Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Wednesday announced that its members would vote for or against President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to extend the Emergency Rule in some northeastern states of the country.
This followed an intense exchange of views brought forward by members, who spoke in support of and against the motion moved by the majority leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, for the extension of the period for the proclamation of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
In her motion, Akande-Adeola had urged her colleagues to approve the President’s request for an extension for a period of six months.
She said this was cognisance of the fact that the security situation in the three states remains daunting in the face of persistent attacks by
members of the Boko Haram sect on civilian and military targets with alarming casualty rates.
“I, therefore, ask that in the interest of the country, Nigerians,
security of lives and property that we all support the motion,” she said.
Speaking in support of the motion, Hon. Mohammed Monguno, who spoke also as the leader of the Borno State caucus in the House, however, observed that the emergency rule was yet to yield the desired results in the past one year.
“It is still desirable for it to be extended for the states,” he added.
He blamed the seeming failure on what he termed the inability of the military to match the fire power of the insurgents due to
ill-equipment and poor funding.
“When Boko Haram attacks, both the military and villagers run Helter Skater to the bushes. The military are doing there best, but it is the failure of the state because as leaders we have not given them the necessary equipments and funds.
”Even the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has said it on air that the military men are not being properly paid their dues, but despite the short comings, we cannot throw away the baby and the bath water. We are not averse to the extension of the rule but the military must be properly equipped and funded,” he said.
Hon. Kyari Gujubawa from Borno State also supported Monguno’s position, but added that despite the short comings of the military forces, they have through gallantry and patriotism have made Maiduguri one of the
safest place to live now as against what it used to be before the state of emergency was declared.
Hon. Ganama Kwaga from Adamawa State added that as other nations volunteer to come and assist in this fight, it won’t be right for anyone to oppose this motion.
Another member, Hon. Adams Jagaba, from Kaduna State, insisted that since the people of the affected states are in support of the motion, there would not be any wisdom for anybody to oppose it, especially at this point that there is international support for our military to stamp out this
However, Hon. Bukar Lawal, who spoke on behalf of the Yobe State caucus, opposed to the motion.
“On behalf of the government and people of Yobe State, I
oppose this motion. Despite the various checkpoints mounted by the military under the state of emergency, people are still being slaughtered on an increasing rate under their watch. In Yobe State, we don’t want it, we don’t like it. Let’s allow community leaders and vigilantes to be in charge,” he said.
In the same light, Hon. Emmanuel Jimeh from Benue State, while appreciating the efforts of the men and women in uniform, insisted that
insurgency cannot be solved by just a state of emergency and its
“The President should invoke the various anti terror laws to fight
insurgency without always asking for state of emergency,” he said.
Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, however, brought the debate to an end, after he announced that the leadership of the House has agreed to have members vote on this motion on Thursday, after the service chiefs of the military have briefed members on the state and achievements of the State of Emergency in the past one year.