Image result for python dance
The on-going
military operation campaign in the south eastern states code named operation
python dance has come under heavy criticism by both the senate caucus and
south-east socio cultural group ohaneaze-ndigbo. The senate caucus said the invasion of remote villages around Umuahia particularly the alleged incursion
into the country home of the indigenous people of Biafra leader Nnamdi Kanu was unecessary.
Chairman of senate caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe in a statement said such
action suggest willful personalization of the operation coming with deliberate abuse
of the People’s Fundamental Human rights



Abaribe
said, “It is more worrisome that military operation, Python
Dance 2, 
restricted to the South-East in a peace time, has no doubt
fouled the environment and sent strong signal that the region is under siege,
which should not be so in a democracy.
“We therefore urge extreme
caution and advise the military to de-escalate the situation and choose the
best operational modus that will not only guarantee the safety of Nigerians but
also enhance national unity.”
Tension has
returned to Umuahia, the Abia State capital, as soldiers, on Tuesday, laid
siege to the Afaraukwu country home of the leader of the Indigenous People of
Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
The soldiers
arrived in the community on Tuesday barely 48 hours after the clash between the
Army and IPOB members on Sunday, where three people were reportedly injured.
It was learnt
that the soldiers returned to the state capital with about 10 Armoured
Personnel Carriers and seven Hilux vans.
The development
created panic in the area, forcing shop owners to hurriedly close their shops.
The soldiers
were also seen at the secretariat of the Abia State Council of the Nigeria
Union of Journalists on Aba Road, Umuahia, where they destroyed laptops and
other valuables.
A journalist at
the NUJ secretariat told urban express news correspondent that, “Soldiers
stormed the press centre, claiming that they saw somebody taking photographs of
them from the one-storey building office.”
Speaking on the
developments and monitored by urban Express news through Africa Independent Television
‘network news-hour, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 14 Brigade,
Nigerian Army, Maj. Oyegoke Gbadamosi, said he had asked the chairman of the
council to send the photograph of the damage in the office to him.
Gbadamosi later
expressed regrets over the reported attack on some journalists.
said he was
shocked to hear that military personnel invaded the NUJ secretariat.
Gbadamosi
promised to look into the incident.
Meanwhile, the
Igbo socio-cultural organisation, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on the
Federal Government to direct the military to stop its military operation in the
South-East immediately.
Image result for curfew in Abia state
The Ohanaeze
expressed discomfort with what it called the invasion of the South-East by
soldiers, operating under a code name Python Dance 11.
In a statement
Made available to Journalists on Tuesday in Abuja by its President-General,
Chief John Nwodo, the group stated that the military operation was aimed at
intimidating the people.
Nwodo said,
“Nigeria, at this moment, does not need such deliberate and proactive
escalation of tensions and crisis.”
He believed that
there were more civilised and established ways to resolve the country’s
democratic and security challenges rather than resort to the use of brute
force.
Ohanaeze added,
“In a democracy, the level of disenchantment expressed by the people of the
South-East of Nigeria ought to have provoked a serious dialogue between our
people and the federal executive and the legislature.
“History teaches
us that continuous use of force to silence dissent and free speech will only
accelerate the growth of dissent and dissatisfaction.
“The fundamental
right to freedom of expression is critical to a successful democracy.
“Our people were
shamelessly intimidated and harassed at checkpoints. Operation Python
Dance 1
 procured no arrests of criminals that were prosecuted for any
of the criminal activities that Operation Python Dance II is
supposed to address.
Nwodo described
the invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home by soldiers as unfortunate.
 He said,
“We believe that it is a deliberate invasion of a quiet homestead, an act of
provocation and a continuing policy of intimidation because crimes of monstrous
proportions are occurring in other parts of Nigeria.
“Such crimes
include ravaging killings by Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt; secret cult
killings in Lagos and the South-West; bunkering and armed resistance in the
Delta; wanton kidnappings and killing of military personnel in Kaduna State and
environs as well as Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
“The Nigerian
Army has never embarked on Operation Python Dance in any of
the other five geopolitical zones on account of these incidents. Innocent
civilians living in these other parts of Nigeria have not witnessed the type of
invasion Umuahia witnessed on Sunday night.”
Following the
Developments, the Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has declared a three-day
curfew in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, starting from Tuesday
(yesterday) to Thursday, September 14.
Image result for curfew in Abia state
The curfew, the
government said, would last from 6pm to 6am.
Ikpeazu, who
spoke with newsmen at the Government House, Umuahia, noted that the state had
noticed the skirmishes between some groups in the state, especially IPOB
members and men of the Nigerian Army.
He urged
residents of the state to remain law-abiding and go about their lawful business
without fear of molestation.
Ikpeazu warned
the people against confrontation with military personnel or other security
agents, saying the military operation was meant to check criminal activities in
the state.
He said, “The
operation, as declared by the Army, is intended to check kidnapping, banditry,
assassination, secessionist activities within the region, amongst other forms
of criminal activities.
“The recent
confrontation between the Nigerian Army and members of IPOB on Sunday, 10th
September, 2017, could presumably be attributed to the commencement of the
said Operation Python Dance II.

“While the
Government of Abia State recognizes the right of the Nigerian Army and other
security agencies to perform their statutory duty of protection of lives and
property of Nigerian citizens, such duties must be carried out within acclaimed
Nigerian and international standards of engagement with the civil populace,
with due respect to the human rights of citizens and sanctity of human lives.”

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