Senate divided over emergency rule in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe

Nigeria's Senate Chamber, otherwise known as the Red Chamber

The Senate on Tuesday suspended the consideration of President Goodluck Jonathan’s letter requesting the extension of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, after divisions over whether or not to approve the request.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that shortly after the introduction of the motion by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egbe, the mood among a section of the senate changed.

Some of the senators were obviously against another extension of the emergency in the region.

NAN further reports that a swift intervention of the Senate President, David Mark, to ensure consideration of the letter was loudly rebuffed by voice vote.

At that point, the Senate Leader invoked Rule 40 and moved a motion for a closed-door session, thereby compelling visitors to leave the chamber.

Addressing newsmen after the closed session, Bello Tukur, Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, said nothing concrete was achieved from the closed-door session.

“The Senate has adjourned the sitting till tomorrow to consider the letter for the extension of state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe from Mr. President, Goodluck Jonathan,’’ he said.

The state of emergency earlier declared in the region had elapsed on Nov.16.

On his part, Ali Ndume (PDP-Borno) while speaking to newsmen after the session, said another extension of a state of emergency should not have been contemplated by the president.

“The situation in the Northeast region of the country had remained the same even after two of such extensions; so what gives us the conviction that a state of emergency is the solution to the problem,’’ Mr. Ndume said. (NAN)

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