House of Reps rejects extension of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has rejected further extension of emergency rule in the three troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs , Mohammed Zakari, said the lawmakers rejected President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for extension of state of emergency in the three North-East states worst hit by a bloody insurgency by the extremist Boko Haram sect.

Mr. Zakari announced this to newsmen shortly after the house rose from its executive session.

Mr. Zakari said the house resolved that the Federal Government should rely on the provisions of the constitution to deploy military personnel to further combat insurgency in the affected region.

He said, “We have not extended the emergency rule, rather we have asked the president to rely on section 8 of the Armed Forces Act which empowers him to deploy the military to troubled spots of the country.

“If we had approved this today it would have been the fourth on the series.

“You remember the request for emergency rule started in May 2013 and therefore we had done three extensions.

“In anything you are doing, you should be able to take stock; you will be able to see whether or not that action you are taking is yielding results.

“We will be doing more good if Mr President relies on that more.

“Because if we are adopting a particular style and it is not giving us the desired result, we should be able to change it.

“The armed forces act empowers him to deploy soldiers to troubled parts of this country for them to take necessary action.

“This issue was looked at critically at the executive session and we came to this conclusion.”

Mr. Zakari, however, urged Nigerians to play their part in the fight against insurgency currently affecting the country.

He condemned the activities of security operatives who blocked the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, from entering the National Assembly.

According to him, “we see it as one of the tests of democracy.

“Our 7th assembly is insistent on the independence of the legislature; whatever happens in the House of Representatives can be determined by 360 members.

Several lawmakers had expressed their opposition to the extension, saying previous phases of the emergency rule have done little to help the local population in the three states.

The Nigerian upper legislative chamber, the Senate, had also failed Wednesday to approve the presidential request.

Senate spokesperson, Enyinnaya Abaribe, said Wednesday’s discussions, held behind closed doors, were “very frank and acrimonious”.

Boko Haram militants have seized and held many communities and towns in Borno and Adamawa States since August, and have overrun government forces and killed many civilians.

An emergency rule in the three states, in place since May 2013, expires this week.

Mr. Jonathan has urged the Senate and the House of Representatives to approve a six-month extension.

The House of Representatives, which was on break till December 3, had reconvened Thursday to discuss the request.

But as lawmakers tried to access their chamber for the session, security agents massed up at National Assembly gates, denying Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and some other lawmakers entry.

Some lawmakers had to scale fences while Mr. Tambuwal was smuggled in by his loyalists who overpowered the security operatives.

The sitting then held, with members rejecting Mr. Jonatan’s request.

But even at the Senate, the president’s request is facing its biggest opposition yet, with many lawmakers vowing to ensure the plan is rejected.

A closed-door session on Tuesday ended without a decision on the matter.

The second day of debates held behind closed doors on Wednesday too ended the same way.

After sitting, the Senate president, David Mark, announced that the deliberation will continue Thursday.

He also said military chiefs have been invited to provide clarifications to senators on the fight against Boko Haram.

The Senate spokesperson, Mr. Abaribe, said Wednesday’s discussions were “very frank, robust and very acrimonious”.

“We hope to take a decision in the interest of this country,” Mr. Abaribe told reporters after the session.

Lawmakers from the affected states have vowed to block the proposal.

Ahmad Lawan, who represents Yobe North, said while the deliberations will continue, “I can assure you that we will not approve the emergency rule extension because the president can deploy the military to any part of the country without declaring state of emergency”.

“We have a very strong military in Nigeria and nobody can doubt that except if the government is telling us that so many things are fundamentally wrong,” he said Tuesday.

“The request for the extension of the state of emergency is only a waste of time because we had it for 18 months which ended in total failure.”

Ali Ndume, representing Borno south senatorial district, said emergency rule has only worsened the security situation in the area.

“The state of emergency since it was declared in the three states had taken us from bad to worse. Our fears now is that if we extend it again, we are inviting more problems to ourselves because the insurgents would capture more territories during the period,” he said.

