Reject Emergency Rule, ACN Urges N’Assembly

Reject Emergency Rule, ACN Urges N’Assembly

The Action Congress of Nigeria has advised the National Assembly to reject President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The opposition party, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described the President’s decision as “lacking in original thinking.”

It said the Boko Haram crisis would have ended a long time ago if the use of force was capable of ending it.

“We hereby reject the declaration of emergency rule in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, and we call on the National Assembly to also reject it and not allow itself to be used to rubber-stamp a declaration that is largely cosmetic,” the ACN stated.

One of ACN’s partners in the merger deal, the Congress for Progressive Change, had on Tuesday hailed the emergency rule declared in the three states by Jonathan and asked for support for the measure.

National Publicity of the CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, shortly after the proclamation, said, “We need to rally round the President in this trying period. We pray that with this action, peace will eventually return to the states.

“However, it is gratifying that the President did not behave like a former President who removed the political structures when he declared a state of emergency in some states.

“The action of President Jonathan has shown that the choice made by the people through the ballot would not be denied them. May God help our country.”

The ACN said while the President was right in expressing outrage over the killings and wanton destruction by the insurgents, he was wrong in proposing the same measures that had failed to yield results.

It asked, ‘’If the medicine given to a patient has not cured his or her illness, is it not futile to prescribe more of the same medicine for the patient?

“If the declaration of a state of emergency in 15 local government areas in four states in 2011 has not curbed the activities of the insurgents, why extend such measure to other areas?

“If the use of force in the affected states has failed to curtail the activities of the insurgents, why send in more troops?”

The party said that there was nothing new in the President’s action, adding that it involved deployment of more troops in the affected states and the use of “tougher, scorched-earth tactics against the insurgents.”

It further said, “The President should go ahead and disband the committee he recently inaugurated and saddled with reaching out to the insurgents, because by opting to flood the states with more troops under an ill-advised emergency rule, he has succeeded in pulling the carpet from under the committee’s feet. Who negotiates genuinely with a gun to his head? The committee’s job is over; the members can as well pack up and go home.”

The party said that it hoped that the President’s action was not linked to the politics of 2015.

It stated, “With the three states militarised, there can neither be electioneering nor voting there. We had warned earlier that as 2015 approaches, the Jonathan administration will increasingly take measures that will make it impossible to hold election in many states.

“The over militarisation of some states in the north, the plan to destabilise the South-West, using slush funds from the so-called oil pipeline protection contract and the infantile threats from some Niger Delta militants seem to be part of this plan.”

It wondered what the President would do if the declaration of emergency rule failed to stem the violence.

But the Peoples Democratic Party accused the ACN and others in the opposition as being behind the insurgents in the country.

The ruling party, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in Abuja on Wednesday, wondered why the ACN would condemn the state of emergency declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states by the President.

Metuh said that the ACN had thought that the President would also remove the governors of the affected states.

The statement read, “Few things are possible. The ACN and their cohorts in the opposition are behind insurgents and therefore must subvert every measure taken by government to tackle escalating insurgency.

“We recall that the opposition boasted recently that they would end the Boko Haram scourge within two months of their presidency. There is no smoke without fire.”

He described the reaction of the ACN to the declaration of state of emergency as that of a political party speaking from either “a diseased or confused state of mind: a blackmailer who doesn’t mind doing the trifle to remain relevant, or a political party actively conniving at this mindless war on Nigeria.”

“Yesterday, the ACN, the sole repository of Solomonic wisdom, who was against amnesty to insurgents, who indeed described the Federal Government in unprintable words has today turned a proselyte of amnesty and dialogue,” he added.

He alleged that the statements of the leaders of the opposition on the eve of 2011 presidential election gave birth to violence which he said had snowballed into terrorism.

“We therefore call on the leaders of the opposition to remove the mask on their faces and publicly declare their stance,” Metuh said.

A former Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Mr. AdamuAliyu, said the President was playing politics with people’s lives.

Although he described the state of emergency as a right step in the right direction, he, however faulted the inclusion of Adamawa State.

“It is a good step in the right direction. But Mr. President is playing politics with people’s lives. If he did not impose state of emergency in Plateau, I can see the hand of the National Chairman of the PDP in the state of emergency in Adamawa State.

“If he did not declare the state of emergency in a state where policemen were killed and he declared it in Adamawa, the whole exercise is political.”

The Christian Association Nigeria called for the sack of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North.

The association’s President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, made the call in Abuja in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media and Public Affairs), Mr. Kenny Ashaka.

Oritsejafor, who was commenting on the state of emergency declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states commended the President for the decision.

He, however, called for the dissolution of the presidential committee, which had been saddled with the responsibility of entering into dialogue with the Boko Haram insurgents.

The CAN president said the committee was “no longer relevant.”

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