Nigerians drum supports for gov’t over state of emergency

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Dr Goodluck Johnathan

Dr Goodluck Johnathan

Nigerians from different spheres of life on Sunday hailed President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration of state of emergency in parts of Yobe, Borno, Plateau and Niger states.

Among those who lauded the president declaration the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), eminent lawyers, the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF), the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) and the African Renaissance Party (ARP).

In a nationwide broadcast on Saturday, the Nigerian leader declared a state of emergency in areas hard hit by violence — caused by the Boko Haram sect and ordered the closure of sections of the country’s borders.

“While the search for lasting solutions is ongoing, it has become imperative to take some decisive measures to restore normalcy in the country, especially within the affected communities,” the president said.

Consequently, he declared a state of emergency parts of the federation, listing parts of Borno, where Boko Haram traditionally has its base, as well as Yobe, Niger and Plateau.

The Nigerian leader also ordered the closure of the land borders of the affected areas to control cross-border terrorist activities.

President Jonathan said the move was necessary as terrorists have taken advantage of the present situation to strike at targets in Nigeria and retreat beyond the reach of the country’s law enforcement personnel.

Nigeria had been hit by scores of attacks blamed on Boko Haram, but a wave of Christmas Day bombings, particularly targeting churches and which killed many people, set off fear and deep frustration nationwide.

Consequently, the lawyers, said the President’s the move was a welcome development in addressing the security challenges in the affected states.

Adebamigbe Omole, the NBA chairman, Ikeja branch, said majority of Nigerians currently needed peace and security in the country.

Prof. Itse Sagay, a constitutional lawyer, said the move became necessary because the situation was getting out of control.

In his reaction, Onyekachi Ubani, a public affairs analyst, said the action showed the seriousness of government toward protecting the lives and property of Nigerians.

However, a human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu, said that the move was a deviation from the previous inaction by government.

He urged Nigerians to give the move a cautious welcome because the problems bedeviling the country are far from over.

On his part, AYCF President Yerimma Shetima said the Nigerian leader did well as the number one citizen, and must stand his ground on the issue.

Yerimma pointed out that the nation’s security should not be compromised on the alter of sentiments and urged Nigerians to join hands with the President and the security operatives in tackling the menace of terrorism.

In his reaction, Lagos State Chairman of the CLO Ehi Omokhuale said any action that would prevent the carnage of killing innocent Nigerians is supported.

In a statement signed by its Lagos state chairman, Chief Udoka Udogaranya, the ARP said the action of the president was an unequivocal statement that the war against terrorism was a war for all.

According to the party, there is no gradualism, no politicking, no sitting on the fence and no blame games in fighting terror.

The Nigerians, in unison, urged the government to embark on intelligence gathering in order to fish out the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.

The insurgent group Boko Haram claimed responsibility, promising to attack more church targets.

The group has launched several attacks on government symbols in northern Nigeria as part of its campaign to get what it calls “Western Education is sin.”

Boko Haram launched the first attack in Maiduguri in July 2009, during which many were killed and wounded with property destroyed. The sect’s leader known as Yusuf and his alleged financier Buji Foi were killed in a counter-attack by the security operative.

Maiduguri has been hit by almost daily bomb blasts, shootings and serial killings in recent months blamed on Boko Haram, which surfaced in 2009.

More than 800 people including security personnel have been killed in violence linked to suspected Boko Haram militants.

The frequent spate of bomb blast attacks especially on innocent souls in the country is worrisome, partly for its reflection of the dastard state of insecurity in the land.

In : Nigeria

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