“As the representatives of my people, my entire constituents are totally opposed to the extension of the emergency rule because it restricts movements of the civilian populace while the insurgents move freely and have a field day.”


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  • Usman

    all we are asking is why will always be continuous attack anytime the emergency rule is ending?

    • Dan Fulani

      The emergency should be in the center.

    • debbeljo

      We don’t want it to end Mr conspiracy theorist.

  • Isi Agwo

    What did anyone expect from a House led by and filled with Boko Haram members and sympathizers. Best option? Leave them kill themselves in the North or, better still, start splitting the fake nation now.

    • Peter

      My brother, you are very correct. See my post some minutes ago. Nigeria should watch them kill themselves and further set their place back 500 years behind the others. Maybe this will quicken the much expected split.

  • real

    Of what benefit are previous state of emergency

    • Okikiola Beckley

      The state of emergency is cosmetic. The presidency just wants to be seen to be doing something about the insurgency because the whole world now knows they are very inept.


    A huge blow to the President. There is always a price to pay for indiscretion.

  • tundemash

    Day by day, it is becoming clearer Dumbo is losing the plot! House of Rep members have refused to allow Dumbo divide them along party lines. Come Feb. 2015, when Dumbo and Patie are being led into jail, it will be this same police that will be his escort into jail.

  • Guguru

    Mr Jonathan is walking on a very tight rope. When the same House of Reps who has rubber-stamped everything he wanted for 6 years begin the process of denying him his requests, you know that something big is about to go down. Mr. Tambuwal is liked by many many politicians both from the APC and PDP. Jonathan’s attempt at blocking his entry into the House of Reps Chambers was a clear sign to legislators that they now have a dictator as the leader of Nigeria.

    • Richie

      …….Reasoning in deed……just wait and also think if there is no State of Emergency and presence of the Military in those states what would come of those states, indigens and so on…….the refusal is no good wind bcos it will not blow good to any body……Let’s watch and see…..this is the beginning that would define the Nigerian project after 100years of trial….

      • checkmate

        You seem to be hypocritical or ignorant. What is the difference with th the So-called State of Emergency now? Are innocent citizens not being killed daily and towns and villages being run over by the Jonaharam’s siblings?

      • Abubakar

        Note: There is a different between State of Emergemcy and Military deployment. Dont just post a comment, get to understand the issue first………with or without emergency Mr. President must defend the citizens and Nation integrity especially where there is uprising.
        GEJ has no sincerity in his decision and by so doing, he is tarnishing the image of Nigeria Armed Forces apart from compromising lives and property of innocent Nigerians to his personal interest.

  • favourtalk

    That’s just the truth. He should find a way to solve the problems of the nation. Not by using the state of emergency to help his campaign nor get pity from the nation. We need a transforming leader not a bias and unsincere ones. We need change now before they turn this nation to other things

  • sanetalk

    If the provision is there for the President, why going through this hassle of seeking approval for emergency rule? Come to think of it, the President did not need any emergency proclamation before flooding Osun and Ekiti with thousands of soldiers for the elections.

  • Peter

    You fools. Either way (whether the state of emergency is extended or not) it does not affect the South South or the South East. What I am sure of is that the carnage will be on the increase and Boko Haram will take over the whole of the North East. Within weeks of overrunning the North East, the insurgents will advance into the North Central and within days capture the remaining areas of North West. All this will happen within a short space of say 2 months of removing the emergency rule. By January 2015 the jihard will have been completed and an independence of the NORTHERN ISLAMIC CALIPHATE proclaimed. The result is that while the remaining people of southern Nigeria will heave a sigh of relief, one because of the burden northern parasites has removed, and second because the north will now be free to practice their their islamic faith without hindrance. There will therefore be no need for the APC to bother itself with fears and trepidation about going into the presidential race because the coast will have been clear to declare GMB the president of their caliphate.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    It’s not surprising! Jonathan should brace up for encounter with a fiercer National Assembly from now on!