesterday, that there was mixed reactions  in the senate over President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for extension of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe

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