Malami’s State of Emergency threat in Anambra unfortunate, suspicious –Ohanaeze
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, on Thursday, carpeted the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), over his pronouncement that the Federal Government might declare a State of Emergency in Anambra to ensure that the November 6 governorship election in the state takes place.
Ohanaeze National Publicity Secretary, Chief Alex Ogbonnia, stated this in an exclusive interview.
He described as unfortunate and suspicious, the statement by Malami, adding that Igbo people collectively reject the intention to foist emergency rule over the people and set aside the democratic government.
According to Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution, a state of emergency is a situation of national danger or disaster in which a government suspends normal constitutional procedures in order to regain control.
A declared state of emergency allows the President to immediately make any desired regulations to secure public order and safety.
The insecurity in Anambra State worsened a few weeks ago with a declaration by a separatist group, the Indigenous People of Biafra that the November 6 governorship poll in the state would not hold.
On Wednesday, the AGF told State House correspondent that the government had the responsibility to sustain the democratic order and would do the needful to ensure that the election holds.
He said, “No possibility is ruled out by government in terms of ensuring the sanctity of our democratic order, in terms of ensuring that our elections in Anambra hold.
“And you cannot rule out the possibility of declaration of state of emergency where it is established, in essence, that there is a failure on the part of the state government to ensure the sanctity of security of lives, properties and democratic order.”
Reacting in a telephone chat with our correspondent on Thursday, the apex Igbo group said, “Ohanaeze already suspected external middlemen on what is happening in the South-East and the laziness in which the Attorney General talked about a State of Emergency in Anambra is suspect.
“The government has not contained the insecurity in the state and now it is contemplating a State of Emergency.
“We have had lots of killings in Borno, Yobe, Katsina, even Benue but some deaths we can count on our fingers, the government is contemplating imposing a State of Emergency in Anambra. It is unacceptable. We reject it. It is unfortunate that the Attorney General is thinking that way.”
Anambra not qualified for emergency rule –SAN
Also, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Emeka Etiaba, who spoke on the Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme on Thursday morning, said Anambra is not qualified for an emergency rule.
He said, “When you look at the conditions for the proclamation of a State of Emergency in a state, you will see that Anambra is not qualified because the constitution specifically says that that violence has to be contained in that state where that proclamation is to take place. There are killings in Imo State, there are killings in Enugu State, of course, there are killings in Abia, so why are they stigmatising Anambra for a State of Emergency?
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“If you read down Section 305, it tells you that before such proclamation would be made, it would only be made when the violence or threat of violence is domesticated in the state and does not go beyond borders but the violence in Anambra, does it not go beyond borders? It goes. Imo State is not at peace, they are burning down police stations and all of that.”
The senior lawyer slammed Malami for allegedly abusing power, saying, “Abuse comes with most decisions that are taken.”
Etiaba said that Malami’s statement was indicative that powers that be “will ensure the election does not take place, and even if it takes place, it will not be a free and fair election.”
“Every human being should know that next to God is political power and if a government mulls an intention, you don’t rule out the possibility that the government is going towards that area,” he added.
Also, pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, in a statement on Wednesday night by its spokesman, Jare Ajayi, stated that “the declaration is more of a verdict of failure on the part of the federal government to provide security rather than the failure of the Anambra State government. To shift the failure-blame to the state government is therefore shocking and unfortunate.”
Similarly, the Anambra State Government, Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Senior Advocates of Nigeria including Paul Ananaba and Femi Falana, have faulted the threat by the Federal Government to declare an emergency rule in the South-East state.