State of Emergency: Buhari, Obiano in closed-door meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed door with Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting came barely 24 hours after the federal government threatened to invoke emergency rule as part of measures to address security challenges and safeguard electoral process in the state.

NAN gathered that the governor updated the president on the security situation in Anambra.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federal, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday, warned that the federal government may be forced to impose a state of emergency in Anambra to ensure peaceful conduct of the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

NAN reports that stakeholders in Anambra project including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had raised alarm over the upsurge in cases of violent attacks on individuals and government facilities in Anambra as the governorship election in the state draws closer.

Mr Malami, however, threatened that the federal government may declare a state of emergency if the security situation in the state did not improve.

“When our national security is attacked, and the sanctity of our constitutionally guaranteed democracy is threatened, no possibility is ruled out,” Mr Malami said.

“As a government, we have a responsibility to ensure the sustenance of our democratic order.

“As a government, we have a responsibility to provide security to life and properties.

“So, within the context of these constitutional obligations, of the government or the desire to establish democratic norms and order, there is no possibility that is out ruled,’’ he said.

He added that government would certainly do the needful in terms of ensuring that “our elections are held in Anambra in terms of ensuring necessary security is provided, and in terms of ensuring protection is accorded to lives and properties.

“So, what I’m saying in essence, no possibility is ruled out by government in terms of ensuring the sanctity of our democratic order, in terms of ensuring that our election in Anambra holds,” Mr Malami said.

“And you cannot out rule possibilities inclusive of the possibility of declaration or state of emergency where it is established, in essence, that there is a failure on the part of the state government to ensure the sanctity of security of lives, properties and democratic order.

“So, our position as a government is; election is going to hold, necessary security in terms of democratic order most certainly prevail for the purpose of this election.’’

(NAN)

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