Dalung to Jonathan: Stop emergency rule in N/East
A member of the Northern Elders Forum Barrister Solomon Dalung has called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to discontinue the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states arguing that it has proved to be ineffective and counterproductive.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Dalung said an assessment of the situation in the three affected states showed that instead of yielding results, the emergency rule emboldened the insurgency with attendant consequences on the lean resources of the States. The Jos-based human rights campaigner said the success stories of the military could not be reconciled with effrontery of the insurgents as demonstrated in attacks on military installations.
“This failure leaves us with no option than adopting another strategy outside the use of the military alone. There must be a workable collaboration between affected communities and the security agencies,” he said.
He appealed to the arms carrying groups to cease hostilities and embrace dialogue as means of resolving whatever grievances, calling on leaders and governors of the North to put up an elaborate dialogue mechanism to engage the insurgents with a view to addressing it. In doing these, he stressed, reputable people who can court the confidence of both sides should be engaged, saying “I believe this can do some magic to the security challenges”.
He also noted that the excesses of security agencies in handling security challenges left much to be desired, following the reports of extra judicial massacre by those engaged to restore normalcy which had destroyed the spirit of collaboration between the people and the security agencies.
He said: “We cannot turn blind eyes to degenerating security situation with worsening social conditions in most Northern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Katsina as result of activities of insurgent or organized arms carrying groups. Although, leaders and elders of the North has severally drawn the attention of the Federal Government for review of strategies instead of the military option, but it has been out rightly neglected.
He said youth unemployment could not be divorced from the ongoing security challenges. Barrister Dalung said the injustice against the youths was re-enacted in the composition of the ongoing National Conference, where over 80% of the delegate profile belonged to the spent generation.
He recommended severe sanctions, including death penalty as alternative measures to combating corruption in Nigeria which was the major challenge to survival of democracy.
Dalung said Nigeria must organize a transparent and credible election in 2015 so as to guarantee the survival of democracy. He said what the nation needs “is free and fair elections and not national conference because credible electoral process is antidote to peace, justice and development, while a national conference is a political talk shop where the resolutions will suffer the same fate like previous Presidential committees”.
He noted that it was dangerous to amend Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution to create powers for the President to introduce a new Constitution, saying it would amount to mortgaging the legislative sovereignty of the parliament to the Executive.