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Positive reaction to state of emergency declaration

15 May 2013, 08:27Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - Most Nigerians welcomed the State of Emergency President GoodLuck Jonathan has imposed to thwart terrorism and bring order to some northern parts of the country.

President Jonathan on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in the states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa which are believed to be the strongholds of Boko Haram.

In a nationwide broadcast, he said  government had to take extraordinary measures in tackling the problem after security operatives on special duty were recently killed in Borno state.

Jonathan also directed the chief of defence staff, Admiral Ola Ibrahim, to immediately deploy more troops to the three states for more effective internal security operations.

While the president's emergency rule declaration is subject to approval by the National Assembly, human and civil rights group welcomed the decision.

Human Rights lawyer Femi Falana called on the National Assembly to support the president since he acted within the confines of the law.

“While appealing for approval of the declaration, the National Assembly should appropriate adequate funds for upgrading the security of the nation.

"In the face of incessant terrorist attacks, kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes the federal government ought to stop paying lip service.

"It is not sufficient to deploy more troops to the affected states if the terrorists and other groups have more sophisticated weapons than the Joint Task Force," Falana said.

Civil rights activist Joe Odumakin said, "This is what the president should have done long ago. The security agencies know where these terrorists are hiding.

"The best thing would have been to cage them in on those locations and either arrest or kill them. Though coming a little late, we are solidly behind the president on this move."

Odumakin however appealed to soldiers deployed in the three states to adhere to the rules of engagement as they engage the terrorists.

The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has also supported the President's action, hoping it would restore peace to the troubled states.

CPC National  Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin said president Jonathan had full view of the situation, citing his privileged position in the presidency.

"He (President Jonathan) is empowered by the Nigerian constitution to declare state of emergency in these states.

"The situation there is dire and begs all of us to rally behind the president. We hope this latest action will bring the elusive peace,” Fashakin said.

The Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) also threw its weight behind Jonathan’s declaration.

HURIWA however asked President Jonathan to disband the presidential committee on amnesty to terrorists headed by his Minister for Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, noting the continuous negotiation with “mass murderers” who were not willing to compromise.

- CAJ News


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