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first_imgThe seriousness of the Ebola epidemic calls for extraordinary measures to stop its spread.  It is time to close ranks, not time for political squabbles and constitutional wrangling.   When the State of Emergency was declared it was intended to facilitate the adoption of drastic measures such as the curfew and the quarantine of certain communities which were suspected of having a high risk of infection because of overcrowding and poor sanitary conditions.The State of Emergency, when declared, often overrides the obligation to observe civil liberties among other protected rights including the denial of the right of Habeas Corpus.  That is why the Executive must have the consent of the national Legislature. Once such has been granted, then it gives the President the option of making the list of the prohibited activities under the State of Emergency, thereby ensuring that people are aware of what is expected of them.  Anyone dissatisfied with the imposition of any specific measures may file an injunction to constrain the government from the exercise of such specific powers.  It is for the court to decide on the validity and invalidity of such measures.In addition, the Attorney General/ Minister of Justice may normally be expected to enter a plea of nolly prosequoi against any injunction or other such writ.The aim of the State of Emergency is to create a deterrent to unruly conduct.  It is not to rob people of their liberties so long as there is no abuse of such liberties.  The State of Emergency does not abuse such liberties such as the right to free assembly, free speech, freedom of assembly, the practices of one’s religion etc. Rather, it is meant to dissuade people from act of sedition, libel, and disinformation. What the Emergency Powers do is enable the authorities to detain offenders for a period within the span of the Emergency without necessary recourse to the normal judiciary process.The State of Emergency may be extended at the end of the initial period of such extension is ratified by the legislature. If it is not ratified, the Emergency lapses.It will seem to me that the President, considering the difficulty of and opposition to quarantine and the curfew when they were adopted, forcing the government to cancel the quarantine felt it necessary to ask for more specific powers that will allow it to block demonstrations, public protests, religious and other gatherings that must tend to pose a risk to people in such gatherings. During this Ebola pandemic, it is in such gatherings that the virus is more easily transmitted.  As you know, refusal to heed the instructions on combating the virus explains the rapid spread of the disease.  Hence, all must be done to put an end to such willful conduct.   It is inconvincible that the President will want such extra powers to carry out a draconian rule.  No one needs to be afraid of losing his/her liberties.  For example, when it was clear that the West Point Community had adhered to prevention rules, the government lifted the quarantine. Whatever additional powers she receives will be used to ensure that people are safe from the spread of the virus.  People must by now be convinced of the democratic bonafides of the President.  She has ruled like a democrat in a country with problems of indiscipline.The Legislature, civil societies, and others who may be worried about the potential abuse of power, should realize that the government needs to be well equipped with the necessary and sufficient powers to enable it to gain control over this epidemic.It is not a time for politicking, for the fate of the nation is at stake and the President is under tremendous stress to stop the spread of the disease.  Therefore, everybody, including the Legislature, the Cabinet, Political Parties, Civil Society organizations, the churches, the Mosques, schools, colleges, and universities must all come together to bring this virus to a halt.Those who have come from afar to help us fight the epidemic are curiously watching us to see how united we are in our stand to defeat this disease. Therefore, Political squabbles which tend to deflect our attention from the path of victory will not be encouraging to them.SO LET US CLOSE RANKS NOW TO WIN THE WAR ON EBOLA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_img In a letter to Musharraf, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called the attack an “odious act” and said “terrorism and violence have no place in the democratic debate and the combat of ideas and programs.” Bhutto, a former two-time prime minister of Pakistan, was killed in a suicide attack in Rawalpindi just 10 weeks after she returned to her homeland from eight years in exile. A suicide attack on her homecoming parade killed more than 140 people. The articulate, poised 54-year-old had lashed out at the spread of Islamic extremism as she campaigned for next month’s parliamentary elections. The United States had been at the forefront of foreign powers trying to arrange reconciliation between Bhutto and Musharraf, who under heavy U.S. pressure resigned as army chief and earlier this month lifted a state of emergency, in the hope it would put Pakistan back on the road to democracy. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for “all Pakistanis to work together for peace and national unity.” The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Pope Benedict XVI was immediately informed of the “terrible news.” “One cannot see signs of peace in this tormented region,” Lombardi said. Sarkozy said Bhutto had paid “with her life her commitment to the service of her fellow citizens and to Pakistan’s political life” and urged Pakistan’s elections be held as scheduled on Jan. 8. In Britain, where Bhutto had attended Oxford University, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said she “risked everything in her attempt to win democracy in Pakistan and she has been assassinated by cowards who are afraid of democracy.” “The terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan, and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that the terrorists will not win there, here, or anywhere in the world,” Brown said. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the attack “is clearly aimed at destabilizing the country.” He beseeched Pakistanis to refrain from violence. Italian Premier Romano Prodi said he was filled with grief and called Bhutto “a woman who chose to fight her battle until the end with a single weapon – the one of dialogue and political debate.” “The difficult path toward peace and democracy in that region must not be stopped, and Bhutto’s sacrifice will serve as the strongest example for those who do not surrender to terrorism,” Prodi said. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, during a speech south of Santiago, paid “sincere tribute to a woman … who fought her entire life for a better Pakistan.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the “cowardly terrorist attack … also targets the stability and democratic process of Pakistan.” In Moscow, Anatoly Safonov, Russian President Vladmir Putin’s envoy on international cooperation against terrorism, expressed fears the assassination would trigger violent repercussions. “The already unstable situation in Pakistan will be further exacerbated by this powerful factor,” Safonov said, according to the Interfax news agency. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin condemned the attack, the RIA-Novosti news agency reported. “We hope that the leadership of Pakistan will succeed in taking all measures for guaranteeing security in the country,” Kamynin said. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who personally knew Bhutto, said he hails her memory and called on the international community to support Pakistan and its democracy. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said he had felt disgust when receiving the news of Bhutto’s murder, which he called “bestial.” “I feel a strong worry for the consequences this will have for Pakistan,” he said. Israeli President Shimon Peres said Bhutto “feared nothing and served her country with valor.” AP writers Fisnik Abrashi in Kabul, Afghanistan; Jenny Barchfield in Paris; Matthew Rosenberg in New Delhi; Jill Lawless in London; Marta Falconi in Rome; Matthew Lee in Washington; John Heilprin at the United Nations; Eduardo Gallardo in Santiago, Chile; and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson In Texas, a tense-looking President Bush demanded that those responsible be tracked down and brought to justice. “The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy,” Bush told reporters at his ranch in Crawford. “We stand with the people of Pakistan in their struggle against the forces of terror and extremism.” He later spoke briefly by phone with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf but White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said he had no details. Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, who met Bhutto earlier on Thursday in Islamabad, said he was “deeply pained” by the assassination of “this brave sister of ours, a brave daughter of the Muslim world” “She sacrificed her life, for the sake of Pakistan and for the sake of this region,” he said. “I found in her this morning a lot of love and desire for peace in Afghanistan, for prosperity in Afghanistan and … Pakistan.” From Moscow to Washington to New Delhi and points in between, dismay and condemnation poured forth Thursday over the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, along with concern for the stability of the volatile region. World leaders lauded her bravery and commitment to democratic reform. The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the killing. In India, which has fought three wars against Pakistan, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Bhutto is irreplaceable, and noted she had striven to improve relations between the two nuclear-armed countries. “I was deeply shocked and horrified to hear of the heinous assassination,” Singh said. “In her death, the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country.”last_img read more