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President Jonathan, Elevate The State Of Emergency Now!


Boko Haram strikes again, killing over 60 college students in one fell swoop. The number is still counting. So are the attacks. The dreaded terrorist sect has become more sophisticated both in operational modus and in weaponry. They seem to have even become more accurate in Intelligence gathering, beating our security agencies to it. 

Nine months after the President declared a state of emergency in three northern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, the terrorist sect remain largely unshaken, calling to question the loyalty, competence and preparedness of our security agencies in the war against terror.

When the state of emergency was declared nine months ago I criticized it as being half-hearted and coming too late. I opined that the president should have gone the whole hog to declare a full scale state of emergency that would have seen the governors and the houses of assembly of the affected states suspended from office until normalcy returns to the states. My submission then was that given the scale of the terrorist attacks, and since the president himself had variously alleged that government itself had been infiltrated by Boko Haram, there was need to take a decisive action. Some people were of the view then that my submission was too extreme in a democratic dispensation.

Well nine months later, I still find no reason to recant my earlier stand. If anything Boko Haram has become more tactically and operationally adept, thus prompting Borno State governor to declare that it appears the terrorist sect has upper hand in the war. I find every reason to agree with the governor. Check out the timing of the last attack coming just about the time world leaders are arriving Nigeria for the centenary celebration. Also check out the sophistication and scale of the attacks. Boko Haram can now be rightly described as having graduated from guerrilla warfare to full-scale war. Only in a full-scale war would over 60 people be killed in one attack right under the noses of soldiers on the streets. There have also been cases of soldier casualties.

I still maintain that the half-hearted state of emergency is a mistake. President Jonathan should seek the National Assembly’s approval to elevate the state of emergency and suspend the democratic institutions in those states. The lives of hundreds of innocent Nigerians including children and women who are being massacred every day by Boko Haram are worth more than keeping the governors and assembly members in office in the ill-disguised posturing towards 2015. There is no reason for me to believe these governors and other top shot politicians are not surreptitiously providing logistics, finance and intelligence to Boko Haram.

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