Thursday, May 15, 2014

Extension of Emergency Rule: Northern Senators vow to frustrate president Jonathan's request

Senators from the North, operating under the umbrella of Northern Senators Forum, NSF, after their closed-door meeting yesterday, which lasted about three hours, vowed to frustrate moves for the extension of emergency rule in the three North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

The Senators maintained that the extension of the emergency rule was not the best way to combat the insurgency that had paralysed social and economic activities in the affected areas even though they welcomed the intervention of friendly nations in the fight against terrorism.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Chairman of NSF, Senator Umaru Dahiru, who who represents Sokoto South Senatorial district in the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the group had set up a committee to meet with the government of the affected states on the way forward.

"Our meeting this (yesterday) afternoon discussed basically the issue of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Everybody in attendance made contributions and a lot was said.

"The majority position is that we are not going with the state of emergency. That is our categorical position because we are not convinced that it is only the issue of emergency rule that could make the security personnel to achieve success in the area.

"We believe a lot of things ought to be addressed to conquer the issue of insurgency.

"We are going to engage the three governors in the affected states. We want to know what went wrong to be able to come up with better ways to tackle the crisis.

"The constitution requires two third majority in terms of voting. Of course we are going to vote on the issue. If we can outnumber them during the voting, fine." Senator Umaru Dahiru said.

Senator Dahiru expressed support for the decision of friendly foreign powers to assist the country to rescue the schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram sect, but noted that such help must be on the terms of the Nigerian government. Service chiefs, IG for debriefing.

Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday, invited the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to appear before it today for a briefing on the security situation in the three states where state of emergency was imposed, before commencing debates on the President's extension request.

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