Nigerian Senate fails to extend emergency rule in northeast; summons military chiefs

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

A divided Senate on Wednesday failed for the second day to approve President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to extend emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe State- the three North-East states worst hit by a bloody insurgency by extremist group Boko Haram.

Several lawmakers have 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.

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, currently on break, said it will convene Thursday to discuss the request.

But 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.

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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  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    The reality on the ground in Borno,Yobe and Adamawa states are enough for senators to reject the extension of the inconsequential-state of emergency declaration by the incompetent,ineffective and incapable president Ebele Jonathan.Because, despite the state of emergency,Boko Haram continue to overrun more then sisxteen local government councils in those three states while Nigerian soldiers are fond of throwing away their weapons and running away instead of confronting Boko Haram insurgents.

    • Otile

      What are the Federal troops fighting for, to keep Nigeria one? Oluwa ma je. May Imam Shekau liberate his people and actualize his Caliphate so that peace may reign in continent Nigeria. Mr Awosan say Amen.

      • The Nationalst

        May God grant you what you wish for others. Even if you want out of Nigeria, must the blood of others be spilled for this ?, Slovakia and the Czech republic separated without bloodshed, so did the Soviet empire.
        Go and learn how they achieved this and return to become the change you want, instead of idly and casually wishing death on your fellow human beings because you hate your country.
        Hell is real and eternal. Don’t send yourself there.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    I do not understand how the average northern politician reasons,there will be a clash of interest !! These northern governors and senators have divided loyalties and the state of emergency removes that element of the Governors taking measures which might fly at a tangent with the anti-insurgence efforts of the army.
    Senator Ndume the terrorist suspect should explain how a state of emergency makes matters worse,the man is a complete menace.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Mr. Tawanda, this is yet another poor attempt at shifting blames.

      Are you insinuating that the reason why boko remain untamed and the reasons why our military appear incapable before the insurgents are to be blamed on the governors? Puleeeeaaaaasssseee!

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        I do not know the kind of (Esq) you are but like I wrote down earlier,it is important that interests do not clash. The Governors may have their own political calculations which might impede military operations. I have not stated anywhere that Governors are to blame but military operations are not conducted under any half measures…..there must be one command and control and the constitutional authority of the Governor and that of the President might over-lap in a full scale military operation creating ugly situations .
        In a state of emergency such situations are avoided. The lame excuse given by Ndume is that people cannot move around,well would they rather move around as battle rages?

        • The Nationalst

          You don’t need a state of emergency to ensure a uniform command and control.
          The military is designed not to have clashes of authority, in other words the chain of command is very clear.
          Are you suggesting we continue trying the same tactic that has failed us for the past 18 months,?. Within this time, even boko haram has reviewed their strategy and adjusted. How are we ever expected to defeat them when we refuse to adapt or review the results of our efforts so far ?.
          We aren’t talking politics right now my brother, people are dying and being displaced by the thousands in the North East, the least our leaders should do is take this issue seriously and strategize for success

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Tawanda, between The Nationalist and D1, they have knocked the bottom out of your insecure comments.

    • D1

      You have to be objective and look at this issue critically, not based on sentiments. What has the state of emergency achieved so far? Should there be a state of emergency before the Military can be deployed to confront Boko Haram? And finally what does the Military hope to achieve with the extension of the state of emergency?
      People like Senator Ndume escaped being prosecuted due to the inadequacies of our judicial system, but you can’t fault his sense of reasoning. Alas, GEJ cannot even confidently visit the NE with the state of emergency in place, says a lot about the objectives of the state of emergency, and now some sycophants are suggesting total state of emergency. What nonsense!

