President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday asked the Senate to approve another six months extension of the ongoing emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States.
Jonathan’s letter which was read at plenary by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, is the third in the series of such requests.
The two previous ones were approved by the Senate.
However, the Secretary of the Northern Senators Forum, Senator Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North), opposed the request.
He said that even though the military needs more hi-tech equipment to fight the Boko Haram insurgents, it would be wrong to extend the emergency rule.
Jonathan, in the letter entitled: “Re: Extension of the period for the proclamation of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States” noted that the security situation in the three states remains daunting.
The letter reads in part: “May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which was approved by the National Assembly.
“By virtues of the provisions of section 305(6)(c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, the Proclamation aforementioned would have elapsed after six months from the date of approval of the National Assembly.
“However, after due consideration of the representations made of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to that effect, while substantial progress had been made to contain situation that necessitated the proclamation of a state of emergency was yet to abate.
“It would be recalled that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had upon consideration of the realities of the security situation in the affected States that had been placed before it graciously approved by resolution, the extension of the State of Emergency for a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the subsisting period.
“The security situation in the three States remains daunting, albeit to varying degrees, in the face of persistent attacks by members of the Boko Haram sect on civilian and military targets with alarming casualty rates.
“In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request Distinguished Senators to consider and approve by resolution, the extension of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States by a further term of six months from the date of expiration of the current term.”
However, Chairman Senate Committee on Public Account and Secretary of the Northern Senators Forum, Senator Ahmad Lawan, kicked against a further extension of the state of the emergency in the three states.
The Senator representing Yobe North in the Upper Chamber said he can only support more armament and funding for the troops already deployed to the states.
Lawan while responding to a question on the request for further extension of the emergency rule, said: “The state of emergency had been operated for 12 months now and will end on the 19th of this month. I think that should be the end.
“That is not to say that the military operation in the Northeast should cease. Instead, the Federal Government should deploy more military personnel and modern equipment to the affected states.
“What is crucial, essential and imperative, is not the state of emergency but the enablement of the military especially those in the battle front to have state-of-the-art technology and weapons.
“They should be motivated so that we can have results. The government does not need to declare another state of emergency before they continue. They are already there.
“The obsolete arms and ammunition should be withdrawn from them and be replaced with modern ones. The National Assembly has always expressed willingness to support further funding for the military operation.
“The Senate President, David Mark, who spoke on our behalf last week, told President Goodluck Jonathan that the Senate was prepared to approve supplementary budget to further equip the military and boost the morale of the soldiers.
“Therefore I am completely opposed to the extension of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, but I support further funding for the military operation in the area.”