In the past few weeks, Borno, Yobe and a few northern states have witnessed resurgence in deadly violence which heightened speculations that President Goodluck Jonathan, who cut short a foreign trip to tackle the insecurity challenge, might declare a state of emergency in some of the troubled states.
Confirming that the idea is being mooted, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Saturday said, “The Federal Government is studying the situations in the affected states and would take decisions that would be in the overall interest of the security of not just the people of the states affected but also of the country. Declaration of state of emergency is a serious thing that should not be speculated about.”
But in apparent reaction to the move, the NEF said it was wrongheaded and instead advised the Federal Government to follow through with the plan to grant amnesty to Boko Haram, adding that ‘it can still work.’
The spokesman of NEF, Dr. Paul Unongo, said, “Government did not declare a state of emergency in the states in Niger Delta. General amnesty was declared and those who wanted to take advantage of it were asked to come out and lay down their arms and get some booties.
“Anybody calling for the declaration of a state of emergency in the North will not be able to justify it. Amnesty has worked in Nigeria. It can still work” he said.