President Goodluck Jonathan’s state of emergency declaration in three states, namely: Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, generated loads of reactions from Nigerians, expectedly.
By the way, down this page is the video broadcast and transcript, just in case you missed it.
While some people welcomed the move and even hinted that it was long overdue, others felt that it was coming rather late and will therefore have little or no impact.
Yet, some suggest that the government should have taken the extra step of removing governors of the affected states.
At the same time, some known opposition totally condemned the decision, suggesting that it is part of a grand plan of the incumbent government’s campaign ploy for 2015 election.
It is on these last two groups that this article will be centered on.
Living in a democratic society, we are all entitled to our individual opinions and citizens’ participation in governance is encouraged.
However, when issues of national interest, unity and security are at stake, it is expected that citizens rally together as one, for the common good of the nation.
After going through some of the reactions, credited to some notable and respected Nigerians, I couldn’t help but ask the question, should opposition be a perpetual activity?
Recall, that government was accused of being overtly lenient with the situation.
Against all odds, northern elders pleaded for amnesty for the Boko Haram murderers, and Goodluck Jonathan was literally forced to succumb, contrary to his earlier position.
Many Nigerians were against the idea of granting amnesty to terrorists, and government was criticized for threading that path.
If that will restore peace and normalcy, many anti-amnesty crusaders including myself, accepted to let it sail. Even with the amnesty discussions in progress, the insurgence and assault on civilians didn’t cease.
The Baga assault drew widespread condemnation, as many Nigerian progressives feel that civilian lives shouldn’t be sacrificed for military’s un-professionalism.
Truth be told, the military was faced with a difficult challenge on ground, engaged with entities whose real intentions and identities could easily be disguised. Once again, government was accused, and the opposition cried wolf. Supported.
Finally, government eventually did what has been long expected of it, and notwithstanding, the opposition still faults it.
Meanwhile, none of these oppositions have come up with any alternative idea(s) of what could be done to contain the situation.
Some of them, find it so difficult to condemn the activities of the sect, suggesting that they probably covertly sympathize with them.
Most of these oppositions have never ever sympathized with innocent victims of this insurgence, nor provide any form of emotional or material support, but will be quick to pick on the government, in an attempt to create a false impression of sympathizing with the people just to score cheap political points.
The most notable things heard from the opposition is the mantra that it is government’s primary responsibility to protect the lives and properties of citizens, which is true, and how they have failed in doing that.
Then, words like “mediocrity“, “tinkering“, and other jargon the average Nigerian barely understands will be sprinkled in between phrases and sentences that are designed to showcase their high grammatical prowess and seeming concern for the people.
However, never will there be any mention that government cannot work in isolation, or remind citizenry some of their civic duties to the state, such as supporting government’s good initiatives, spreading messages of peace and provision of useful information that could assist the government and security institution to work better.
Would it be a taboo, if the opposition also used just a fraction of the energy channeled at attacking the government to sensitize the citizenry of their civic responsibilities, while openly condemning this menace in our society?
Should the nation continue to burn, waiting until the opposition comes to power in 2015 and then magically restores normalcy?
Shouldn’t it be our general aspiration for the Nigerian project to succeed, irrespective of which government does that?
Shouldn’t it be rather more worrisome over such critical issues such as:
- why did the presidency agree to offer amnesty, even when the request was not coming from the Boko Haram terrorist sect?;
- why was the government open to dialogue with a terrorist organization, that was still largely unrepentant?;
- why did it even take government so long to declare the state of emergency?
If to answer these questions sincerely, the truth is that government simply wanted peace and normalcy to reign, even at the cost of appearing weak, while attempting to appease all the concerned stakeholders.
However, this has been interpreted as being weak, deluded and inactive or Mr. President.
Pushed to the wall, government eventually declared emergency rule, but still sensitive enough not to dismantle democratic structures, fully in line with the provisions of the constitution.
Instead of applauding and supporting government’s steps to flush out this alien insurgence poised to consume the nation, oppositions like Tinubu still find ways to politicize this, creating the impression that it is a deliberate attempt to encroach on the powers of the affected state Governors.
Seriously?, even when the President re-echoed that administrative functions of the Governors were not affected.
