SAN FRANCISCO, September 12, (THEWILL) – The South-East Caucus in the Senate has criticised the ongoing military campaign in the south-eastern states codenamed Operation Python Dance.
Chairman of the Senate South-East Caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a statement on Tuesday, lamented the military invasion of remote villages around Umuahia, Abia State, and decried the alleged incursion into the country home of the leader of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
He stated that such actions suggested willful personalisation of the operation and deliberate abuse of the people’s fundamental rights adding that the caucus was sad with the timing of the operation.
He revealed that the military chose a time when the caucus had engaged the IPOB leadership and extracted commitment from them that their agitations would be strictly non-violent and in conformity with international best practices.
“We had hoped that our ongoing engagement with the group would be given a chance but here we are with a hurried military action deep into a highly populated area with high propensity for casualty, which occurrence would rather escalate the already tense situation,” he 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 guaranty the safety of Nigerians but also enhance national unity.
“Nigeria is not at war, people are only exercising their constitutional and universally guaranteed rights, so far they are carrying on in a manner that has never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition.”