Peradventure, the president is thinking of declaring a state of emergency in Benue State over the recent killing of over 80 residents by herdsmen, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria Sebastine Hon, has said the president has no right.

Hon, a citizen of Benue State, said in a statement that the speculation that President Muhammadu Buhari could remove the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to enforce the declaration of the state of emergency, lacked constitutional backing.

The statement entitled, 'A capital 'NO' to a state of emergency in Benue State', read in par: “The social media is agog with speculations that the Presidency will soon declare a state of emergency in Benue State. Some of the media postings are suggestive of the ‘power’ of the President to overthrow the governmental structures in that state and to replace same with a Sole Administrator.

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"Such speculation, though on social media blogs, cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand, in view, especially, of the orchestrated violent demonstrations in Makurdi on Saturday by the Hausa-Fulani, two days after the burial of the victims of the New Year massacre.

“The power to proclaim a state of emergency by the Presidency is provided for by Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution; and there is nothing in that provision, clear or latent, which imbues the President, or any authority for that matter, with any scintilla of power to remove or overthrow elected or appointed state officials. There being no such enabling provision, therefore, such arbitrary power cannot be implied; and if exercised, will be clearly illegal and unlawful.”


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