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Senate: Emergency Rule Extension Uncertain As Military Insists

Nigeria's senate in session

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

The hope of any extension of Emergency Rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States may have been foreclosed as Senators were unable to reach agreement on the issue.

The Senate had on Tuesday and Wednesday last week, went into closed door session on the desirability or otherwise, of the Emergency rule extension in the affected states without arriving at any concrete decision, a scenario that necessitated another eight hours of closed door session with the service chiefs on Tuesday.

But the Senate after the closed-door session, disclosed that the Military vehemently insisted that the request should be granted by both chambers of the National Assembly if they want them to effectively rout the insurgents out of the areas.

Briefing newsmen on what transpired at the closed door session, Senate Spokesman, Eyinaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), said the interactions between the Senators and the Security chiefs were very frank and very detailed.

He said the Senate was very impressed with the submissions of the security chiefs on how they are been fighting the asymmetrical war the Boko Haram insurgents have been waging against the Nigeria Nation and that they insisted that the requested extension of emergency rule in the most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States should be granted if the Nation wants them to win the war.

His words:”The Senate in an executive session has spent more than 8 hours deliberating with the service chiefs of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The interaction was very frank and it was very detailed. We looked into what has been the constraints of the Nigerian military in dealing with the insurgency.

“We also looked into the budgetary provision for them and we looked into what has been done so far by the military in curtailing the insurgency. And I can tell you that the Senate was very impressed with the response from the military and like I said, the military has shown to be capable of dealing with the insurgency.

“The fact that they are capable of dealing with the insurgents means that the Senate will do all that is within its powers to support the Nigerian military so that we can bring the I insurgency to a quick resolution.

“The question of the state of emergency was not what was on the table today and we are going to wait also until it is brought to the floor of the Senate, then, we will discuss it.

“What the Senate did today was to separate the two questions. Of course, the military continue to insist that they need the state of emergency to be able to conduct the operations in a manner that will lead to quick resolution. When the Senate takes the question of the State of Emergency, of course, you will be there because it would be discussed in the open plenary.

“He dismissed the speculative story published in one if the national dailies yesterday on impeachment proceedings against President Jonathan as rumour that he would not like to comment on.

Some of the Service Chiefs who attended the closed door session were, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu and the Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Mr Ita Ekpeyong .

Meanwhile, the Senate will on Wednesday deliberate on the Police invasion of the National Assembly last week Thursday which led to the tear gassing of some federal lawmakers and the commotion that followed.

The Senate President, David Mark, made the declaration on Tuesday after the marathon closed-door session with the security chiefs.


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