The Senate has approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for a six-month extension of the emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
In a motion on the extension of state of emergency in the three North-east states, the Senate noted that although commendable progress had been recorded in the affected states, more time was required to restore full and lasting peace.
The Senate approved the extension in compliance with section 305 (6c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) which states, thus; “a proclamation issued by the President, under this section shall cease to have effect; after a period of six months has elapsed since it has been in force, provided that the National Assembly may, before the expiration of six months as aforesaid extend the period for the proclamation of the state of emergency to remain in force from time to time, for a further period of six months by a resolution passed in like manner”.
The Senate, therefore, approved the Presidential request to extend the state of emergency in those states on the same terms and conditions as earlier approved and gazetted.
The Senate majority leader, Victor Ndoma Egba, (PDP Cross River) in proposing the motion, moved for an additional prayer to invite the service chiefs and the minister of foreign affairs to appear before the upper House in plenary to confirm the impact of the state of emergency on these three states.
Meanwhile, a group of senators from the North-eastern part of the country have urged the federal government to review its strategy of military engagement in the operation against insurgency in the region.
The senators – Bello Tukur (PDP-Adamawa), Ahmed Zanna (PDP-Borno) and Ma’aji Lawan (APC-Borno) – who made their views known at a joint news briefing in Abuja, urged the military to relax the restrictions of movement on people living within the affected areas.
The Senator Tukur specifically called for the dismantling of check points to enable residents resume their normal activities while the military conducts its operations, adding that there was need to boost the number of personnel involved in the operations.
“Well it (extension) has been approved by the Senate but so far one would say there are still some challenges and the challenges are well known…The number of personnel that are involved in the operation are not enough. Probably the services need to look at that,” he said.
In his contribution, Senator Zanna who expressed support of the extension, urged that military operations be extended to the remote areas of the affected states and that they should be provided with adequate arms and equipment to effectively dislodge the insurgents and restore normalcy in the affected areas.
‘Considering the situation in Borno, we don’t have any option than to approve the extension. But the operations will only succeed only if there is will and this is why they have not been able to accomplish what they were posted there to do,” he noted.
Also speaking, senator Lawan said the extension of emergency rule would help to return the three states to the path of peace and normalcy.
“This further extension will ensure that normalcy is restored completely to the three states in the shortest possible time such that Mr President will not need to extend it any further,” he said.