It appears the script was already prepared in anticipation that it will be a total lock down, and when that didn’t happen, nobody bothered to edit the manuscript, because the opposition must be fast, fierce and of course furious, otherwise it may cease to be considered as “opposition”.
Former government officials like Femi Kayode considers it pitiful, asserting that it will not yield the desired effect, on the premise that it came rather late, while alleging that the President wasn’t man enough to have pushed away the sitting Governors of the affected states.
Considering the spate of attacks on the President even when he was sensitive enough not to dislodge democratically elected structures, imagine how it would have been perceived by the opposition if the President had gone full throttle to also dismantle the sitting governors of the affected states.
Probably, by now, the opposition would’ve been calling for his impeachment, with court injunctions flying around challenging the president’s powers within the confines of the law to expunge sitting democratically elected officers.
Effectively, government would have been distracted, or even crippled, while the status quo will be maintained, enabling the “opposition in perpetuity” to continue screaming wolf, while offering no alternative solution. In all of these, the masses will continue to suffer.
This got me thinking, are these so called opposition really working for the people’s interest?
Suddenly, it dawned on me that some of these elders and opposition might, in fact, be suffering from “Perpetual Opposition Syndrome“, where everything must be opposed, whether good or bad, even the word “oppose” should also be opposed.
That way, opposition must always be seen to oppose.
Let’s not forget that the issue at stake is about armed insurgence and terrorism, killings and maiming, total disregard of law and order, hostage takings of women and children, cold-blooded murder of religious leaders, government officials and school children.
We are talking about an insurgence whose primary agenda is to institutionalize it’s own spiritual beliefs and religious ideologies in a clearly defined secular country.
Isn’t It Time We Quit Playing Politics With The Blood Of Innocent Citizens?
It appears that, without criticizing or countering the government, no valid point or contribution could be made by the opposition.
While it is fully in order to question the government when the need calls for it, however being an opposition in perpetuity is clearly not a healthy trend, when all it does is heat up the polity by going to any extent to fault any of government’s actions without preferring any alternative.
Government cannot be wrong 100% of the time, and anyone who makes it a duty to criticize the government can as well commend the government when it makes positive impact, and better still, proffer alternative ideas, while not failing to openly condemn the ills of the society, such as the activities of the Boko Haram terror sect.
Considering how challenging it could be to manage an ordinary village meeting, community gathering, board meeting and heck, even personal families, we should appreciate the complexity in managing a multi-cultural society like Nigeria, especially when the government is deliberately saddled with disturbances, all of which are designed to deliberately Distract, Derail and ultimately Discredit the government (DDD).
While I totally respect people’s views and opinions, however, perpetuating opposition just for the sake of being an opposition, or turning deaf ears and totally blinded to any positive step the government might take, in my opinion is simply lame, counter-productive and not in alignment with the people’s interest.
A subtle, but lethal danger lies within our psychological wiring as humans, where personal ego propels individuals towards a tendency to justify their positions, right or wrong.
Someone, who openly criticized certain decision, will most likely be glad to see the exercise hit the rocks, and sometimes even facilitate the desired outcome, so that their opinions are justified.
It is important that, as a nation, we should learn to be united to fight a common enemy, rise and fall together in unity. Playing the blame game on issues of national interest is not in the best interest of the nation.
I will suggest that some of the society’s heavy weights try and use their wealth of experience, influence and popularity to impact positively on the youth that look up to them. Their stands and opinions can go a long way to either galvanize or further divide.
To those of them that have contaminated the “perpetual opposition syndrome“, be informed that this is a very dangerous sickness that is counter-productive towards the progress of the nation.
Thankfully, some respected Nigerians are living up to this idea of balanced opposition, and I must not fail to commend personalities like Dele Momodu and Oby Ezekwesili, for their balanced opinion on national issues.
On a final note, I must also mention that I’m not an advocate for the present administration or in any way affiliated to it, just a concerned Nigerian who want to see normalcy restored to my country, to enable growth and development.
As a result, I fully support the government’s decision to declare a state of emergency, and its sensitivity to have left the democratic institutions intact, unless there arises the need for stiffer measures.
Therefore, I will suggest that we rally round government now to fight this Boko Haram cancer and restore peace back to our beloved country.
Written By: Frank Ogu
The ideas and opinions in this article are purely that of the author’s, and there is no direct or implied intentions to defame or exalt the characters mentioned in this article, or their affiliation(s).
Being an opposition doesn’t necessarily mean criticizing every action of the government. Support the government when they get it right.
— Frank (@frankogu) May 16, 2013
Below are excerpts from some notable Nigerians, with regards to the emergency rule pronouncement.
Former aviation minister during the Obasanjo administration, Chief Femi Kayode, is of the opinion that the pronouncement is rather late and too little, considering that governors of the affected states were left intact. Below is a snapshot of his view, from his Facebook page.
Mr. Dele Momodu
However, former 2011 presidential aspirant, and the publisher of Ovation magazine, Mr. Dele Momodu, doesn’t seem to share similar views with Femi Kayode. He is supportive of the emergency rule declaration, and further supports president Goodluck Jonathan for not terminating administrative functions of the affected Governors.
Dele Momodu Vs Femi Kayode. Click To Open / Close
RT @feathersproject: Fani-Kayode Vs Dele Momodu on declaration of State of Emergency tinyurl.com/cg4h7w7 … m.tmi.me/VFsAp
— DELE MOMODU OVATION (@DeleMomodu) May 15, 2013
Fani-Kayode – “I am impressed and encouraged by the tough talk that our President indulged in tonight but I have never heard of a State of Emergency where the governors and other political office holders in the affected states are given the opportunity to “remain in office”. This has never happened before in the history of Nigeria. As far as I am concerned President Jonathan’s declaration of a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states is too little and too late.
“The governors and ALL political office holders in the affected states should have been completely removed and the whole state should have been run by a Federal Government appointed civilian Administrator who would then have the full backing of the military. That is what is meant to happen when a State of Emergency is declared. Sadly Jonathan did not have the guts to go all the way and to remove the governors and this half-measure that he has put in place will not have the desired effect. This is another lost opportunity. What a pity.”
Dele Momodu – “I wish to disagree with Chief Femi Fani-Kayode on his position against the decision of President Ebele Jonathan not to sack the State governments of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa after declaring a State of Emergency! The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not empower The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to arbitrarily sack a duly and constitutionally elected government in the States.
“The fact that President Olusegun Obasanjo did it with impunity and got away with it because we had gutless Governors does not make it right. This culture of rambunctious rascality and rabid vindictiveness cannot be allowed to continue. On this one I support President Goodluck Jonathan and salute him for not terminating the lives of elected Governments in Federalism. It is not the fault of those State Governments that Boko Haram has ravaged their States. In reality, how many States are truly immune from wanton destruction of lives and properties? Security agents were killed like rats in Bayelsa the other day.
“Many lives have been wasted in Plateau State. The mother of Coordinating Minister of the Economy was kidnapped and only escaped by the whiskers and after serious deals. Dead bodies were seen floating in Anambra State. The general malaise has spread even to Lagos. To sack those Governors is to also indict the Federal Government for its inability to crush the viral rebellion with all its Federal might!
“It is to sack the entire Nigerian State for failing to secure the lives and properties of citizens. The solution lies not in the over-militarisation of North-East Nigeria or Nigeria in general. It is for our leaders to terminate the culture of Poverty they have instituted through their reckless profligacy. The all-pervading state of insecurity in Nigeria is symptomatic of a brewing Revolution of cataclysmic proportions. Guns can never chase away hunger but politicians CAN if they are serious, sincere and determined!”
Fani-Kayode – “Which court said that the constitution does not empower the President to suspend state governors? Which court declared OBJ’s actions illegal? OBJ got the necessary approvals for his actions from the Nat. Ass. Will someone ask those that say that OBJ’s actions were not constitutional whether OBJ was there when all serving political office holders were removed in the Western Region when a state of emergency was declared there in 1964.
“At the end of the day only one thing matters and it is not my interpretation of the constitution or anyone else’s. What matters is whether this hitherto untested system of having a serving governor who has not been able to maintain law and order in his state still running it when emergency laws are in place. It will lead to chaos, abuse of power, the persecution of political enemies, confusion and more atrocities. It will not succeed in stopping BH but it will strengthen it and cause it to spread.
