With every emphasis at our disposal, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to continue to ignore the unpatriotic calls for a state of emergency over our current security threats. It will never solve the problem. Rather, it might lead to unforeseeable circumstances which could bode ill for the corporate existence of Nigeria.
On several occasions in recent months, many members of the Senate and House of Representatives have issued the call for President Buhari to use emergency rule as a magic wand to end our security threats. Over the weekend, a respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Chief Robert Clarke, on Channels Television, actually solicited for the dissolution of the parliament, the replacement of 36 governors with military administrators and the creation of six states based on the geopolitical zones through emergency rule.
To do these, the 1999 Constitution has to be suspended, and that is a coup, even if Buhari remains in power. It is unacceptable.
We urge those making these calls to pause and ponder the dangers that such could portend. Nigeria will jump from the fry pan into the fire. We may castigate the National Assembly as we want, but as a constitutional body, it is still hampering a lot of Executive impunities that could easily be achieved through decrees. These include the imposition of Ruga, the confiscation of the nation’s waters resources by the Federal Government, its direct control of the social media and the use of the armed forces to pursue other agenda inimical to the general wellbeing of ALL Nigerians.
No matter how poor the 1999 Constitution is, it has buffers against untrammelled executive impunity. The media, civil society groups, social media influencers and informed opinion leaders who will be directly targeted, must raise their voices against these ill-conceived calls.
The only person now standing between these calls and their adoption is President Buhari himself. We commend him for this. Buhari had also firmly rejected the calls for him to change the Constitution and extend his tenure. We urge him to remain committed to his constitutional oath, complete his tenure and give way to others to contribute to nation-building.
We are convinced that the solution to our problems is not emergency rule. The solution is in the root causes of the problems. Boko Haram cannot continue without support from the people and elements in the country’s leadership. The bandits were brought in by some evil politicians who now occupy high positions in our society. The armed herdsmen are being aided and abetted by the high and mighty. The Federal Government should muster the willpower to deal with these. Extreme nepotism must also end.
A national state of emergency might lead to the emergence of ethnic warlords. It will also sweep away our constitutional liberties.