Dalung to Jonathan: Stop emer­gency rule in N/East

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Muideen Olaniyi

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.

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