Nigeria to extend state of emergency

2014-11-17 20:51
Nigerian soldiers stand guard at the offices of the state-run Nigerian Television Authority in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (Jon Gambrell, AP, File)

Nigerian soldiers stand guard at the offices of the state-run Nigerian Television Authority in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (Jon Gambrell, AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Nigeria's government will seek to extend emergency rule in the restive northeast for six more months, the justice minister said Monday, meaning the extraordinary measures will likely be in force for February polls.

President Goodluck Jonathan first declared a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in May last year, saying the military temporarily needed enhanced powers to crush Boko Haram's Islamist uprising.

Lawmakers gave swift approval to two previous extension requests - in November 2013 and May of this year - despite mounting evidence that the measures had done nothing to ease the crisis.

"We just reviewed the state of emergency declared in three states and the government will be requesting the national assembly to grant the extension," Justice Minister Mohammed Bello Adoke told reporters after a meeting of the National Defence Council.

Adoke said the extension request will likely be given to lawmakers on Tuesday. It must be approved by a majority in both the lower house and the Senate.

Boko Haram is believed to control roughly two dozen towns in the region and appears to be trying to position itself as a rebel authority in certain areas.

Speaking to AFP last month, the head of Nigeria's election body, Attahiru Jega, said he believed voting would be possible in all but a few areas of the northeast, specifically mentioning parts of Borno.

While the situation is fluid, the crisis has apparently deteriorated in recent weeks, with the Islamists advancing south of Borno and seizing parts of Adamawa.

The main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has estimated that the three affected states are home to roughly five million voters, a majority of whom are likely to vote against Jonathan given widespread resentment over the relentless violence.

The APC has warned against mass disenfranchisement in the region, saying it could undermine the integrity of the result nationally.

Separately, experts and officials in the northeast have continued to question the merits of the emergency rule strategy.

Jonathan's critics applauded the move at first, describing it as a sign that he was finally treating the Boko Haram threat with urgency.

But many say that the president has over the past 18 months failed to back up his emergency rule call with sufficient troops and military hardware on the ground, amid reports of the Islamists overrunning soldiers in many areas.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.