Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke
More than six months after a state of emergency was imposed on 15 local government areas of four states in the North-east and North-central geopolitical zones, President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday lifted the emergency rule imposed on the councils.
Invoking Section 305(1) of the constitution, President Jonathan had last December declared a state of emergency in local government areas in Plateau, Yobe, Niger and Borno States.
Councils affected in Borno State included Maiduguri Metropolitan, Gamboru Ngala, Banki, Bama, Biu and Jere; in Yobe State, Damaturu, Geidam Potiskum, Buniyadi-Gujba and Gashua-Bade Local Government Areas were affected. In Plateau State, Jos North, Jos South, Barkin-Ladi and Riyom had the emergency regime slammed on them; while only one local government area, Suleja, was affected in Niger State.
The state of emergency was slammed on the local governments shortly after the Christmas Day bombing of St Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State.
In a statement by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, Wednesday, the government said: “With the end of state of emergency, the appropriate authorities at the local and state government levels shall be responsible for the maintenance of security, law and order in the affected areas,” adding that the proclamation was approved by the National Assembly for six months.
In furtherance of the directive, the president stated that all soldiers deployed in the areas should disengage immediately as the appropriate authorities at the state and local governments had been ordered to take full charge of security.
“The Federal Government has after a careful review of the security situation in the affected areas, resolved to end the state of emergency forthwith.
“This is to enable government to put in place appropriate confidence building measures to improve security in the affected areas,” the statement read.
It added, “In furtherance of the end of the proclamation, the president has accordingly directed that the implementation of the following regulations made pursuant to the proclamation of a state of emergency in the affected local government areas should cease forthwith.”
The affected laws are: Emergency Powers (General) regulations, 2012, Emergency Powers (Restriction Order) regulations, 2012; and Emergency Powers (Reporting of persons) regulations.
Others are Emergency Powers (Detention of Persons) regulations, 2012; Emergency Powers (Procession and Meetings, etc,) regulation, 2012; Emergency Powers (Curfew) regulations, 2012; Emergency Powers (Declaration of Protection Places) regulations, 2012; and Emergency Powers (Possession of Explosives) regulations, 2012.
The president said that the declaration of state of emergency in the affected areas became necessary to enable security forces deal with the situation decisively, even as he said “terrorism is a war against all of us”.
He called on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight the terrorists.
Reacting to the development, Chief Whip of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Golu, thanked the president for the gesture, though the emergency rule did not achieve the desired result.
According to Golu, who represents Kanke constituency of the state, the solution to the security challenges in the state is to order soldiers to comb the bushes to flush out the perpetrators of several killings and arson.
“We thank the president for his deep and committed concern for Plateau State, but the state of emergency did not achieve what he earnestly sought for.
“The only solution is for the soldiers to comb the bushes and send away mercenaries just like the Niger State governor did some time ago which brought peace to Niger State.
“We thank the president for saving the situation by ordering soldiers to do what they have refused to do since. Plateau people are very law abiding and will not do anything to take the laws into their hands. We want peace and not war,” he said.