President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday asked the Senate to approve the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Jonathan, in a letter to Senate President, David Mark, explained that his action was based on the fact that terrorism had yet to abate in the affected states.
The letter reads in part, “May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, which was approved by the National Assembly.
“By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6)(c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the proclamation aforementioned would have elapsed after six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly.
“However, after due consideration of the representations made to the Senate to the effect that, while substantial progress had been made to contain the situation and restore normalcy in the affected states, the security situation that necessitated the proclamation of a state of emergency was yet to abate.
“It will be recalled that the Senate had upon consideration of the realities of the security situation in the affected states that had been placed before it, graciously approved by resolution, the extension of the state of emergency for a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the subsisting period.
“Distinguished Senators, the security situation in the three states remains daunting, albeit to varying degrees, in the face of persistent attacks by members of the Boko Haram sect on civilian and military targets with alarming casualty rates.
“In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request distinguished Senators to consider and approve by resolution, the extension of the proclamation of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states by a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the current term. “
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who read the letter, was silent on when it would be discussed.
But the senator representing Yobe North, who is also the secretary of the Northern Senators’ Forum, Ahmed Lawan, vehemently opposed the extension during an interview after the plenary.
Lawan, however, said he would support any move by the Senate to increase funding for military operation in the affected states.
He said, “The state of emergency has been operated for 12 months now and will end on May 19. I think that should be the end.
“That is not to say that the military operation in the North-East should cease. Instead, the Federal Government should deploy more military personnel and modern equipment to the affected states.
“What is imperative is not the state of emergency but the enablement of the military, especially those in the battle front, to have modern technology and weapons.”
Lawan said the military should be motivated so that the soldiers could produce results.
Also, Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, expressed opposition to the request by Jonathan, saying the current emergency rule in the three states had failed.
Nyako, who spoke through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajoh, added that it was under the state of emergency that over 200 schoolchildren were abducted from their school in Chibok, Borno State, exactly a month ago.
He said, “Our position on the issue remains the same. We have always opposed the imposition of a state of emergency on Adamawa State and we will continue to oppose it.
“It is unnecessary, it is uncalled for and it does not fulfil the conditions for the imposition of a state of emergency as provided for in the 1999 Constitution but beyond that, there are no incidents in Adamawa State that would warrant an extension of the state of emergency.
“It is under the state of emergency that schoolgirls were abducted. So, what is required is a change of strategy and not an extension of the same strategy that has failed.”