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Ebri canvasses state of emergency in violent states, overhaul of intelligence system

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Chief Clement Ebri. Photo/Calitown

Following rising insecurity in the country, former Governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare state of emergency in flash point states.

Ebri, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated this in an interview with The Guardian in Calabar. He lamented that the security situation in the country had reached frightening dimensions to the extent that everyone was now agitated.

His words: “I think that the president has to sit up and be presidential. He has to take drastic decisions and adopt stringent measures to curtail insecurity. It is not enough for spokespersons to make statements. What the president says matters and I think he should address the nation, assure Nigerians of their safety and put in place security machinery to arrest the situation.

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“It has reached embarrassing proportions. Even when a state of emergency has to be declared in some states, he should not hesitate to do so. The lives of people are more important than the political structure that has failed to address the situation. So, I believe that at that point, especially the state level, he should do that. I remember before now that there had been state of emergencies in some states.

“I am even surprised that even in northeast with a lot of things that have been going on, he has not declared a state of emergency at least for six months or so, even if you don’t have to remove the structures, but you come up with swifter laws that will enable you take drastic actions to contain the insurgency. So, I think the president needs to do a lot to contain insecurity.”

Ebri, who disagreed with the idea of state police, said Nigerians needed to be reminded that if states were allowed to create their police under the current political atmosphere, the opposition would not survive.

“This is because during elections, operatives of state police will arrest all key opposition figures, accuse them of sundry offences and put them in custody so that they can rig elections to achieve their aims,” he added.

He also canvassed an overhaul of the country’s intelligence system to include individuals from different parts of the country, so that they could contribute ideas from various perspectives.

“But if it is skewed in favour of one particular area, some people will sit back. The country’s security architecture should have people from all parts of the country for better results. I think some of these things should be reviewed.

“The president should take drastic actions. Nigerians want change and there should be cabinet reshuffle once in a while so that new faces are infused into the system and give Nigerians hope,” he stated.

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