Home Nigeria SANs Warn against FG Threats to Declare State of Emergency in Anambra

SANs Warn against FG Threats to Declare State of Emergency in Anambra

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State of Emergency
State of Emergency

By Uche Amunike

Senior Advocates of Nigeria, (SANs), Wednesday, ruled against the threat by the Buhari-led government to declare a state of emergency in Anambra state if the security situation does not improve.
They disclosed this during an interview with the press saying that it will worsen the security situation, not only in Anambra, but in the entire South East zone.
They urged the Federal government to explore other alternatives because the situation in Anambra state has not reached the stage where the President will apply his constitutional powers to declare a state of emergency.
Speaking to the newsmen, one of the SANs, Mohammed Abeny pointed out that the security situation in Anambra is not worse than what is happening in Borno, Zamfara or even Niger state, saying that killing is killing unless the Federal government decision is political since the government in Anambra is not the same with that of the ruling party.
He maintained that it was the primary duty of government to stop the killing before talking of declaring a state of emergency, adding that about 11 local government areas in one state in the North was under Boko Haram but no state of emergency has been declared there.
He identified that the president has the constitutional power to declare a state of emergency, but that it was too early for him to exercise such power as he had not explored other alternatives.
He maintained that if Buhari is to declare a state of emergency in Anambra, then he should do so in Borno, Zamfara Niger and Niger states
Another SAN, Prof Epiphany Azinge on his part, opined that if it has gotten to the point where the government believes that the only way to restore peace is through declaration of state of emergency, then it will be unacceptable. He pointed out that people will do a comparative study of the fact that a state of emergency has not been declared in many parts of the country where there has been a higher level of insecurity than that of Anambra.
He stated that many lives and properties have been lost in the North East as well as  regular kidnapping of students which is no longer news, therefore the state of emergency would have been declared there.
He further stated that what has been happening in the South East is the IPOB, ordering a sit-at-home, explaining that if it escalates to the declaration of a state of emergency, it will only make the situation worse. Such actions, he said, will not serve any purpose, but will bring about a fire brigade approach that may lead to guerrilla warfare which will lead to a clear-cut war that will not bring peace in any way.
He added that even though some of them had to put off their engagements in Anambra, it still didn’t warrant declaring it a state of emergency. Such declarations should be made in places where there have been total declaration of war against the Federal government and where territories have been claimed by terrorists.
As for Paul Ananaba, SAN, he does not believe that the Federal government will declare a state of emergency in Anambra because there is no total breakdown of the law in the state. What is happening in Anambra is not beyond what is happening in Borno, he said.
He further added that even though what is going on in Anambra is not acceptable, it will be wrong to cause more damage in a bid to cure one illness. He condemned the declaration of state of emergency and advised that the Federal government should strengthen security in the state, instead.
The opinion of Prof Ernest Ojukwu, (SAN), was that the declaration of a state of emergency in any part of the country should only be resorted to if there is an actual state of emergency in the letters and spirit of the constitution.
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