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Published On: Thu, May 16th, 2013

Oritsejefor, Delta Lawyers, Others Differ on Declaration of State of Emergency

CAN President Pastor Oritsejafor

By Our Reporter
LAGOS MAY 16 (URHOBOTODAY) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association Nigeria (CAN), has welcomed yesterday’s declaration of a state of emergency in three north east states, saying the action is in harmony with his association’s position that negotiation with terrorists will always end up a futile exercise.
However, Delta state based legal luminaries and concerned citizens There was shock and disbelief by a cross section of Deltans who bare their minds to Fresh however disagreed with the CAN President arguing that the President would havesuspended the political structure as required by the constitution.

Praising President Goodluck Jonathan for not dissolving the existing political structures in the three states and for retaining the office of the governors, Oritsejafor described the decisions as signposts that the President is a democrat and is primarily concerned with the issue of human rights abuses and the need to secure the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
“While saying that the state of emergency declared in the three states is not unexpected, the CAN President called on the three governors to reciprocate the kind gesture by cooperating with those charged with the responsibility of bringing down the insurgency, just as he called on all Nigerians of goodwill, in and outside the three states, to join hands with the Federal Government in dealing with the Boko Haram issue,” the statement said.
With the declaration of a state of emergency, Pastor Oritsejafor observed, the Amnesty Committee has become irrelevant and should now be dissolved.
Reaction from National Co-ordinator, Forum for Justice and Human Rights’ Defence, (FJHD), Barr. Oghenejabor Ikimi however negate the comment of Orisejafor. According to him, “I make bold to say that the move by Mr. President fall short of all the attributes of a state of emergency in the real sense of its constitutional meaning. I think Mr. President is either playing to the gallery or in fact playing politics with the state of insecurity in the above states as shown in his address to the Nation. What I deduced from his said address was that as President he merely ordered the deployment of more soldiers to the affected states.”
A Legal Practitioner based in Ekpan, Uvwie local government area, Delta State, Barr. Lucky Egboyi that it is wrong for the President to do that, stressing that Jonathan is playing politics with the constitution. “There is no provision for partial declaration of emergency in the constitution. A true declaration of emergency must bring down existing political structure/leadership,” he argued.
An Educationist who prefers anonymity declared “Can you imagine that? I’ve been waiting for somebody to explain to me.”
While an oil worker stated that there is no way the President’s declaration will work with the present political structure, an Itsekiri technocrat put its thought this way, “ Only God knows where GEJ is manufacturing all these from. Perhaps it is wrong terminology.”
It remains to be seen how the National Assembly, prominent rights activist, key opposition political parties, members of the dreaded Boko Haram and other major stakeholders will react to the President’s declaration as the days unfold.

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