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        You must take into cognisance the degree of autonomy which the constitution invests on an elected executive Governor.Military operations are conducted under a unified command and control. The insurgence in the NE is no more a low level insurgence because territory is being taken by the terrorists. For instance,there are operations which the military might desire to conduct in top secrecy without the consent or awareness of the Governor of a state but in the absence of a state of emergency,the governor might decide to halt operations for any reason because he is the chief security officer of the state constitutionally speaking.
        Only persons who are naive about the exigencies and workings of national security apparatus in a Presidential democracy or persons driven by political calculations like Senator Ndume may oppose this very necessary action !

        • D1

          All what you have stated are just generalizations and assumptions. This can never happen, not at this stage of the insurgency, no governor knowing the danger facing his people would ever decide to halt any operations, and none of the military chiefs report to the governors. If anything, they further alienates them with their tactics and accusations of supporting the insurgency.
          What the Military should do is seek the support and cooperation of the governors and their people, which we are seeing with the present support from the Civilian JTFs and the hunters, they know the terrain and villages. This should have happened from DAY 1.
          I think you are the one that is naive and ignorant, including your president GEJ, expecting to issue directives from Abuja about a region he doesn’t know and only visited ONCE! Where is GWOZA self? SMDH!

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            There is no assumption here ,the Senator has already said that people cannot move around and one governor had complained that economic activities in his state are hampered by operations,this might go on and on.
            When planning military operations,nothing is left to chance,every possible scenario is evaluated and sorted !

          • D1

            So when planning military operations, every living things should stare clear of roads and stay indoors, before it can be successful! This is warped reasoning no doubt. Don’t try to justify the unjustifiable nor defend the indefensible, my guy. More so, I think you are just being mischievous, ENOUGH!

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            “They know the ground”!

            Is that why they refused to invade Sambisa Forest and waited for boko haram to start capturing towns?

            Methinks your positions are not based on a sound footing but made up as you go along and see fresh obstacles.

            That is why you are all over the place.

        • Wähala

          Stop displaying retarded mentality and very crude understanding of a democratic approach in a war situation. Obviously, you have zero grasp of the meaning of Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces… it means the President’s power to order the armed forces supersedes those of regional commanders and state Governors at all times. He is the Chief Security Officer of the nation while Governors are Chief Security Officers of their respective states… simply put, Govs. are garrison commanders. kapisch?

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            No you do not get it ,there are separation of powers which the President cannot do anything about…..trust me ,just like in the USA,the President deploys the national guard after declaring an emergency or at the request of state authorities.

          • Wähala

            Don’t ever mention the US when directing your retarded tirades at me, never!
            Who swore an oath to protect life & property of Nigeria/ns? Obv

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            Keep quiet ! I am in the Santus sanctorum….you are a novice to these things !!

          • Wähala

            If you like claim you belong to the Mormons, you’re still a mumu!

  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    Gentlemen & Ladies of the NASS, it would be a disservice to the nation if you throw out the request of Mr. President outright. Neither would it be right to approve it without questioning it.

    I believe, sincerely, that the NASS should ask Mr. President to explain what he and his team wants to do differently this time and the results they expect to achieve with it. That is, have they got a cohesive plan of what, when and how they intend to achieve a cessation of boko haram hostilities – without giving us more dubious “ceasefires” – within the scope of an extended SoE.

    Mr. President and his team only just recently got approval for an external $1bn loan for arms to combat boko haram; this should also be tied into the context of this request in terms of when the first set of these military hardwares are to be expected and how these would play a role in addressing the menace of boko haram.

    Anything short of these sobering questions and rigorous challenge and debate of the matter would only be a waste of time and resources.

    • djay

      Gej is not competent “full stop”. His case is like trying to clean and make up a pig.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        …or simply uncaring and delusional in his quest for power!

    • Baba Messi

      God Bless you ‘uncle K’.

      This sums it up; “It would be a disservice to the nation if you throw out the request of Mr President outright. Neither will it be right to approve it without questioning it”.

      That is the kind of maturity and objectivity needed at this moment.
      While I admit the SoE has not been effective, i hate to imagine what it would have been without it. I can assure Nigerians the entire northeast would have been completely overrun.
      The nation MUST Come first in all deliberations.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Baba Messi, I have only attempted to be objective just because the facts have not been established.

