Strong indications emerged in Abuja today that President Goodluck Jonathan was considering imposing a state of emergency in Kaduna.
Several sources told SaharaReporters that Mr. Jonathan discussed the possibility in a closed-door meeting he held earlier today with Senate President David Mark, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Musdapher Dahiru, and the Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshall Oluseyi Petinrin. “The president told them that he believes there would be need to impose a state of emergency in Kaduna State should the reprisal attacks that greeted the multiple bomb blasts in that state continue,” said the source.
The meeting, which lasted for about an hour, was called to appraise the multiple bomb blasts in two churches in Zaria and another one in Kaduna metropolis.
The reprisal attacks that followed the bombings reportedly resulted in the killing of more than 45 people, while close to 1000 others sustained varying levels of injury.
Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State had declared a 24-hour curfew in the metropolis.
Mr. Jonathan first began to meet with Justice Dahiru before Senator Mark arrived. Air Chief Marshall Petinrin then joined them shortly after.
None of the parties at the meeting spoke on the issues discussed, but our sources disclosed that the focus was the possibility of declaring a state of emergency if tensions remain high in the beleaguered state.
When cornered after the meeting, Mr. Mark merely described his presence at the seat of presidential power as “just a normal visit.” Asked why the “just normal visit” coincided with the visit of the CJN, Mr. Mark retorted, “I didn’t see the CJN.”
The senator appealed to people not to retaliate for the attacks on churches, saying, “Vengeance is not ours. We must leave vengeance to God, [and] continue to appeal to the people who are behind [the violence] to reason and put this off because it is not in the interest of this country.”