Dr. Umar Ardo
Dr. Umar Ardo

It is within the powers of the president to declare state of emergency in all or parts of the country to resolve emergency situations of all types. I commend the president for his resolve to act likewise. I will exert myself to the utmost to cooperate and assist in whatever way to help solve the problems for which the state of emergency was declared. I also call on all our people to cooperate with government to bring a quick end to the security threat in the country. I pray to God Almighty that the measures taken succeed.

However, I take an exception in the way and manner the emergency rule was declared in my state of Adamawa. Yes, Adamawa has had more than its fair share of violent attacks on our people and territories by armed bandits, but such did not in whatever way justify a complete blanket emergency rule on the entire state. Clearly, Adamawa does not measure up a bit in violence, volatility and/or vulnerability to violence as against other states named by the president in his national address like Kano, Plateau, Nassarawa, Benue, Taraba and Bayelsa. The fact that we only last Saturday in Adamawa conducted a House of Assembly bye-election in the state in complete peace and harmony, without any security threat or incident shows that we are a state in relative peace. We cannot be, and should not have been, put on the same pedestal with Borno or Yobe.
The most that can be adjudged as a rational action by the president would have been a declaration of emergency on 3 or 4 LGAs in the state ? in the Northern Senatorial District bordering Borno! But to declare emergency rule on the whole of the state is not only patently unjustifiable but also vilely unfair to the people of Adamawa state. To skip those more highly volatile states and clamp down on Adamawa shows either thorough consultation was not made to determine the real situation on the ground upon which action was taken, or points to political calculations in coming up with the final decision on the matter.
I therefore respectfully call on the president to appropriately reconsider his position on Adamawa state. I suggest, based on the real security threat in the state, to restrain emergency rule to the Northern Senatorial District, while biffing up minimal measures across the rest of the state, as indeed across the entire country. Finally, I implore on the operators of the emergency rule to have it that emergency rule should not impinge on the fundamental rights and privileges of citizens. It should not also stifle economic, social, religious and cultural lives of our people. Lives and rights of the people must be respected as they are the central essence of declaring the emergency rule in the first place.
Source: Israel Goodway


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