UMUAHIA- The senate has condemned the military operation – codenamed Operation Python Dance – in Nigeria’s South-East region which led a few persons injured. Although, IPOB claimed several persons died while others sustained bullet wound.
The chairman of the South-east Senate caucus, in a press release said the Igbo senators viewed the military operation as one that could jeopardise their ongoing engagement with the Nnamdi Kanu-led separatist movement, IPOB, which the lawmakers suggested were exercising their constitutionally-backed rights.
The commencement of the Operation Python Dance 2 in Umuahia, Abia State capital, on Sunday, came with tension, as citizens, presumed to be members of IPOB, confronted with sticks and stones the soldiers parading the streets in what the Army called “show of force”.
Barr, Ifeanyi Ejiofor IPOB lawyer, claimed the soldiers invaded the compound of Mr. Kanu and killed several persons; there was no evidence to back the claim. But findings by Daily Watch proved otherwise, as video footage showed a young man who sustained injury from gunshot and another IPOB members confronted soldiers with sticks and stones viral online.
Although, military authorities claimed days few the commencement of the ongoing operation was intended to checkmate kidnapping, banditry, assassination, secessionist activities within the region, amongst other forms of criminal activities.
It all appeared that t the deployment of the soldiers provoked the violent confrontation that happened on Sunday, the Senate caucus said, and called for the des-escalation of the operation.
The statement read in parts “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.
“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.”