Extension of Emergency Rule: Money or Military Administrators

armyFighting “Boko Haram” has become an oil block for some in the defence agencies of Nigeria. The country now spends more than N3billion daily (or N1.3trillion per year) on defence and security, and yet there is no security.
Partly as a result, Nigeria’s military leaders were in the Senate chambers on Tuesday, Nov. 18, to lobby for the senators’ endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan’s request for an extension of the state of emergency imposed since May 2013 on Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in the north-east. When Senate president David Mark put consideration of the request to voice vote, an overwhelming majority shouted “nay”.
Then, the lobbyists went to work. And Mark “clarified” that the question was not about extension of emergency rule but about consideration of the president’s request.
The Senate was forced into a closed session – journalists and other non-senators were asked to leave. Not even National Assembly workers were allowed to stay when a military chieftain wanted to address the senators. Money – huge money – was offered to each senator. But there were no “Ghana-must-go” bags that time; bank accounts would do.
The senators, mainly from the north, still opposed extension of the emergency rule. Not many, however, rejected the money on offer.
The presidency’s lobbyists are still at work, even as the House of Representatives reconvenes on Thursday.
A stern message has been sent to legislators opposing the extension: they either endorse it or be prepared to have military administrators in the three states. That is a signal that the elections proposed for February will not take place.

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