Plateau lawmakers reject emergency rule

Nigeria's National Assembly

Federal lawmakers representing Plateau State have rejected the emergency rule imposed on some local government in the state by President Goodluck Jonathan , saying it was ‘uncalled for’.

The legislators on Thursday in Jos blamed the situation in Plateau, depicted by constant attack on the people, on some faceless persons and not on the extremist Boko Haram sect.

Gyang Dantong, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers, said that “bomb attacks and midnight attacks are two different things all together”.

“For Plateau to be included among those hit by Boko Haram is totally unacceptable to us,” he said, adding that Plateau was a victim of incessant attacks by some groups, and should therefore not be subjected to ‘double jeopardy’ of a state of emergency and its attendant deprivation of fundamental rights.

Mr. Dantong said the lawmakers were at a loss as to why the emergency rule was imposed on the state when those in charge of the security of the state were soldiers.

“We feel that the declaration was in itself a proof that the military or the soldiers have failed in maintaining the peace on the Plateau. The soldiers have failed. If not, there is no need for the Federal Government to impse any measure on the good people of Plateau.”

The lawmakers noted that the President might have good intentions, but that the step would not help the Plateau situation.

They, however, urged the people to be calm and remain law abiding, and appealed to the Federal Government to take all necessary steps to safeguard, respect and promote civil liberties of the people in consonance with constitutional democracy.

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