World Bulletin/News Desk
The Nigerian government on Monday asked the federal parliament to extend emergency rule, for the third time, in the restive northeastern region, ravaged by Boko Haram attacks.
"The National Defense Council reviewed the issue of the state of emergency and the government will be requesting the National Assembly to extend the emergency rule," Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke told reporters after a meeting of the council under President Goodluck Jonathan.
"It (the request) will go in immediately," he added.
The meeting was attended by all the country's security chiefs and top government officials.
Nigeria's northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe have been under emergency rule since last year.
The state of emergency is due to expire this week.
The Nigerian constitution empowers the president to declare an emergency rule and to declare federal troops in any part of the country - subject to the approval by the federal parliament.
If the request is approved, it would the third time Nigeria has extended the measure which was first introduced on May 14 of last year.
In recent months, Boko Haram has captured numerous towns and villages in the three states, declaring them part of an "Islamic caliphate."
Last week, the army chief briefed the parliament on the situation in the region after lawmakers expressed outrage at the boldness of the militants.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" in Nigeria's local Hausa language, first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption.
The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.
In the five years since, the militant group has been blamed for numerous attacks on places of worship and government institutions, along with thousands of deaths.
Along with Nigeria, Turkey and the U.S. have both designated Boko Haram a terrorist organization.
Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2014, 18:08