State of Emergency: Senate summons service chiefs, NSA

David Mark

Senator President, David Mark

Senate President, David Mark
Senate President, David Mark

The Senate will meet with Nigeria service chiefs, the National Security Adviser, (NSA), the Minister of Defence and Police Affairs Thursday 15 May before deciding whether to accede to the request by President Goodluck Jonathan for extension of State of emergency imposed on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States for another six months.

The Senate agreed unanimously on Tuesday 13 May in a motion moved by Senator Ndoma Egba that the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Chiefs of Army, Naval and Air Staff as well as the Inspector General of Police should be invited to brief the Senators at a closed session on the implementation of the State of emergency which was first imposed on the three states at the height of the Boko Haram insurgency in May last year.

However, the motion was amended to also extend the invitation to the Ministers of Defence, Police Affairs and the NSA.

President Jonathan had written to the National Assembly to seek the extension of the state of emergency in three North East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe in a letter sent to the Senate and read on the floor of the legislative chamber on Tuesday morning.

The President said in the letter that there was a need to extend the state of emergency because the security situation in the three states had not improved as attacks by the insurgent group Boko Haram has not abated.

There has been calls for the lifting of the State of emergency which was first imposed on the three States last year and was renewed last November by some stakeholders in the North-east region based on arguments that it has not achieved its aim of curbing the insurgency.

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But the presidency has argued that the state of emergency has helped to curtail the spread and activities of Boko Haram insurgents since it was imposed on the three States.

Some Senators had said yesterday that they will oppose the extension of the State of emergency for the same reason.

The House of Representatives said yesterday that members will discuss the request for extension of State of emergency by the President.

Despite the state of emergency — which must be renewed every six months with the approval of National Assembly — Boko Haram has continued to carry out attacks in the three States.

If the Senate gives its approval, this will be the second extension of the state of emergency in the three North East states.

In spite of the state of emergency, the Islamist sect on 14 April abducted 234 students at Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, an action that has attracted worldwide condemnation.