“The logic of allowing those that have failed to protect their people to continue for the prescribed period of six months and avoid suspension is beyond me. The fear of a state of emergency by the governors and political office holders is what makes them sit up and do their best to avoid it. It is a very heavy hammer and once wielded the consequences must be felt by all including those that have failed in their duties in the state. Once they are assured that they will be allowed to continue in office even after that hammer is wielded the deterrent is removed and there is no longer any incentive for them to ensure that there is peace in their states.
“In fact some of them would even want a state of emergency because it would give them awesome powers to deal with their enemies and commit all manner of human rights abuses and atrocities. There is nowhere in the constitution that says that a governor cannot be removed in a state of emergency and until a court declares it otherwise I shall deem it lawful, necessary and expedient”
Dele Momodu – “I insist that the bullying of State Governors under President Olusegun Obasanjo was unconstitutional, all gas and of no substance or significant consequence. It was this chicanery that produced the mess that we’ve all found ourselves in today. Femi should kindly tell us what Obasanjo’s sledge-hammer had achieved in the long-run. It is that realisation of monumental failure that has turned President Obasanjo to the most vociferous critic of Jonathan today.
“Femi should also educate us if any Governor in Nigeria has a State Police to contain insecurity. If President Jonathan can’t do it with all the soldiers, Airforce, Navy, SSS, etc, at his beck and call it would be callous to hold Governors responsible for our collective failure. Finally, may we find the courage to resist Jonathan whenever he graduates to the full-blown dictatorship of the Obasanjo era. I stand with President G. E. Jonathan on this one occasion for not sacking any Governor to serve a bloated ego”
Fani-Kayode – “A last word for Dele Momodu: The governors are described as the Chief Security Officers of their respective states in the constitution and they are charged by that same constitution and by oath before God and the people to provide security for the state. Yes, we all know that the security agencies are Federal institutions and it could be better but nevertheless that is their duty and charge.
“I am not aware of one case where the Commissioner of Police, the Director of SSS or the Brigade Commander in any state has refused to follow the governor’s orders in his state. If a governor cannot handle security in his state with all the soldiers, SSS officers and mobile policemen at his disposal then he should resign from his position and re-apply to become governor again after the constitution allows him to have a state police force as opposed to a Federal one.
“Our governors surely cannot abdicate the responsibility for security for their respective states to the President alone. They also have a key role to play because they are physically present in those states and they are on the ground. The truth is that in reality the governors are like little emperors in their respective domains.
“They are exceptionally powerful and the power that they wield is awesome and often unchallenged. Surely even Dele Momodu knows this. If they really put their mind to it they can do far better than most of them have been doing. Over and out!”
Bola Tinubu’s stand is a classic example of opposition in perpetuity as, to the best of my knowledge, what he succeeded at doing is condemning it, highlighting on the problems and government’s weakness in combating it, but failed to offer one single opinion on what could possibly be done to combat the situation.
Bola Tinubu's Emergency Rule Response. Click To Open / Close
El Rufai’s Tweet
“It is now abundantly clear that President Jonathan has finally bared his fangs confirming what was widely… fb.me/CZAlR0rp
— Nasir El-Rufai (@elrufai) May 15, 2013
Below is the full text credited to Bola Tinubo of the AC, with regards to the emergency rule.
It is now abundantly clear that President Jonathan has finally bared his fangs confirming what was widely speculated. By declaring a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, he has intimidated and emasculated the governors of these States. We are witnessing a dangerous trend in the art of governance and a deliberate ploy to subvert constitutional democracy.
The body language of the Jonathan administration leads any keen watcher of events with unmistakable conclusion of the existence of a surreptitious but barely disguised intention to muzzle the elected governments of these states for what is clearly a display of unpardonable mediocrity and diabolic partisanship geared towards 2015. Borno and Yobe states have been literally under armies of occupation with the attendant excruciating hardship experienced daily by the indigenes and residents of these areas. This government now wants to use the excuse of the security challenges faced by the Governors to remove them from the states considered hostile to the 2015 PDP/Jonathan project.
