South-East Reps Call For De-escalation Of Military Operations In Region

SAN FRANCISCO, September 13, (THEWILL) – The South East Caucus in the House of Representatives have called for a de-escalation of ‘internal military operations’ in Ao State and the South East as a whole.

The lawmakers, in a statement on Wednesday, signed by the leader of the caucus and Deputy Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Chukwuka Onyema, insisted that the military action is an offence to democracy and the rule of law.

While urging citizens of the region to remain civil and law abiding, it urged the military to apply caution over what it called the ‘Show of Force’ in the region.

The lawmakers warned that any operation that frighten, maim or lead to loss of lives of citizens and property, are unjustifiable.

“The attention of the South East Caucus of the House of Representatives has been drawn to the reported fallout from the ongoing military show of force in the South East, code named Operation Python Dance II,” the statement read.

“Though without convincing explanations, we were informed that a few days ago, some civilians were shot and wounded as they clashed with soldiers at Afaraukwu Village in Umuahia, yet again we have received report of a military invasion of the Umuahia NUJ Office where journalists were molested and their equipment destroyed.

“As a result of the escalating tension, Abia State Governor had to impose a dust to dawn curfew in the commercial town of Aba.

“While we appreciate the right to discharge core duties of the Nigeria armed forces as spelt out under section 217 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), there is no gainsaying that internal military operations can only be conducted without doing violence to the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of citizens.

“To conduct operations that frighten, maim or lead to loss of lives of citizens and property, are clearly unjustifiable and an offence to our democracy and the rule of law.

“We therefore call for a de-escalation of ‘internal military operations’ in Abia State and the South East as a whole, while urging our brothers and sisters at home to remain civil and law abiding.

“We wish to express our support to the reported setting up of a Seven -man Committee by the South East Governors to investigate the causes of the current conflict in Abia State.”

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