Insecurity: Govs of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe May Have Tenures Extended Beyond May 2015
The governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe state may have their tenures extended beyond the May, 29 2015 due date should the current security in the north situation persist till the 2015 general election.
The tenure extension would be granted ex-gratia, through a presidential proclamation endorsed by the National Assembly and backed by the constitution.
This emerged yesterday when the House of Representatives approved President Goodluck Jonathan’s request to extend the state of emergency in the three states for another six months, after the service chiefs led by the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Kenneth Minimah, owned up to the fact that the country is at war as a result of the proliferation of violence orchestrated by the terrorist sect Boko Haram, especially in North-eastern Nigeria.
Hon. Ibrahim El-Sudi (PDP, Taraba), who at a press briefing conveyed the outcome of the closed-door meeting held between the House lawmakers and the military top brass, as well as the approval by the House extending emergency rule in the three states, said: “If the situation does not abate, there may be an extension of the tenure of the governors, subject to the approval of the National Assembly, for six months ex-gratia.”
El-Sudi said the House approved the request of the president to extend the emergency rule for an additional six months after several hours of waiting and subsequent discussions on the security situation in the three states with the service chiefs.
At the close of the meeting, a voice vote gave the nod for the extension of the emergency rule, he said.
It was gathered that during the closed-door session, the service chiefs told the House that although the status of the crises was indicative that Nigeria is at war, the situation can be tackled if the extension is granted.
Also briefing reporters, Hon. Zakari Mohammed (APC, Kwara), said: “We had a session with the service chiefs. What we insisted on was we needed to hear from them how far they had gone after the last session. Thereafter, we decided as a House to unanimously vote for the extension of the rule.”
According to him, the chiefs assured the House that there would be serious progress made, especially with the support of foreign countries.
“We empathise with the people of the areas on what they are going through as a result of this problem. But this is the only way to go about this,” Mohammed said.
It was further revealed that the extension of the emergency rule sought by Jonathan in the North-east was done to allow the country enact a legal framework to take cognisance of the presence of foreign countries assisting in the war against terrorism.
El-Sudi, who quoted copiously from the constitution, indicated that one of the requests by the foreign countries who offered to help in the fight, was that there should be a subsisting legal arrangement that would make it lawful for them to intervene.
“One of the fundamental demands of these countries was to have a legal framework to operate within the country,” El-Sudi explained, adding that this was difficult because of the impediments to a constitutional review that makes it difficult to enact such a framework.
He said only Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution gives latitude for the enactment of a treaty that would allow intervention as “Section 12 stipulates that no treaty shall be executed unless it is enacted by the National Assembly. So only an emergency rule can allow for the speedy enactment of such a treaty.”
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