The opposition party said the president acted rightly.
The party’s position was made known by its National Chairman, Ogbonnaya Onu, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday.
Mr. Onu said his party and its governors will support the Federal Government to bring peace to Borno and Yobe, currently under emergency rule.
President Goodluck Jonathan declared a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa on Tuesday evening to curb the violence and insurgency in the area. Of the three states, only Adamawa is controlled by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, with the other two controlled by the ANPP.
The ANPP’s reactions contrasts sharply with that of its other two allies, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; with the other two outrightly condemning the declaration. The three parties, alongside a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, are currently concluding their merger to form the All Progressives Congress.
“We have been working very hard as a party and our governors are mature. They will continue to work hard for peace. That has been the position of our party,” Mr. Onu said. “But we believe that with the declaration of the state of emergency, the rights of the citizens must be respected because we are in democracy,’’ M. Onu said.
He lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for ensuring that the political leadership of the affected states was not taken away from the governors.
“The insecurity was not caused by the governors and they were elected by the people; so the emergency should not and I am happy it has not affected them,” he said. “They have been putting in their best and we know that they will continue to do so until we have peace.”
The ACN, probably sensing the view of one of its allies warned on Thursday that retaining the political leadership during such emergency declaration was inconsequential.
“Truly, leaving the Governors and the state legislatures in place has made it easier for Nigerians to accept the imposition. But the truth is that the state chief executives and the legislatures have no role to play under the new system in place in the states,” the party added,” the ACN spokesman, Lai Mohammed, said.
Premium Times had made repeated efforts to reach the spokesperson of the ANPP on Wednesday and Thursday on the party’s reaction.
“We’re not speaking now,” Emma Eneukwu, the party spokesperson had said.
With the statement of the party’s chairman, it appears the ANPP’s initial silence was not want to antagonize its allies, the ACN and CPC, who would then appear to be crying more than the bereaved.
Mr. Onu expressed optimism that the issue of insecurity in the country would soon be resolved, saying, “Whatever has a beginning must have an end.’’
Earlier at a public lecture, organised by the Nigerian Academy of Sciences, Mr. Onu urged government at all levels to embrace research to address the challenges posed by climate change.
Mr. Onu, who chaired the lecture, warned that climate change would have adverse effects on food security.
“Before now Nigeria was self-sufficient in food production but now the country is the largest importer of rice and other commodities, this is not acceptable,’’ he said.
The ANPP Chairman said that “government must continue to carry out research to see how climate change has impacted on us as well as the necessary measures needed to ameliorate its effects on our economy.
“Everybody, not just the government, even the private sector must emphasis research.
“Research is very important because without it, we would not know what will happen,’’ he said.
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