ACN lawmakers snub party, join Senate to back emergency in three states

House of Representatives in session

The Senate said the military must abide by their code of conduct.

Opposition senators teamed with other lawmakers Tuesday to back President Jonathan’s request for an emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, snubbing their parties that had primed them to kick against a military campaign that began a week ago in the trouble states.

But the senate urged the federal government to issue troops with a code of conduct to ensure they are “humane, benevolent and respectful” to the residents of the three states.

The senate passed the request in unanimous vote participated by 100 senators, more than the constitutional two thirds benchmark required.

The decision gives a partial legal backing to the president’s declaration last week. A House of Representatives vote is expected later Tuesday or Wednesday. The House remained in an executive session by Tuesday noon.

Emerging from its closed-session that lasted more than an hour, the Senate said while the decision may have been belated, “it is better late than never”.

It however urged the federal government to press the amnesty option alongside the military, as it was convinced the final solution to the insurgency was not military.

“We are conscious of the fact that the government is taking the decision as the last resort,” said Senate President David Mark, after the session.

“We emphasize that at the end of the day, a military solution is not the solution to the problem on the ground; but to win the hearts of the people in these areas and indeed the entire country. Government should us the carrot and stick approach.”

The senate also called for the rule to be brought to a close as quickly as possible, and asked the federal government to take full charge of funding, amid allegations that states were left to struggle to fund the security operations.

But the senate spokesperson, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said Mr. Jonathan had not requested for extra funding yet. If he did, the senate was sure to approve, Mr. Abaribe said.

Mr. Abaribe said the executive session allowed lawmakers to speak to each other “frankly” about the dire security situation the nation faced, necessitating the extreme measures, exchanges that won over opposition senators, mainly from the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; and the Congress from Progressive Change, who had hinted they may oppose the decision. The ACN had publicly condemned the emergency declaration.

“We didn’t need to do any magic. We spoke to ourselves frankly about Nigeria first before party,” Mr. Abaribe said.

He said the senate opted for a unanimous decision to protect its members from harm from the “misinformed terrorists”, who may react over the outcome of the senate decision.

The senate also said the president has the powers to deploy troops to any part of the country and did not have to wait for the National Assembly, in response to concerns over why the emergency rule kicked off ahead of the resolution of the National Assembly.


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  • The decision of ACN senators to allow their concience rule their action by jetisioning the unpopular view of Lai Mohammed, an alleged Boko Haram finacier and supporter, has clearly shows that Nigerian Politicians can be sensible when the need arises. Lai Mohammed (the alleged sole sponsor of Offa-Erinle crisis) should bury his head in shame now that National Assembly have approved Emergency rule in the affected States. By their producst and utrances we shall know those politicians who really love and respect the Unity of this country.

  • isaac

    This shows maturity, and not party sentiment. Kudos!

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Either senate endorse or not endorse the president Jonathan emergency rule policy in three Northern states in Nigeria,the bench mark is elimination of Boko Haram as promised by president Jonathan and his regime.
    If Boko Haram is eliminated then the state of emergency rule declaration would serve its ultimate purpose but if Boko Haram still remain and linger beyond this state of emergency declaration in the three Northern states in Nigeria then the president Jonathan and his service chiefs would be total failure and must be force out of office.

    • Ndidi

      GEJ is only a man, he is not GOD who alone does right all the time. Are you yourself perfect in all you do? Boko Haram are satanic group of violent and bloodthirsty people. Think it through, would you find it easy to be rid of them if you were President?

    • Anyi

      I disagree with you! If the campaign fails it shows that the people of the region are all behind the insurgency and it will be a shameful thing for them. Then one now may ask, what do they want? A country within a country? Wanton killing of innocent nigerians? All these people criticising Mr president, I think, are all part of the insurgency. They will be shocked when this their act snowball into something outside their initial plan.

  • Bala R

    Are ACN senators different from the Nigerian politicians, are the politians not the cause of BH and any other problem in this country? People should know that this politians are same where ever you go. Tell me any Senator or Ref that goes to his town at least once in a month. They have all relocated to Abuja fucking and drinking the same girls and wines.