News / Africa

Nigerian Lawmakers Consider State of Emergency Renewal

Anne Look
Nigerian legislators are reviewing the president's request for a second six-month extension to the state of emergency in the northeast.  But political opposition to the president's request is growing. Northern politicians say the federal government needs to shift its strategy for combatting Boko Haram terrorists.

Nigeria's National Assembly voted unanimously to renew the state of emergency for the first time in November.  

But this time, several lawmakers, including Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume, say they will vote against it.

Ndume's district in Borno state includes Chibok, the village where militants kidnapped 276 schoolgirls a month ago.

"State of emergency declared for the past one year has not improved the situation.  In fact, we got from bad to worse.  So we are saying that they need to change strategy and what we identify as the critical problem is that there is not enough deployment of troops and the troops need more equipment.  They need to be more motivated and the security agencies need to be more proactive than reactive," he said.

He and others say emergency rule is unnecessary and could even be backfiring.

Some analysts say the enhanced powers given to the military, such as search and seizure powers, have worsened relations with civilians, impeding intelligence gathering.

Adamawa State politician Umar Ardo is a military historian who taught at Nigeria's National Defense Academy.

"It is an intelligence failure and to a large extent it is a failure of political leadership.  That is for sure," said Ardo.

Those in favor of the extension say the military should get more time to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency.

President Goodluck Jonathan told lawmakers "substantial progress" has been made against the militants, but he said the "security situation that necessitated the proclamation of a state of emergency is yet to abate."

Boko Haram continues to kill civilians by the hundreds in brutal attacks, prompting villages to form self-defense vigilante groups.  One such group reportedly killed scores of Boko Haram fighters in a confrontation Tuesday.

There also have been reports of discontent among soldiers fighting in the northeast.  Tuesday in Maiduguri, soldiers fired on their commanding officer after they were ordered to return by road at night and fell into a deadly ambush.

The mandate for emergency rule expires Monday in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.  The governors of all three states say they are against extending it.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Peace Activists Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified border, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs