By Chinonye Ndeokwelu
The State of Emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, may not last for six months as provided by the constitution.
President Jonathan disclosed this yesterday to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon at a bilateral meeting of the 21st ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Africa Union holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He noted that the state of emergency, which was declared on May 14, 2013, has started to yield desired results and he was therefore optimistic that the measure may not run its full course of six months.
“The military intervention in the affected states is going on well. There is no human rights abuse and there is no collateral damage with regards to security of individuals. I am optimistic that with the level of success already being recorded, the emergency rule in the affected states may not last up to the six months stipulated by the constitution,” he said.
President Jonathan also told Moon that the military operation in the troubled states was going very well and the military had adhered to the rules of engagement.
He explained that the successes recorded by the military are exemplified by the lack of collateral civilian casualties, noting that the operation has helped in creating a better relationship between the civilian population and members of the armed forces.
The president told the Secretary General of the Noted Nations that government would do everything possible to ensure that the civilian population is not put through hardship, adding that the rules of engagement given to the military deployed in the area is strictly adhered to by the military.
Jonathan said government’s decision to release women and children members of the Boko Haram was in the spirit of the rules of engagement of the operation.
In his remarks, the UN Secretary General expressed sympathy over the activities of insurgents in the north eastern part of the country and advocated prudent and cautious measures to protect civilian population in the affected areas.
He commended President Jonathan’s leadership role in the West Africa sub-region in the fight against terror and solicited his assistance in the resolution of the crisis in Guinea Bissau.
He reiterated his call on the Nigerian military engaged in operations in the affected states where state of emergency has been declared to be prudent and cautious in protecting the civilian population in the areas of operation.