Monday, December 6, 2021

Lai Mohammed backs AGF on state of emergency declaration in Anambra

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Federal Government has expressed support for the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the possibility of declaring state of emergency in Anambra if the incessant killings and other criminal acts in the state persist.

Mr Malami, also the Attorney General of the Federation, had given the indication on Wednesday that the Federal Government would not rule out the option of declaring a state of emergency in Anambra given the violence in the state ahead of the Nov. 6 governorship poll in the state.

Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja, the minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said Mr Malami’s position was to avert constitutional crisis in the state.

Mr Mohammed said no government would fold its arms and allow the pillar of democracy to be destroyed.

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“In the last couple of weeks, IPOB had imposed sit-at-home on the citizens, they did not allow people to go to schools, markets and there are also high profile killings.

“The AGF said yesterday that government will do whatever it takes to restore law and order in Anambra and the entire southeast to ensure that symbols and pillars of democracy are not tampered with.

“The forthcoming election in the state is one of the pillars of democracy

“Those who are criticising the AGF on this, have they thought for one minute what will happen if the election does not take place in Anambra State on Nov. 6?

“They should bear in mind that under our constitution, a governor cannot spend an extra day beyond the mandate of four years.

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“What will happen will be a constitutional crisis of immense proportion,’’ he said

The minister recalled that during previous democratic dispensations, state of emergency was declared in Ekiti and Plateau States.

He said what was happening in Anambra presently was worse than what happened in Plateau and Ekiti when state of emergency was declared.

On the position of some critics that government did not declare state of emergency in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna where they alleged there were more killings, the minister said the situation was not the same with Anambra

“You do not compare apples with oranges, the bandits in Katsina do not want to leave Nigeria.

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“They do not want to declare their own republic and they are not saying there will be no elections. They are primarily criminals.

“It is a disingenuous argument to say that they have killed more people in Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna than they killed in Anambra.

“What is happening in Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger is criminality and government will not condone it.

“I have not seen the bandits hoist any flag anywhere as opposed to Boko Haram.

“Until they were dislodged in Bama they set up their own government, collecting taxes,’’ he said.

The minister added that if there is any need to declare state of emergency in Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna States, the government would not hesitate to do so.

NAN

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