Emergency rule: Gaidam, Nyako fire back at Clark, Akpabio
Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State and his Adamawa counterpart Murtala Nyako yesterday took a swipe at Ijaw elder Edwin Clark and Akwa Ibom Governor Godswill Akpabio over their call for the appointment of military administrators in states under emergency rule. In a joint statement by their spokesmen, Nyako and Gaidam described such calls as provocative, diversionary, undemocratic and unfortunate.
The statement was signed by Gaidam’s media dviser Abdullahi Bego and Nyako’s press director Ahmad Sajoh.
They said appointing a ‘sole administrator’, as noted by many commentators, is a constitutional aberration which cannot be found, even impliedly in the 1999 constitution.
They argued that Clark and Akpabio’s comments smack of fascism and are a veiled attempt at sabotaging the nation’s democracy which should be resisted.
“Curiously, both Clark and Akpabio are beneficiaries of constitutionalism and democracy in Nigeria. It is therefore mind boggling that the two would seek to put both constitutionalism and democracy in jeopardy on the altar of their personal interests,” the statement said.
It noted that Clark made a serious analytical error when he tried to liken the security situation in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states with the situation in Ekiti when an emergency rule was declared by then-President Obasanjo.
The statement argued that governors of the affected states were democratically elected and are serving more than 10 million people. He said also that while the security crisis in the three states is criminal and insurgent rather than religious or political, it has never led to a breakdown in governance in the states.
It said that the governors have always responded by doing what is needed to be done to protect the lives and property of the people by supporting security agencies morally, financially and logistically even though the current state of emergency means that they do not have control over security operations.
“They have also led a very serious effort at mobilizing the populations of their states to support the ongoing security effort and to pray fervently to God in mosques and churches and homes.
“Military commanders and security chiefs on the ground in the states can testify to this,” they said.
“Mr. Clark also demonstrated crass ignorance and insensitivity to the plight of people in the North-east by suggesting that somehow the missing Chibok school girls would not have been kidnapped if Borno State was under a ‘total state of emergency’.
“Is Mr. Clark not aware that over the past 12 months, there was all manner of security presence in the three states when we witnessed some of the most heinous and despicable terrorist attacks on our schools in Mamudo, Buni Yadi and Gujba and on our towns and villages from Izge to Baga?”