NIGERIA: Tukur, NLC, TUC Back Emergency Rule as Others Kick

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Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur,the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Wednesday expressed support for the proclamation of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States.

However, other groups and individuals expressed reservations about the President Goodluck Jonathan’s  decision to escalate  the military solution to confronting the reign of terror in the three states.

NLC: Emergency rule handled with political maturity
NLC President,  AbdulWaheed Omar, Wednesday lauded Jonathan for handling the declaration of state of emergency in the three states with political maturity.

Omar told reporters in Ibadan that the president in his address had reassured Nigerians that the decision was not borne out of    political victimisation.

"If you look at the states affected, Yobe and Borno are not under the ruling party(Peoples Democratic Party). People are likely to misinterpret this to be political victimisation. But I think the steps taken by Mr. President are, so far, commendable,” he said.

TUC warns opponents of emergency rule

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has cautioned those opposed to the state of emergency declared by the federal government in the three states  not to politicise the issue of  national security.

TUC President General, Peter Esele, who expressed support for the proclamation,  said it would stem the tide of insecurity in the troubled states.

Esele, in a telephone conversation with THISDAY Wednesday, maintained that the unity and protection of Nigerians, irrespective of tribe or creed, must be defended as specified by law.

Tukur urges states to join war against Terror

National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Wednesday called on the 36 states of the federation to join the war against terrorism in order to make the state of emergency declared by Jonathan work effectively.

The PDP national chairman who justified the imposition of state of emergency on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, said the reason behind the extension of the state of emergency to his state, Adamawa, was the consideration that since Borno and Adamawa are geographically contiguous, it made a lot of sense to engage terrorists within the zones broadly in an attempt to break their network and areas of stronghold.

He said both the southern Borno and the northern Adamawa share close affinity in social lives, ethnicism, religion, commerce and trade, such that the government needed to create a corridor and a buffer zone for engaging the terrorists in the two axis.

Tukur explained that it was incumbent on the federal government to recourse to a preventive approach even in the fight against terrorism, a reason he said Adamawa was included on the list of states to be protected if the state of emergency is to work.

He added that while the military and other security agencies would be concentrating efforts on tackling terrorism in Nigeria, the neighbouring states, and indeed, all states of the federation should also join in the fight while watching their borders closely.

Cameroun pledges support for anti-terror war

Cameroun Wednesday pledged its support for Nigeria’s anti-terror war as its High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Ibrahim Abbas, said his country would ensure the effective implementation of the  security  agreement between the two countries.

Abbas told THISDAY in Abuja that Nigeria and Cameroun are partners in security not just for the borders, but also to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Plateau to tighten inter-state borders

The Plateau State Government has directed security agents to tighten its borders with other states to prevent influx of insurgents from the states under emergency rule.

It has also urged its citizens to be watchful and ensure that any strange influx of people into the state are reported to security agents, adding that the peace currently being enjoyed in the state cannot be toyed with.

Addressing reporters after the state Security Council meeting in Jos, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Abraham Yiljap, said the meeting, which was presided over by the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Ignatius Longjan, also condemned the recent attacks on security agents in some states by terrorists.

SAN seeks removal of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa govs

A former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Kwara State ,Chief Titus Ashaolu (SAN)  Wednesday called on Jonathan to remove governors of the three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa where emergency rule was imposed in order  to fully restore law and order in the affected states.

He said the declaration of state of emergency in the states must be total and this can only be done by the removal of the three governors.

Ashaolu, while fielding questions from journalists in Ilorin, said: "The governors as chief security officers of their respective states were there when things were  turned upside down.”

He queried  what the governors used their  security votes for, adding that  they should be probed to determine how they spend the votes.

Ex-ICPC chairman doubts efficacy of president’s proclamation

Former Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Justice Mustapha Akanbi (rtd) Wednesday described the declaration of state of emergency in the three north-east states as a new experiment being carried out.

Akanbi, responding to questions from reporters in Ilorin, said: "It may not necessarily provide the ultimate answer. On previous occasions when state of emergency was declared in the West and Plateau State, governors were removed.

“With this new experiment  of military interacting with civilians, I see it as an experiment being carried out and I don't know how the joint command would work. Honestly, I can't zero in and say it will provide the ultimate answer."

Orji backs Jonathan

Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, Wednesday threw his weight behind Jonathan, saying that the presidential action was “a step in the right direction”.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, who spoke with journalists in Owerri,  said Orji was fully in support of the president since he acted within his constitutional powers and in the interest of the nation.  Orji also commended Jonathan for giving a democratic face to the emergency rule by not dismantling the democratic structures , which enabled the governors and legislatures of the affected states to remain in office.

Ex-PDP governorship aspirant faults proclamation

A former gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Adamawa State,  Dr Umar Ardo, has faulted the decision of the president to impose a state of emergency on Adamawa.

He said although the president had the constitutional power to impose the emergency rule on any state,  he should have made due consultations because the security situations in Adamawa had not reach a stage to warrant the imposition of a state of emergency on the state.

"There are states in the north and other zones that have more security challenges than Adamawa, but to our surprise is that  Adamawa is enlisted as one of the three states where state of emergency was imposed by Mr President,” he said in an interview with THISDAY.
ACF, union differ on state of emergency

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said Wednesday that the state of emergency imposed on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States was not the solution to the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect.

But the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) maintained that the action will address the deteriorating security situation in the three states, which posed serious threat to the country.

Both the ACF and the NUTGTWN were reacting in separate statements to the state of emergency declared on the three states on Tuesday by Jonathan.

The spokesman of the ACF,  Mr. Anthony Sani, said he was sceptical that the action of the president would end the insurgency in the north considering the fact that it did not work in Plateau State and the other local government areas that were placed under emergency rule in the past.

However, the NUTGTWN  in its statement by its General Secretary who is also the Vice-President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr.  Issa Aremu, commended the president for his  action, saying it was  a welcome development.

The union also commended Jonathan for giving the emergency measure a democratic face by retaining the democratic structures in the affected states.

“This is a welcome development and a complete departure from the state of emergency declared in Plateau State in 2004 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that sacked elected public office holders in the state,” the union said.

UPP backs state of emergency
The United Progressive Party (UPP) has expressed support for  the state of emergency declared  in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States on Tuesday.

The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Ogbuehi Dike, said the emergency rule in these crisis-ridden states was necessary to safeguard the lives and property of innocent Nigerians who are being killed daily by Boko Haram insurgents.

"No responsible government will allow the massacre of the citizenry or occupation of any part of the country by insurgents. UPP affirms this firm, decisive and proactive action of President Jonathan as security and welfare of the people is the primary purpose of government as stipulated in section 14 (2) b of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, " it said.

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