- We Can’t Rule Out Declaring State Of Emergency in Anambra, Says Malami
- State Govt, Falana, Paul Ananaba Fault Comment
The Federal Government’s threat to impose a state of emergency in Anambra state should insecurity persist in the state before the November 6 governorship election has elicited reactions from the state government and Nigerians.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made the threat while addressing a press conference after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which held at the state house, Abuja and presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The AGF threatened that the government will take all necessary steps to ensure that Anambra is safe ahead of the upcoming election.
Recently, Anambra, alongside other states in the South East have been witnessing surging wave of insecurity. According to reports, not less than 10 persons have been killed in various attacks across Anambra in about one week.
Recall on September 28, Dr Chike Akunyili, the widower of the late former Minister of Information and Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Dora Akunyili was shot dead in Anambra by gunmen alongside his driver and one other.
On Tuesday the South-East Governors Forum had said the ‘Ebube Agu’ security outfit will be established in all five states before the end of the year.
According to the governors, the establishment of the security outfit will checkmate the rising cases of insecurity in the region.
Expressing concerns over insecurity in the state, Malami said no measure would be ruled out in ensuring that there is tight security in Anambra state. The minister argued that the security of lives and properties of Nigerians is a responsibility of the government.
In his words: “When our national security is attacked, and the sanctity of our constitutionally guaranteed democracy is threatened, no possibility is ruled out.
“As a government, we have a responsibility to ensure the sustenance of our democratic order. As a government, we have a responsibility to provide security to life and properties.
“So, within the context of these constitutional obligations, of the government or the desire to establish democratic norms and order, there is no possibility that [state of emergency] is out ruled.
“The government will certainly do the needful in terms of ensuring that our elections are held in a Anambra in terms of ensuring necessary security is provided, and in terms of ensuring protection is accorded to lives and properties.
“So, what I’m saying in essence, no possibility is out ruled by government in terms of ensuring the sanctity of our democratic order, in terms of ensuring that our elections in Anambra holds, and you cannot out rule possibilities inclusive of the possibility of declaration or 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.
“So, our position as a government is if these elections are going to hold, necessary security, in terms of democratic order, must certainly prevail for the purpose of this election.”
Reacting, the Anambra state Commissioner for Information, Don Adinuba criticised Malami for threatening to impose a state of emergency in the state.
The Commissioner described the threat as outrageous, noting that the situation in Anambra state has not gotten to the stage where the Federal Government could declare a state of emergency.
Adinuba who spoke during an interview with Channels TV argued that Anambra state has not experienced the level of insecurity rocking states like Borno, Zamfara, Kaduna, among others. According to him, the recent cases of insecurity in the state are politically motivated, adding that law and order is still being maintained in the state.
In his words, “Nigerians are outraged by the threat by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
“Since the renewed violence in Anambra State which we believe is politically motivated, not more than 15 persons have been killed. How many persons have died in Borno, Niger, Kaduna, Yobe, Zamfara, even Imo, which is APC-controlled, Ebonyi, which is APC-controlled?
“Has anybody threatened emergency rule in any of these states?
“For the past seven years, Anambra has remained the safest state, most stable in Nigeria.
“We remain the only state in the whole country that for the past seven years, has not experienced one single bank robbery; what is going on is politically motivated and the declaration by the honourable Attorney-General of the Federation is a confirmation.” The Anambra Commissioner for Information said.
According to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Paul Ananaba, “What the State of Emergency does is to put aside the governor, the state assembly and all the institutions. It is an extraordinary measure. Anambra has not reached that point.
“Section 305 has made it clear that at the actual break down of law and order, there is no actual breakdown of law and order in Anambra State – schools are in session, banks are working, markets and all. There is violence but it has not gotten to the declaration of a State of Emergency,” he said.
Also, human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) explained that the governor of a state can only be removed by impeachment or resignation and not by imposition of emergency rule, adding that the tenure of legislators is four years in line with the provisions of the Constitution.
“Even though former President Olusegun Obasanjo removed two Governors via the imposition of emergency rule, the PDP-led Federal Government later jettisoned the illegal practice.
“Hence ex- Presidents Umaru Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan never used emergency rule to remove elected governors or suspend legislative houses and local government councils. Indeed, the Federal Government has since realised that it is unjust and immoral to remove a governor of a state since the president exclusively controls the armed forces, the police and other security agencies.
“To that extent, the Federal Government should drop the dangerous plan to remove the Governor of Anambra State and impose a Sole Administrator on the eve of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the State.” Falana added.