Let me be quick to say that this administration will be setting in motion a chain of events the end of which nobody can predict. Experience has shown clearly that actions, such as this one under consideration, often give root to radical ideologies and extremist tendencies, a direct opposite of the intended outcome of unwarranted and unintelligent meddlesomeness. The present scenario playing out in the country reminds one of the classical case of a mediocre craftsman who continually blames the tools of his trade for his serial failure but refuses to look at his pitiable state with a view to adjusting.
It has become crystal clear, even to the most incurable optimist, that the country is adrift. That the ship of the Nigerian state is rudderless is clearly evident in the consistent and continual attacks ferociously executed by elements often referred to as the insurgents in some northern states of the federation, particularly Borno and Yobe states respectively. Indeed, no part of the country is immune from the virulent but easy attacks, veritable indices of a failing state. Unfortunately, the tenuous and uncoordinated approach adopted by this government betrays a grossly incompetent disposition which stands at variance with current realities in the country, nay the international community where acts of terrorism are engaged and contained. No Governor of a state in Nigeria is indeed the Chief Security Officer. Putting the blame on the Governors, who have been effectively emasculated, for the abysmal performance of the government at the centre which controls all these security agencies, smacks of ignorance and mischief.
Terrorist acts are perpetrated routinely and the government at the centre appears incapable of stemming the tide of the horrendous crimes unleashed on the hapless populace. The considerable ease, with which lives and property are destroyed on a daily basis, should excite deep introspection on the part of a government truly desirous of finding a lasting solution. The Constitution provides that the safety and welfare of citizens shall be the primary purpose of having that structure of any political leadership in the first instance. This Government, through acts of omission and commission, has fallen far short of expectation. It actively encourages schisms and all manner of divisive tendencies for parochial expediency. Ethnicity and religion become handy weapons of domination. Things have never been this bad.
The response to the pervasive chaos in the Northern region of the country has been militarisation, mass arrests and extra judicial killings by the Joint Task Force, JTF, a convenient euphemism for an army of occupation seemingly set loose on the people of the localities concerned. The tenor of the State of Emergency declared by the Federal Government yesterday portends danger for the polity. The full militarisation of security operations in these states will compound the already tense situation. Both local and international media are awash with news of reckless attitudes of the invading forces. The fact that security operatives are killed cheaply and reprisals from the state find expressions in organised pogroms in the immediate communities is sure evidence of a government which lacks basic understanding to appreciate the enormity of the current security challenges. If development is about the people, all measures put in place for the sustenance and maintenance of the super-structure of the society must take into cognisance local contents.
It is evident from the grim experiences in recent times that this government has failed, or does not know that it is necessary for it to avail itself of the benefits accruable from exchange of ideas and notes on the latest in terms of technology and human resources among nations of the modern world, especially those which have been fighting terrorist organisations over the years, on the most effective mode of combating this menace. Technologically advanced countries of the world will never discard the idea on the need for the establishment of an effective local intelligence outfit. Our suggestions along this path have always been met with suspicion and acerbic criticisms from both the informed and the ignorant alike. A government which stoutly defends its opposition to the decentralisation of the police force from its present over-centralised command structure is already experimenting with all manner of means patently extra-legal.
The massacres of local communities attendant upon the attacks on security agents by unknown elements will further alienate the people who should, ordinarily, partner with the government in securing their immediate environments. An army which invades a community maiming, raping and killing defenceless civilians will end up radicalising the youths whose parents and young ones have been wiped out most cowardly and recklessly. This government should concentrate more on encouraging the development of local intelligence which will, inexorably, lead to the practice of true federalism. Adopting the use of excessive force against those perceived as harbouring terrorists does not portray this government as possessing the wherewithal to find abiding solutions to the lingering security challenges.
The President’s pronouncement, which seeks to abridge or has the potential of totally scuttling the constitutional functions of Governors and other elected representatives of the people, will be counterproductive in the long run. A State of Emergency already exists in the states where JTF operates. Residents of these communities live in constant fear. Their rights are violated with impunity under the guise of searching for terrorists in their respective domains. Hiding under some nebulous claims which border on the intractability of the security challenges posed by Boko Haram or some acclaimed traditionalists who have killed some policemen to render ineffective the constitutional powers vested in elected Governors and other representatives of the people, perceived as not amenable to manipulation for the 2015 project amounts to reducing serious issues bordering on the survival of the country to partisan politics.
