Rights group urges Jonathan against extending emergency rule in North-east

Ibrahim Abdul’ Aziz

A Human rights group, Rights Monitoring Group (RMG), which is a coalition of 45 civil society organisations (CSOs), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan not to extend the State of Emergency declared in three states in the North-east, but should rather focus on permanent and long-term solution.
The group also objected to any plan by the federal government to extend the emergency rule in the states, namely Borno, Yobe and Adamawa when it expires on April 19.

Speaking in Yola during a fact-finding visit, the group’s national coordinator, Mr Olufemi Aduwo, expressed regrets that with the death of over 1, 200 Nigerians from January to March 2014, as a result of insurgency and counter-insurgency measures by the military, “Nigeria now ranks high amongst the countries with high rates of deaths from insurgency in the world.”
According to the group, this is a pointer that the emergency rule imposed has failed to achieve the desired objective.
Aduwo said: “It’s obvious that the declaration of the State of Emergency in the North East has failed to improve the security situation in the region.

“Are the authorities unaware of helicopters dropping arms and ammunition, food and medical supplies to areas well known to be strong holds of the insurgents?
“How were the insurgents able to attack the Maiduguri Air-Force Base and demobilise as well as burn planes and other military installations, despite existing state of emergency and curfew in the town? How could 20 to 30 Toyota Hilux vehicles move in a convoy freely with subsisting curfew and still go undetected?”

The group warned the federal government against extending the emergency rule in the three states, saying that it had failed to achieve the purpose for which it was imposed in April, last year.
“The situation in Adamawa is good as that of Kano, Kaduna and even Lagos. What we now need is not emergency rule but rather permanent and long term solution.
“We need joint patrols and surveillance in the border areas of Nigeria and Cameroun.”

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