A brief history into “State of Emergency scenarios in Nigeria”
In May 2004 Plateau state erupted into sectarian violence, which spilled over into Kano State. It was reported that over 50,000 people had died. President Olusegun Obasanjo declared emergency rule in the state and suspended the governor and the state assembly, appointing Chris Alli as administrator. Alli quickly developed the Plateau Peace Program, involving dialog between religious, ethnic and community leaders, and a state-wide peace conference. He also gave an amnesty to holders of weapons and a reward for their turning in their arms. Alli’s measures were successful in calming the situation even as he spent 5 months in office [between 18th May and 18 November 2004], and he handed back to Joshua Dariye who he had earlier took over of from.
On 26 September 2006 the Ekiti State House of Assembly impeached the governor, Ayodele Fayose and his deputy Abiodun Christine Olujimi, alleging gross misconduct. On October 19, 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a State of Emergency in Ekiti State and suspended the governor, deputy governor and House of Assembly of the state. He appointed Tunji Olurin, as “Sole Administrator” of Ekiti State. The State of Emergency was ratified by the National Assembly on October 26. Olurin was to handover Tope Ademiluyi who was appointed acting governor on April 27, 2007, who went on to hold the position until 29 May 2007, when Olusegun Oni took office after winning the elections. The terms of Olurin and Ademiluyi came to a combined 6 months + 1 month = 7 months!
These two instances readily show that “peace was achieved at the end of the day” based on these interventions.
I have decided to get back into the HISTORY BOOKS to help out those that have been crying wolf ahead of the so-called plans by President Goodluck Jonathan to call for a Sole Administrator to take over in Borno State; as expected, these super bloggers and public commentators would typically throw substance away for sensationalism – leaving out the FACTS as presented above to show that it is not as though President Goodluck Jonathan would be the first person to do this and that the objectives rather than the politics of such an action should be the overriding focus here.
In the same way that they would love to claim that “the governor is being punished because he spoke up to embarrass the President” or “the governor belongs to the opposition – APC” – well, it would be nice to ask these folks “if such an intervention won’t be something that even the Governor should pray for considering his statements from last week pointing in the direction of Boko Haram being more powerful than the Nigerian Armed Forces?”
Won’t it be better for him to step-aside while this is dealt with so that he can resume office as was the with Dariye thereafter than to have his entire government wiped off by Boko Haram even as his own life is also at stake here?
There must be times even within politically-charged and partisan-centric moods for us to pay attention to objectivity rather than manipulation of information dissemination that works against the common good – and I believe should be one of such times.