Skip to main content

Nigerian president declares emergency in 3 states during 'rebellion'

By Greg Botelho, CNN
May 14, 2013 -- Updated 2306 GMT (0706 HKT)
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declares a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in northeastern Nigeria.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declares a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in northeastern Nigeria.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • States of emergency are declared for Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states
  • President says "insurgents and terrorists" are trying to destabilize Nigeria
  • They've taken over part of Borno state, killed civilians and officials, he adds
  • "We will hunt them down (and) bring them to justice," Goodluck Jonathan says

(CNN) -- Nigeria's president declared states of emergency Tuesday for three states, blaming "terrorists" aimed at "rebellion" who have caused "fear among our citizens and a near breakdown of law and order in parts of the country."

The order, issued by President Goodluck Jonathan, applies to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in northeastern Nigeria. He also noted a rise of insurgent violence in eight other states as well, including Nasarawa, where scores of police officers were killed last week.

Scores of police officers killed in central Nigeria

Obasanjo: Boko Haram undermine security
Workers abducted in northern Nigeria
2012: Who are Boko Haram?
Nigerian president: Boko Haram 'threat'

"We have taken robust steps to unravel and address the root causes of these crises, but it would appear that there is a systematic effort by insurgents and terrorists to destabilize the Nigerian state and test our collective resolve," Jonathan said in a televised speech.

Insisting they weren't simply criminals, the president said "terrorist groups" were staging a "rebellion and insurgency" that threatened Nigeria's "unity and territorial integrity." Some northern parts of Borno state have already been taken over by such groups, as Jonathan noted.

Such violence over the years has been blamed on Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege." According to Human Rights Watch, the group has killed more than 2,800 people in an escalating campaign to impose strict Islamic law on largely Muslim northern Nigeria.

Attempts at dialogue -- which will continue, the president said -- have failed to curb militants' efforts "to progressively overwhelm the ... country." He cited several recent examples of violence, including the killing of "innocent civilians and state officials," attacks on government buildings and facilities and the destruction of Nigeria's flag for "strange flags" instead.

"These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten her territorial integrity," Jonathan said. "As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this."

The president said he'll send more troops to the three states, adding that they and other security forces there have orders to "take all necessary action." They have the authority to detain suspects and those who illegally possess weapons, take over any building "used for terrorist purposes" and conduct searches.

"Those insurgents and terrorists who take delight in killing our security operatives -- whoever they may be, wherever they may go -- we will hunt them down, we will fish them out, and we will bring them to justice," Jonathan said.

"No matter what it takes, we will win this war against terror."

Opinion: Nigeria is a sinking ship, but we must not desert it

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
Hamas' tactics have changed -- now the group is using commando-like tactics, says CNN's Ben Wedeman.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT)
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Prince George isn't your average one year old. He started walking before he was one. Oh, and, he's going to be king -- of 16 countries.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1136 GMT (1936 HKT)
Former President Bill Clinton acknowledges he got "very close" to helping achieve peace in the Middle East.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0621 GMT (1421 HKT)
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1112 GMT (1912 HKT)
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
The world's largest flying aquatic insect, with huge, nightmarish pincers, has been discovered in China's Sichuan province, experts say.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT