State of Emergency or Emergency in a state? When an emergency isn't really an emergency.

President Jonathan declared a “State of Emergency” in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states respectively, good! However his declaration doesn't affect the political appointees in the affected states. Some expected a situation where the executive is suspended and the military assumes command in the interim- as it is assumed 'force' is the best strategy to quell the insurgents for good. But the President has chosen an approach which many are keen to see its implementation, due to its perceived duality of powers.

State of Emergency explained:
 "A state of emergency is a governmental declaration which usually suspends a few normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms, even if guaranteed under the constitution. Such declarations usually come during a time of natural or man made disaster, during periods of civil unrest, or following a declaration of war or situation of international or internal armed conflict."

To some of the President's critics the “State of Emergency” is a contradiction in terms, they are accused of never seeing anything good in whatever he does. To his supporters however, the declaration is long overdue, as they will defend anything he does- including special pardons and his “I don't give a damn” attitude.

Interestingly this isn't the first time Jonathan would declare a “State of Emergency”, in Yobe and Borno especially.
A State of Emergency was declared on 31 December 2011, in the North-Eastern (Yobe and Borno States) and North-Central (Plateau and Niger State) regions of the country.

Basically, another “State of Emergency” has been declared in the 'States' of Emergency. Evidently nothing was achieved by the previous declaration and we wonder what effect this latest declaration, however special, would have on the affected areas.

I wonder how the “amnesty” initiative fits into this bedlam.
An awkward development occurred while one of the accused Boko Haram members, Kabiru Sokoto appeared in court recently, according to his lawyer “Our client has confided in us that he never met with the Amnesty Committee. Even on the said date of the purported meeting, Kabiru Sokoto was before Justice Ademola Adeniyi.”
With this contradictory revelation, many are beginning to question the dynamics and authenticity of this amnesty programme.

As expected, some prominent figures are questioning the rationale behind this declaration and wonder why Nassarawa and Bayelsa States weren't including on the declaration list- considering a significant number of police officers have been murdered by militia in those states.

Nigeria is probably at its most fragile ebb and whatever decisions the President takes affects lives. To those in the affected regions, the hardship continues. Overtime numerous lives have been lost: the police, the JTF and civilians, they are all Nigerians, so from that perspective, we are killing ourselves.

The President is meant to be the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and is responsible for security of the nation. President Jonathan hasn't really impressed majority of the citizenry on security, we fervently hope he can get a grip on the nations security challenges.
Some may applaud this move as firm and decisive, as some would dismiss it as political rhetoric and strategising towards the next elections. Whatever it is, we want a stop to the wasting of innocent lives and our richly diverse human resources.

As the confusion on the State of Emergency continues, we hope we aren't left more confused than we were about the state of affairs, before the declaration: a State of Confusion!

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Artice title: A State of Confusion