Nigerian Senators Reject Emergency Rule Extension
Northern senators who are under the Northern Senators' Forum have rejected the extension of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, threatening to shut down the proposal when it is brought up for debate on the floor of the Senate.
While the Senate shelved the debate altogether, the House of Representatives suspended voting on the subject after the debate was held.
The northern senators resolved to oppose the extension of the emergency rule after a three-hour closed-door session yesterday.
They argued that unlike what obtained when it was proclaimed and its first extension, they had now had a rethink, adding that more needed to be done beyond a mere emergency proclamation.
Briefing journalists at the end of their meeting, Chairman of the Forum, Senator Umaru Dahiru (Sokoto South), said the forum, having reviewed the emergency rule declaration so far, including its merits and demerits, resolved not to allow its further extension.
However, he added that since a two-thirds majority was required to pass the resolution on the extension, they would be left with no option than to accept the outcome if they are eventually outwitted during the voting exercise.
He also said the senators had resolved to meet the three governors affected by the emergency rule to know where things actually went wrong.
Dahiru said: “Our meeting this yesterday discussed basically, the issue of emergency rule in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. Everybody in attendance made contributions and a lot was said.
“The majority position is basically that we are not going with the state of emergency. That is our categorical position because we are not convinced that it is only the issue of emergency rule that would enable security personnel to achieve success in the area.
“We believe a lot of things ought to be addressed in order to conquer the issue of insurgency. So, our own position is that we are not going to support the extension of the emergency rule in the area.
“We are going to engage the three governors in the affected states; we want to know what went wrong to be able to come up with the best way to tackle the crisis. However, the government must work for the benefits of its citizens."
However, it is expected that not all the northern senators would oppose the extension, as the major opposition will come from North-east and North-west while North-central comprising 18 senators, with the exception of Niger State, may gladly support the extension.
But there will be divided votes in Kwara and Nasarawa States where some senators had defected to APC while others remain in PDP.
But in Kogi, Benue and Plateau States, it will be block votes in support of the extension as THISDAY checks showed that senators from these states are disposed to the move.