Let all those who love this country genuinely advise the federal government not to tinker with the mandates of these Governors under any guise. It is a potentially destructive path to take. If security of a society is about the protection of lives and property of the citizenry, the involvement of the people is a sine qua non to effective intelligence gathering. Any measures put in place which alienate the people, in particular their elected representatives, should be considered as fundamentally defective by every right thinking person in the country.
Oby Ezekwesili, in my opinion, is a progressive, who will criticize the government when there’s need to call them to caution, but will also support positive initiatives from the government. Recall that she is on record to have challenged the present administration to appear on an open debate about the depletion of the nation’s foreign reserves. Even though that interview didn’t hold, nevertheless, the impact was felt.
With regards to the emergency rule declaration, she supports the move, and even went ahead to offer suggestions on how she feels desirable results could be achieved.
Oby Ezekwesili's Opinion And Suggestions. Click To Open / Close
#StateoftheNation: I fully even if cautiously support the FG state of emergency declaration in 3 states but we must set objectives&targets.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 16, 2013
#StateoftheNation: 1.FG MUST lay down strict operational ground rules for the military within SOE states to PROTECT CITIZENS’ RIGHT.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 16, 2013
#StateoftheNation: 2. FG should publicise its evaluation of the effectiveness of and lessons from the earlier SOE in local governments.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 16, 2013
#StateoftheNation: FG should present CLEAR TARGETS/RESULTS & TIMELINES for this SURGE in military presence. Do not keep the SOE open ended.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 16, 2013
#StateoftheNation:3.FG, engage with Civil Society groups including faith based ones & set up a JOINT MONITORING GROUP for Accountability.
— oby ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 16, 2013
President Goodluck Jonathan’s Broadcast On Emergency Rule Declaration.
President Goodluck Jonathan's Broadcast. Click To Open / Close
MAY 14, 2013
Dear compatriots, 1. It has become necessary for me to address you on the recent spate of terrorist activities and protracted security challenges in some parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and most recently Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states. These unfortunate events have led to needless loss of lives and property of many innocent Nigerians including members of our security forces.
2. The recent killing of security operatives by a cult group in Nasarawa state is particularly condemnable. I have directed that no effort or expense be spared in identifying and bringing to justice all those who had a hand in the killing of the operatives.
3. The activities of insurgents and terrorists have been reprehensible, causing fear among our citizens and a near-breakdown of law and order in parts of the country, especially the North. We have taken robust steps to unravel and address the root causes of these crises, but it would appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve.
4. Since I returned to the country after cutting short my visit to South Africa and aborting a planned state visit to Namibia, I have received detailed briefings from our security agencies. These briefings indicate that what we are facing is not just militancy or criminality, but a rebellion and insurgency by terrorist groups which pose a very serious threat to national unity and territorial integrity. Already, some northern parts of Borno state have been taken over by groups whose allegiance is to different flags and ideologies.
5. These terrorists and insurgents seem determined to establish control and authority over parts of our beloved nation and to progressively overwhelm the rest of the country. In many places, they have destroyed the Nigerian flag and other symbols of state authority and in their place, hoisted strange flags suggesting the exercise of alternative sovereignty.
6. They have attacked government buildings and facilities. They have murdered innocent citizens and state officials. They have set houses ablaze, and taken women and children as hostages. These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten her territorial integrity. As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this.
7. Previously, we adopted a multi-track approach to the resolution of this problem through actions which included persuasion, dialogue and widespread consultation with the political, religious and community leaders in the affected states.
8. We exercised restraint to allow for all efforts by both State Governors and well-meaning Nigerians to stop the repeated cases of mindless violence.
9. Yet, the insurgents and terrorists seek to prevent government from fulfilling its constitutional obligations to the people as they pursue their fanatical agenda of mayhem, mass murder, division and separatism.
10. While the efforts at persuasion and dialogue will continue, let me reiterate that we have a sacred duty to ensure the security and well-being of all our people and protect the sovereign integrity of our country. Therefore, we shall, on no account, shy away from doing whatever becomes necessary to provide the fullest possible security for the citizens of this country in any part of the country they choose to reside.
11. We have a duty to stand firm against those who threaten the sovereign integrity of the Nigerian state. Our will is strong, because our faith lies in the indivisibility of Nigeria.
