Nigerian Senators on Thursday approved a request by President Goodluck Jonathan to prolong emergency rule in the restive northeast by a further six months to try to quell a bloody Islamist insurgency.
The Senators voted unanimously in favour of Goodluck Jonathan’s request and agreed “to extend the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states on the same terms and conditions”, the approved motion read.
In separate letters to the Senate and the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, President Jonathan asked the lawmakers to extend the six month emergency rule which was declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa State in May and is supposed to end on 12 November by another six months.
The letter was read out by Senate President David Mark at Wednesday’s plenary of the upper chamber.
“May I respectfully draw your attention to the State of Emergency Proclamation 2013, in respect of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, which was approved by the National Assembly.
“By virtue of the provisions of Section 305(6) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the Proclamation aforementioned will elapse after a period of six months from the date of approval except the period is extended by the National Assembly”, President Jonathan said.
The President also noted in the letter that though with the support of security agencies and citizens in the affected areas, the security agencies have recorded considerable successes in containing the activities of the terrorist elements, there are still challenges in some areas of the affected states.
The extension of the emergency rule, he said will aid the security agencies efforts to bring normalcy to areas with the security challenges.
“As a result of the laudable efforts of our security agencies and the support of the citizens in the affected areas, we have achieved considerable successes in containing the activities of the terrorist elements. However, some security challenges still exist in a few parts.
“Consequently, it has become pertinent to request the approval of the Distinguished Senate for an extension of the State of Emergency for a further period of six months, during which time it is expected that normalcy would have been fully restored.
“In view of the foregoing, I most respectfully request the Distinguished Senate to consider and approve by resolution the extension of the Proclamation of the State of Emergency by a further period of six months with effect from the 12th of November 2013,” the President said in the letter.