After about fours hours of closed session with Service Chiefs, National Security Adviser and Minister of Defence, Senate on Thursday, 15th May, 2014, deferred consideration of extension of emergency rule in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa till Tuesday, 20th May, 2014.
However, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said the Senate will do everything necessary to secure the affected three states.
Apart from Chief of Defence Staff, who was absent at the meeting, other service chiefs that attended the meeting were: Major General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, Chief of Naval Staff; Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu, Chief of Air Staff; the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar; and the Director, State Security Services, Mr. Ekpeyong Nsah.
Senate in a resolution after the meeting said the debate was stood down to enable them consult with various stakeholders in order to ensure that everybody buys into the extension of the emergency rule.
Ekweremadu, after the marathon session, said senators had fruitful deliberation with the service chiefs and that the discussion was analysed after they had left.
He said, “As responsible and patriotic Nigerians, we are looking at it from very diverse angles to ensure that the security situation in those states improve at the shortest possible time.
“Apart from that, the Senate also agreed to do further consultation with all the necessary stakeholders to ensure that everybody could buy into whatever that is needed to be done to secure those states and defeat insurgency there.
“This is what transpired at our closed-door session. So by Tuesday, we will continue our deliberation on the state of emergency and insurgency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states”
Ekweremadu said further that,”The Senate met with the service chiefs, Inspector-General of Police and the DG SSS, and we are fully briefed on the operations of the state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states over the last 12 months. Thereafter when they had left, we analyses our conversation with them and as responsible and patriotic Nigerians, we are looking at it from a very diverse angle to ensure that the security in those States improved at the shortest possible time.
“And further to that we’ve also agreed to do further consultations with all the necessary stakeholders to ensure that everybody would buy into whatever needs to be done to secure those states and to defeat insurgency in those states.
“This was exactly what transpired in the closed door session. So by Tuesday we would continue our deliberation on the issue of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States”.
In his own comment, Senator Ehigie Uzamere said that the meeting with service chiefs was a fruitful one and by next week everything will be finalized adding that the lawmakers have been urged to go to their various senatorial districts to seek holistic approval to the emergency rule.
Also speaking after session, Sen. Hope Uzodinma in his words said,”We deliberated and looked at the issues and we would continue by Tuesday. I am sure by Tuesday we would get through with it, because between now and Tuesday the leadership of the Senate would do more consultations.”
Sen. Ahmed Lawal in his words said, “We are against state of emergency. What we require is effectiveness of those who are there and that does not require state of emergency. What we need to do is to ensure that whatever resources are appropriated are utilized properly.
The military had conducted very massive operations in Nasarawa, in Benue, in Zamfara and recently in Katsina. Those states were not under a state of emergency before those operations were conducted. And let me tell you insurgency does not end.
“In Turkey over 30 years, the PKK, in Colombia over 50 years, the FARC. insurgency doesn’t end. What you need to do is to continue to get the right arms and re-strategise until you get to the situation where people would feel better.”