12. Following recent developments in the affected states, it has become necessary for Government to take extraordinary measures to restore normalcy. After wide consultations, and in exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of Section 305, sub-section 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I hereby declare a State of Emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
13. Accordingly, the Chief of Defence Staff has been directed to immediately deploy more troops to these states for more effective internal security operations. The troops and other security agencies involved in these operations have orders to take all necessary action, within the ambit of their rules of engagement, to put an end to the impunity of insurgents and terrorists.
14. This will include the authority to arrest and detain suspects, the taking of possession and control of any building or structure used for terrorist purposes, the lock-down of any area of terrorist operation, the conduct of searches, and the apprehension of persons in illegal possession of weapons.
15. The details of this Proclamation will be transmitted to the National Assembly in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. But in the meantime, let me make it clear that within the purview of this Proclamation, the Governors and other political office holders in the affected states will continue to discharge their constitutional responsibilities.
16. I urge the political leadership in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to co-operate maximally with the Armed Forces and the Police to ensure that the exercise succeeds. We call on the citizenry to co-operate with our security agencies to ensure a return to normalcy within the shortest possible time.
17. I am again approaching our neighbouring countries, through diplomatic channels, as done in the recent past, for their co-operation in apprehending any terrorist elements that may escape across the border.
18. Nigerians are peace-loving people; these sad events perpetrated by those who do not wish our nation well have not changed the essential character of our people.
19. I want to reassure you all that those who are directly or indirectly encouraging any form of rebellion against the Nigerian state, and their collaborators; those insurgents and terrorists who take delight in killing our security operatives, whoever they may be, wherever they may go, we will hunt them down, we will fish them out, and we will bring them to justice. No matter what it takes, we will win this war against terror.
20.I am convinced that with your support and prayers, we shall overcome these challenges and together, we will restore every part of our country to the path of peace, growth and development. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Prof. Akin Oyebode, of University of Lagos, speaks on his outlook of the emergency rule declaration
Pres. Jonathan Retaining Governors Under Emergency Rule Shows Vested Interest – Prof. Akin Oyebode
I am one of those in support of the SOE but questioning the rationale behind the Governors being left in place. This is Nigeria and we cannot discount the fact that some of these governors might, infact be clogs in the proper administration of this declaration. Some of them are involved in the security problems affecting their states as the case of Borno under Ali Modu Sherrif taught us. In all, I believe the opposition should be responsible enough to support reasonable actions and proffer solutions/alternatives when they feel there is need to disagree.
Sadly, our opposition have not mastered such dignity and that might be their Achilles’ heel as 2015 approaches.
Your observation is very correct. I think that part of the reason the Governors were left in place was government’s anticipation of this same opposition and its gimmicks.
Don’t forget, as the C-in-C, he has access to further security briefings that guide his decisions.
GEJ took his time before declaring SOE, haven exhausted other alternatives, and by so doing, won the support of majority Nigerians, even from one of the affected Governors.
If it becomes evident that any of the governors sabotage the efforts of the military operation, I believe GEJ will also go for a stiffer measure, and any progressive unbiased Nigerian will support him.
At the moment, he has demonstrated that he is not interested in politicizing the affair, and that his primary and only goal is to restore peace and normalcy in the regions.
I cannot but agree with the argument of the Perpetual Opposition Syndrome (POS). A lot of people who have built platforms for expressing public opinion abuse it.
One of Nigeria’s fundamental challenges is the political institution. Politics is being practiced as a game more than a platform to seek public good. When we as a nation elect a leaer, it becomes everyone’s responsibility to support the leadership. Criticism should be constructive providing alternative ideas and with consideration of the sensitivity of the subject of discuss.
However late as the State of Emergency appears, it is a right move by the Presidency. This is not a time to play politics of condemnation of the decision but to show sensitivity to the nation’s national security and interest.
Most times, critics are short of ideas to better resolve situations. With this style of POS, the opposition might earn President Goodluck Jonathan sympathy of the Nigerian people and they will lose out in 2015 again.
You are on point Olusola, this is not the time to play politics. The issue at stake is too sensitive to be politicized, and demands support from all quarters with genuine intentions. Anything short of that becomes suspicious.