Senate Summons Service Chiefs To Defend Request For Extension Of Emergency Rule

The Senate has invited service chiefs to brief its members on the state of things in the country’s fight against Islamist sect Boko Haram, as the upper chamber of the House failed for the second time, to agree on whether the emergency rule placed on north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe should be extended, as requested by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The president had asked that emergency rule in the three states hardest hit by Boko Haram insurgency be extended by a further six months, to the chasgrin of many who believe the effect of past emergency rules were hardly felt.

Following a closed-door session that lasted about three hours, the Senate invited the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Usman Jibrin, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeola Amosu to appear before the lawmakers. Also invited, was Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, and Director-General, Directorate of State Security (DSS), Mr. Ekpeyong Ita.

Senate President, David Mark who presided over the plenary after the closed-door session said that the Senate had robust and extensive deliberations during the closed-door session on the request of the president. He said the deliberation will continue today once the service chiefs appear before the lawmakers.

While briefing newsmen yesterday, Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said, “The Senate, on Wednesday, the 19th of November, went into another closed-door session to consider the request of Mr. President for an extension of the state of emergency in the three states that will elapse maybe, by tomorrow (today).

“And the discussion, as we had earlier said, was very frank, robust and sometimes, very acrimonious which is usual, in political discussions, and we agreed, as a Senate that the discussion will continue tomorrow (today).

“And also for the purposes of having further information, we invited the service chiefs to be available tomorrow (today) to also brief us on the efforts that have been on-going in the past six months when the emergency was declared.

“We have therefore adjourned till tomorrow (today) and we will also consider the information that we will also get from the service chiefs and the additional information that will be available to us from the governors of the states that are going to be contacted by the Senate President. We hope we will take a decision tomorrow in the interest of this country,” he said.