The Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial District, Senator Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government not to further extend the one-year state of emergency it imposed on three northeastern states due to the activities of insurgents in that part of the country.
The emergency rule which was imposed on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states by President Goodluck Jonathan on April 19th 2013, is expected to terminate on Friday. It’s however, subject to renewal.
Lawan, who made this position known in Abuja, said instead of the extension of the emergency rule, the Federal Government should allocate more resources to the affected states in order to arrest youth unemployment and the abject poverty ravaging the entire region.
If that is not possible, the lawmaker advised government to extend the emergency rule to the six other northern states of Kastina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Benue, Plateau, and Nasarawa where violence have also been claiming innocent lives in recent times.
He said, “People who have been under the emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have consideration that by May 2014 it will come to full circle and that will be 12 months and that should be enough.
“When we say State of emergency should not be extended, we don’t mean that government should go and withdraw the security forces from those states. The Federal government could even deploy more if they want but they don’t have to have State of emergency in place before they operate.
“People in our states have cooperated with the Federal government and the security agencies since May 2013. What we need now is not extension but deployment of resources to our states.
“The state governments should be empowered to continue with good jobs they have been trying with little resources to provide job opportunities for the youth who constitutes the bulk that are being recruited in to doing harm to the society.
“Definitely I am against it and I will oppose it. There must never be any extension of the emergency rule in the three States and if you must , you must also declare same in Kastina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Benue, Plateau, and Nasarawa states where people are being killed on daily basis in their hundreds”.
Senator Lawan, who is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, said it was only recently that the army had a massive operation in Nasarawa which is not under emergency rule, yet they went ahead with the operation.