There are strong indications that senators elected under the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and some within Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, may disregard the earlier directives of their respective parties not to support the imposition of a state of emergency on three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, as the debate comes up tomorrow.
The action of the senators may be in connection with the widespread anger and condemnation that had so far greeted the statements from the two parties, calling on their members in the National Assembly not to support last Tuesday’s action of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Some senators of the affected parties, who spoke with Vanguard on the issue, said there was need for all members to support the President’s action, given that it was done in the general interest of the nation.
Senator Ganiyu Solomon, ACN, Lagos West, told Vanguard that although he was awaiting full detail of the proclamation, he believed it was done primarily to restore peace which had eluded the three states.
He said: “Until I go through the details, I cannot say anything much. But I think if the action of the President will bring peace in the states affected by the state of emergency, why would one not embrace it? “It is a good development, given that all elected structures are in place. We should sit and pray that the desired peace is achieved in the affected areas at the end of the day. I can’t speak further than that.”
On his part, Senator Ademuyiwa Adeniyi, ACN, Ekiti South, said: “In as much as I support the President’s action against the backdrop of increased senseless killings of innocent people in the affected states, I will advise that the state of emergency should not be used as instrument of oppression of perceived political opponents.
“Again, the President who has the power and authority to control the military must ensure that they strictly follow the rules of engagement.”
One of the senators elected under the platform of CPC from North Central who spoke but preferred anonymity, said: “Given the spate of violence that we have so far witnessed in these affected states, we can’t afford to go against the action of Mr. President.
“I believe everybody is affected in one way or the other in what has happened in these states in the past. The violence that enveloped the North East for some time touched everybody, irrespective of political, religious and cultural affiliations.”
“We have to borrow from western countries, especially the United States of America, where in a situation like this, they forget all their political interests and parties’ ideologies and come together to fight a common course.
“We are talking of issue of nation interest here, so no party seeking to have positive impact on the nation would be unhappy with the action of the president. [Vanguard]