By Peter Duru, MAKURDI

The National President of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Bitrus Pogu has said that the Federal Government’s threat to impose a state of emergency on Anambra State ahead of the coming governorship election is unacceptable and unconstitutional.

Dr. Pogu, who spoke to Vanguard on Wednesday in Makurdi, advised that if the security situation in the state was getting out of hand the election should be shifted to a later date after the situation had normalized.

Hear him: “My question is, the state of emergency the Federal Government is threatening to declare in the state is on what?

“You can declare an emergency on security or even on health, if for example there is a pandemic. So the state of emergency is on what?

“If it is based on security, it is rather that they stop the election and push it forward because there cannot be a fair and free election in a state where the military or whatever is in control.

“That is unacceptable in a democratic process.

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“So if it is because of insecurity, the only thing and the right thing to do is to stop the election till the place is stabilised so that all parties will have a sense of freedom to exercise their franchise to vote for whoever they want.

“But in a situation you have a militarised environment and all the military and the police are controlled by just one organ of government, that is the Federal Government, there can never be freedom for others to operate.

“So that is unacceptable. If they say the security situation is bad the election should be suspended till when the situation is normalised.

“But otherwise all other parties that are not with the Federal Government will be disadvantaged by any state of emergency if it is based on insecurity.

“As for the position of the constitution on the matter, if you recall, during the then President Obasanjo regime, such things were done in some states where governors were put aside.

“But the court ruled that it was undemocratic and unacceptable. So based on the judgement of the courts it is even not acceptable, not allowed.”

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.