Indications have emerged that the Federal Government is favourably disposed to extending the state of emergency declared in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States for a third time.
It would be recalled that the emergency rule was first declared in the affected states on May 14, 2013 by President Goodluck Jonathan, who cited the need to stop the Boko Haram sect once and for all, who at the time were having a free-reign of terror.
Since that first declaration of six months, the emergency rule had been extended twice.
The third batch of six-month emergency rule expires on Thursday, November 20.
In spite of the existing emergency rule in the affected states, which has seen massive deployment of troops and military hardware to the theatre of operations in the North-East, the Boko Haram insurgency has continued to defy military solution. This is not to say some modest level of success has not been achieved by the Nigerian security forces in collaboration with members of the Civilian Joint Task Force in curtailing the advancement of the terrorist organization.
The decision to extend the emergency rule for the third time was taken at a meeting of the National Defence Council presided over by President Jonathan on Monday.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Muhammed Adoke (SAN), who disclosed the council’s decision to State House correspondents, said having reviewed the emergency rule, the council resolved that the government should request the National Assembly to approve the extension.
Responding to a question as to when the request would be sent bearing in mind that the House of Representatives is currently on recess till next month, the minister said ‘immediately’.
“The council reviewed the issue of the state of emergency and the government will be requesting the National Assembly to extend the emergency rule. It (the communication) will go in immediately”, he said.
The Council, which is one of the federal executive bodies established by Section 135 of the nation’s Constitution, is empowered to advise the President on matters relating to the defence of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria.
Those who attended Monday’s meeting included the CDS, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh; COAS, Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah; CNS, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin; CAS, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba; and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
Others were Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim; Minister of Defence, Gen. Aliyu Guasu (retd.); and the Minister of Interior, Mr. Aba Moro.