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Vol 50 No 11

Published 29th May 2009


National, not regional

The military crackdown in the Niger Delta upsets the awkward balance between federal and state politics

In the two years since it was elected, the National Assembly has approved just five bills, including two budget appropriations covering members' salaries.Yet representatives of constituencies outside the southern oil-producing areas united to back the army's attacks on Ijaw districts of the Niger Delta (see other Feature). In a raucous debate on 21 May, the House of Representatives approved the military operations and asked for similar action in Ondo, Edo and Bayelsa States. On the previous day, John Halims Agoda (People's Democratic Party, Delta) had called for a halt to the Joint Task Force (JTF) operations. Chile Igbawua (PDP, Benue) objected that 'implications on national security' should be considered first. Deputy Speaker Usman Nafada asked for the motion to be withdrawn.

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