        I am strongly of the opinion that the problems, and the solutions to boko haram, does not go beyond Aso Rock.

        If I was part of the NASS, my question would be along the lines I adumbrated earlier, but would be far more probing to unearth and substantiate my suspicions.

        I know a lot of people feel it is the wrong time to scrutinise the military spending, but in my opinion, the timing could never be better.

        The “inadequacies” of our military is either a direct result of corruption, incompetence, the lack of adequate political will or a combination of all the afore-going.

        • Baba Messi

          Except for part of your second paragraph, I agree entirely with yur submission.

          The last paragraph was particularly true.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Thanks for stating it the way you se it, Baba Messi.

            Paragraph 2 was an opinion, based on intuition, not facts. So you are right to disagree with it.

            But that remains why I am holding the current position. Believe me, if I thought there was a shred of evidence to support that position, I would not be asking for a consideration of Mr. President’s request, but calling out loudly for his impeachment and prosecution, with a view towards indicting him and his people for treason against the country.

            Did you read the interview with a captured boko haram guy earlier today, who told the soldiers they (boko haram and the military) answer to the same boss?

  • bikky

    Never say NO but ask Mr Jona what he has achieved so far and what he want to achieve after the extension, and he should give comprehensive achievement report of NA against the insurgent and how much has been expedient and how much will they spend out of $1b dollars he has gotten approval for ,if his achievement so far is not commensurate with money spent then house should not approve his request also approval given for $1b dollars should be withdrawn if possible.HERE IS THE TIME,vote wisely.

  • Mr Igbo Sanity

    The Most Wicked and Most Corrupt soul ever to walk on this planet, jonathan, your secret has finally been REVEALED!

    Here Senator Ndume:

    “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.”

    For nearly 5 years jonathan and his co-sponsors of boka haram have used the Army to “restrict movements of the civilian populace while the insurgents move freely and have a field day.”

    For nearly 6 years as upwards of over 30,000 innocenct Nigerians were MURDERED by jonathan’s Boka boys, they always operated at night with convoys of 20-50 Hilux toyota, driving for miles and miles without the sponsor in Chief, Ihejirika stopping them, while Ihejirika goes on to kill thousands of innocent civilians.

    Now joanthan and his boka boys can no longer operate at night as the local vigilantes will pursue jonathan’s boka boys both day and night!

    And Most importantly, jonathan’s plans to use state of emergency to rigout yobe, Adamawa and Bornu is now HISTORY!. JONATHAN YEARS WHICH ENDS May 2015, will be noted as the Bloodiest State sponsored terrorism in the History of the planet!

    • Wähala

      He is Gbomojomo, the dreaded Aborigine terrorism kingpin who continued sending messages even after Henry Okah was arrested and awaiting trial in Zulu jail. He bombed Nigeria on Independence Day and blamed Northerners for it. He visited President Idris Derby of Chad to fine-tune a fake ceasefire that allowed the BH insurgents time to regroup and reappear. Which president accepts a cease-fire when his soldiers have the upper hand in a war? The only doctor arrested for treating wounded Boko Haram thugs is a native of Bayelsa State… remember the Tuaregs arrested in Bayelsa State Guest House, Eko? He pardoned Alams to contain ex-militants, ko? Remember why late NSA, Azazi, was dismissed from the NA? The atrocities of evil Dumbo are endless, I can write a book on the monster. He is by far, the most callous Ali Baba to ever grace the face of the earth… a hideous Nero and psychopath who freed his fellow wacko, Al-Mustapha, to train assassins for political wet jobs. The man is Satan’s advocate surrounded by acolytes of evil, Oletsejafor and Asari et al. Almighty God never sleeps, and evil has never prospered over the good people of Naija. Dumbo must be flushed down the toilet before Nigerians can begin to count our losses. Aborigine baztards must be gathered on wooden canoes and sent back to Papua New Guinea… Drunkards!

  • djay

    Like the senators said, the clueless one knows that he doesn’t need to declare state of emergency to deploy troops just as he did in the past gov elections in osun and ekiti. It’s only a dumb person that keeps using the same method for a problem that’s yet to yield success over again and expect a different answer. 18 months of SoE no result and he wants another 6 months with same approach and he expect that will solve the problem. This man should stop wasting Nigerians time joo.

    • Musty

      You see, the logic of the emergency rule is; when there is emergency rule, the sitting governor is no more chief security officer of the state, rather it is the president. That the police, the army, sss, do not report any briefing to the governor. Thus, the governor is in darkness of what is going on in his domain.

  • Olutola

    Give him one more year emergency he does not know what to do with it. So no need.

  • olumide

    Approve the state of emergency only if the Hunters , not the Nigerian Army , will supervise!

  • Wähala

    Thrice bitten, forever lame. Not even a cripple sits on the same spot where ants have bitten him three times. It’s time to stop giving Dumbo blanket coverage on all his requests with regards to this phantom war with Boko Haram. In fact, it’s time to investigate his role in their activities in light of circumstantial evidence pointing to PDP ati Dumbo’s policy position on the insurgency. The Senate should ask those Tombo Generals to tie their boots before them and whoever cannot bend down to do that simple task must be dismissed from the services, enough is enough of wrong legs in over-size boots. Lawmakers need to invite their C-in-C to brief them on “security accountability” with regards to the $32bn spent so far in Dumbo’s feeble war, and insist that he visits the frontline and appraise them with his eye-witness account of what’s actually going on at ground-zero. Senators from the affected states should note that they’re complicit in BH atrocities if they keep approving a situation where insurgents move freely while the army looks on in a so-called State of Emergency situation. Dumbo is behind the Boko Haram. Just like Emir Sanusi suggested, every Naija citizen should be free to fend for themselves and that means lifting restrictions on everbody… Boko and Locals to slug it out bullet-for-bullet. Nonsense!

    • Preco01

      “Not even a cripple sits on the same spot where ants have bitten him three times”…… hahaha very apt!
      No more emergency nonsense, let the general populace in the affected areas be free to move about and deal with the insurgents as they deem fit..nonsense emergency nonsense rule!

      • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

        You are taking the wicked stance because the insurgence is not happening in your home town !
        I suspect you are a Yoruba man………Coward !!

        • Wähala

          Go-siddon! What has being Yoruba got to do with his comment? Didn’t you read that Obasanjo’s son took a bullet from the insurgents? His position is my stance and we believe everybody should cover their azzes since your moron is obviously incapable of protecting Nigeria/ns. Nothing like Boko Haram chump, it’s Dumbo’s political war against Nigerians like I’ve always known… evil baztard!

      • Wähala

        Yes oo! After all, the Bokos are no octopuses with multiple hands. They’re bolting when faced with sufficient manpower and firepower. The political will to end it is just not there, don’t mind Dumbo. One certainty is, his strategy is not working and he has no Plan-B to fall back on. So, all man to himself, biko!

    • D1

      Ol’boy, you are killing me softly with laughter! The Obese CDS will be first to collapse when he tries to tie his boots, no doubt about, incompetent idiots!

  • The Don

    @Key Soyemi my brother, the whole dramatical exercise is so laughable. Our Government claimed to have spent $32billion on the same security challenges, and I asked of what impact or magic would $1billion possibly showcase on the fight positively?

  • Guguru

    Jonathan wants a State of Emergency (SOE). Yet, when things go wrong in those states under SOE, he never takes responsibility for it. Instead he points to the opposition party.

  • “We have a very strong military in Nigeria and nobody can doubt that…”

    Hahahahahaha!!! Oh wait. He’s being serious? Then let me laugh harder. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

  • the_adviser

    Let the politicians of the 3 states go and start running their states on their own.