15th May, 2013
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States
by President Goodluck Jonathan as lacking in original thinking, and therefore asked the National Assembly to reject it.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said if the use of force was capable of ending the Boko Haram crisis, it would have ended a long time ago.
It said while the President was right in expressing outrage over the mindless killings and wanton destruction by the insurgents, he was wrong in proposing more of the same measures that have failed to yield results.
”If the medicine given to a patient has not cured his or her illness, is it not futile to prescribe more of the same medicine for the patient? If the declaration of a state of emergency in 15 local government areas in four states in 2011 has not curbed the activities of the insurgents, why extend such measure to other areas? If the use of force in the affected states have failed to curtail the activities of the insurgents, why send in more troops?
”There is nothing new in the President’s action. It is more of the same: deployment of more troops to the affected states and the use of tougher, scorched-earth tactics against the insurgents. In the first instance, this stepped-up militarization of the states amounts to an asymmetric use of force in an environment where the insurgents operate within a civilian population, hence it will ultimately be counterproductive as the death toll will continue to mount while the civilian population – who will be caught in the cross fire – will be alienated.
”Secondly, the President should go ahead and disband the committee he recently inaugurated and saddled with reaching out to the insurgents, because by opting to flood the states with more troops under an ill-advised emergency rule, he has succeeded in pulling the carpet from under the Committee’s feet. Who negotiates genuinely with a gun to his head? The committee’s job is over, the members can as well pack up and go home.
”Thirdly, one hopes the President’s action is not linked to the politics of 2015. With the three states militarized, there can neither be electioneering campaign nor voting there. We had warned earlier that as 2015 approaches, the Jonathan Administration will increasingly take measures that will make it impossible to hold election in many states The over militarization of some states in the north, the plan to destabilise the South-west using slush funds from the so-called oil
pipeline protection contract and the infantile threats from some Niger Delta militants seem to be part of this plan
”Fourthly, what happens if and when the declaration of emergency rule fails to stem the violence, now that the President has gone for broke and played his last card?
”In view of the reasons stated above, we hereby reject the declaration of emergency rule in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, and we call on the National Assembly to also reject it and not allow itself to be used to rubber stamp a declaration that is largely cosmetic.
”We reiterate our earlier statements that the Boko Haram crisis has its roots in years of bad governance that have produced an army of unemployed, unemployable, disenchanted and demoralized youths who are now ready hands and
willing tools for those seeking to perpetrate violence. The unprecedented corruption across the land, as well as injustice and extra-judicial killings are also fuelling this crisis,” ACN said.
The party said while the short-term solution to the Boko Haram crisis should be a combination of dialogue and a minimal use of force, the long term measure to deny Boko Haram of willing recruits and make the sect unattractive to anyone is to ensure that the State can adequately meet the yearnings and aspirations of its citizens. And the only way to do this is through good governance that delivers the dividends of democracy to the citizens; stamps out corruption and ensures a just and equitable society.
”Boko Haram is like a bad tree. To kill it, it must be uprooted, instead of trimming its branches. The measures announced by President Jonathan on Tuesday will not deliver the killer punch to this reprehensible sect. There is need to think out of the box,” it said.