By OKEY NDIRIBE, EMMAN OVUAKPORIE, Henry Umoru, Luka Binniyat & Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA— Declaration of State ofEmergency now looms in some states in the North, following unrestrained killing of innocent persons by Islamist militants and the new dimension of reprisal attacks which claimed hundreds of lives.
The Senate, yesterday, said it would support the declaration of state of emergency in any state where bombings continued unabatted.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who held a closed-door meeting on Monday with Senate President David Mark; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin was said to be considering imposing a state of emergency in Kaduna following the spontaneous reprisal attacks that accompanied the three co-ordinated bomb attacks in Zaria and Kaduna churches.
The president’s move, yesterday, enjoyed the support of the Senators who resolved after a closed-door meeting that lasted several hours to back the president if such a request is brought before them. The Senators who were worried by the massive killings in the country by the Islamist militants have also agreed to meet with President Jonathan on how to combat the security crisis even as the House of Representatives on its part passed a resolution yesterday to invite the President and his security chiefs to throw more light on the security situation in the country.
Meanwhile,KadunaStategovernment yesterday re-imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state when fresh violence broke out as Muslim youths were said to have gone on rampage in a counter-reprisal to attacks by Christians, killing three persons and burning churches.
Also in Damaturu,YobeStategovernment has imposed a 24-hour curfew as battle raged between the military and Islamist militants following the continued violence which began around 5:00pm on Monday.
On the resolution by the Senate, Vanguard gathered that the Senate will select some members among themselves to go with the leadership of the upper chamber on the emergency meeting with the President with a view to forming a synergy with the Federal government in addressing the problem against the backdrop that the violence which has claimed innocent souls has dented the image of the country while economic activities have been crippled.
Senate fingers foreigners in bombings
Meanwhile, the Senate yesterday fingered foreign involvement in the escalated state of insecurity, saying that whatNigeriawas going through at the moment was strange and not part ofNigeria’s history.
Addressing Journalists yesterday, Chairman Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe said: “The Senate also noted that there may be some foreign dimensions to this but the senate acknowledges that we must put our house in order and the senate is in full agreement that all hands must be on deck and that every Nigerian, no matter the level, has a duty to continue to preserve the unity and the structure of Nigeria as it is today.”
Speaking on the closed door meeting, Senator Abaribe said, “the Senate had a very frank discussion about the state of our security. You are all aware of what happened over the weekend and the fact that effort is being made to plunge this country into a religious war. But we know that such will not happen. The senate agreed that it was an effort to pitch Nigerians against one another and the Senate urges Nigerians not to fall for this odious attempt.
Speaking further, Abaribe said, “the senate is very worried about the state of the nation. If not, we would not have spent a whole day today in a closed session; the reason for the closed session is so that we can speak frankly, the reason for the closed session is that when they have camera on them, they will play to the gallery. So, we are so worried that we have to spend three to four hours in a closed door session just to get to what is going on and it was productive and the measures that came out with these, because they deal with security issues, we have to clear it with the appropriate authorities before it can be released to the public, but you can be rest assured that everything the senate is doing is for the interest of the country.”
House invites Jonathan over insecurity in Nigeria
The House of Representatives on its part yesterday passed a resolution to invite President Goodluck Jonathan and his security chiefs to throw more light on the security situation in the country.
Obviously alarmed by the spate of bombings inKadunawhere three churches were burnt and the reprisal attacks that followed, the House decided that the President should come alongside his security chiefs to brief lawmakers on measures taken so far to tackle insecurity in the country. The security chiefs include the service chiefs, the Acting Inspector General of Police Mohammed Abubakar and the Director General of State Security Service (SSS) Ita Ekpenyong.
The resolution was sequel to a motion brought to the floor of the House under matters of urgent national importance by Hon Yakubu Barde representingKadunastate.
An amendment to his motion to propose that the Federal Government should negotiate with the terrorist group Boko Haram was unanimously rejected by members.
Another motion by Ben Nwankwo representing Orumba North and South,AnambraState, to invite the President to address a joint session of both chambers of the National Assembly was rejected by members.
Kaduna: Foreigners involved in bombings – Police
Meanwhile, theKadunaStateCommissioner of Police. Alh. Mohammed Abubakar Jinjiri, yesterday, affirmed that citizens ofNigerRepublic,ChadandCameroonwere among those involved inNigeriaterror killings.
The Police boss who made this known inKadunayesterday, also displayed to the Press 15 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDS) and their accessories, saying each of the explosives was capable of massive harm to structure and humans.
But, Jinjiri refused to disclose information on the casualty figures from the reprisal killings inKaduna, after three bombs went off in two churches inZariaand another inKadunalast Sunday.
At a Press Conference inKadunaafter a declaration of curfew over the state by Governor Patrick Yakowa, Jinjiri said: “We want to warn all foreigners enteringNigeriato breach the peace and cause disharmony among us to desist from so.
“We have arrested many nationals ofNiger,ChadandCameroonorigins among those engaged in mass killings (bombings) inNigeria. We want to warn that we have enough of this. We will no longer care about the West Africa Charter of Freedom of Movement for its citizens if we arrest anyone from now. Our hospitality must not be taken for granted”, he said.
On the IEDS, he said that the bomb maker was a well known mechanic living inKaduna. He said, that a raid in the compound uncovered shocking arsenal of IEDS, arms and ammunition.
“When we raided the compound, he ran into the ceiling of his house. By the time we pursued him up the ceiling, he had escaped through a hole. This was last Friday. The idea was to start the bombings on Friday. But, we were quick to stop that, if not, last Sunday bombings could have been worse.
“A total of nine suspects were arrested and on interrogations they confessed to killing some innocent persons inKadunametropolis and environs, as well as snatching several cars.