February 2, 2023

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Declare state of emergency on insurgency, group urges govt

A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Advocacy for Advancement of Peace and Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI) has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on insurgency, banditry, and all forms of insecurity across the country.

The group which particularly expresses worry on the security situation in the North-Eastern part of the country said the attendant approach of the Nigerian parliament towards the situation, especially the recent killings in a part of Borno state is leaving more to be desired.

Addressing a press conference in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital on Monday, the organisation said the Senate, being the integral harbinger of democratic ethos should have proferred more intelligence-induced panacea to the ongoing imbroglio in the North -East, without playing to the gallery.

The group’s National Coordinator, Sulaimon Suberu described the call for the removal of service chiefs, on the heels of the massacre of over 40 farmers in Zabarmari village, Borno state as not only reactionary but a reflection of the paucity of tactics and strategy.

He urges the Federal Government to quickly declare a State of Emergency in Borno State and allow full military operation in the state, to serve as a launchpad in the North East, adding however that the type being pushed for is one that still allows the governor and legislatures to still be in place despite the state of emergency.

Suberu said “As an organization with the sole responsibility of propagating peace and non-violent culture in Africa, we are worried about the turn of events in North-Eastern Nigeria, and the attendant approach of the Nigerian parliament.

“While we are concerned about the best possible solution to the lingering act of insurgency and brutal criminality in the North-East geo-political zone, we are however taken aback by the manner in which the National Assembly, especially the Senate, is addressing this sensitive security issue.

“We believe that the Senate, being the integral harbinger of democratic ethos should have proffered more intelligence-induced panacea to the ongoing imbroglio in the North -East, without playing to the gallery.

“The call for the removal of service chiefs, on the heels of the massacre of over 40 farmers in Zabarmari village, Borno state is not only reactionary but a reflection of the paucity of tactics and strategy.

“The lawmakers should know that insurgency of that nature in the North East is a strictly asymmetrical war that is rooted in crude ideology, therefore, it requires the experienced commanding height of the military, with a satisfactory knowledge of the terrain and psychology of the insurgents, acquired overtime.

“The degenerating security situation in Borno, which remains the epicentre of terrorism in the North- East is as a result of quasi-military operation, in which the security architecture is not completely taking over by the military.

“The quasi-military intervention in the North East and Borno, in particular, is adversely affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the military operation in the zone, as activities of these criminal elements becoming more pronounced and endemic.

“As a matter of exigency, we hereby urge the Federal Government to quickly declare a State of Emergency in Borno State, and allow a full military operation in the state, to serve as a launchpad in the North East.

“It should be noted that a full military operation in Borno will have a multiplier effect on the fight against insurgency in the geo-political zone, and also portray a total commitment to the war against insurgency on the part of the Federal Government.

“Strictly speaking, disbandment of the military commanding height at this time is not only dangerous, but it would also be counter-productive, and turn the fight to the war of attrition.

“We are also warning members of the Senate to eschew mischief, and patriotically support the state of emergency in Borno as a proactive step to flatten the curve of insurgency in the state and the zone in general.”

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