Promoting Good Governance.

Senate Approves Emergency Rule Extension

The senate has approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states for another six months.

The red chamber also endorsed the assistance of the international community to sweep out terrorism in the country and urged the President to immediately approve intervention funds to the affected states for development.

The resolution for the extension was unanimously supported by the senators through a voice vote at the end of a closed session which lasted over four hours.

Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, moved the motion for approval of the extension and was seconded by the Minority Leader, George Akume.

Ndoma-Egba noted that the request for extension the emergency rule met the requirement of Section 305 (6) (c) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended and listed the conditions the senate expected the federal government to put in place to complement the emergency rule in the affected area.

He said that the insurgents had persistently carried out attacks on military and civilian targets with devastating and alarming casualty rates in the three states and that the service and security chiefs had briefed the House on the state of security in the affected area.

The senate therefore, urged the federal government to undertake a sustained military operation to sweep out the insurgents and urgently resolve certain socio-economic issues affecting the area.

The lawmakers also requested the government to conduct special recruitment of youths and screened members of the civilian JTF into the armed forces for deployment to the troubled zone after receiving emergency training.

The senate further urged the federal government to liaise with the three state governments to fashion out an Economic Marshall Plan to revive the economy of all disadvantaged parts of the country.

It also called for proper kitting, arming and provision of adequate welfare for the troops deployed to combat the insurgency.

The upper legislative arm also urged the President to prepare and submit a supplementary budget to the National Assembly to meet any special financial requirement needed to combat the insurgency.

The senate also directed that the service and security chiefs as well as the ministers of Defence and Police Affairs to submit to it a monthly report on the progress being made in tackling the insurgency.

Senate President, David Mark, in a remark after the approval noted that the insurgency in the North east was a national problem.

“We have requested that certain issues be resolved as quickly as possible. We stand shoulder to shoulder behind our colleagues from all the States affected. We take this in the same vein that we are all equally affected and that this is a national issue and not a sectional issue in any form,” he said.

The House of Representatives last Thursday approved the extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobes States for another six months.

A State of Emergency was declared in the three States in May 2013 and extended for a six month period which is expected to elapse on Wednesday.