The South East Senate Caucus on Tuesday decried the ongoing military show of force in the South East, particularly in villages around Umuahia, Abia State.
The caucus, in a statement issued by its chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, also condemned the alleged military incursions into the country home of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, saying “such action suggests willful personalisation of the operation and deliberate abuse of the people’s fundamental right.”
Abaribe expressed sadness that the military chose a time when the caucus has engaged the IPOB leadership and even extracted firm commitment from them that its agitation would be strictly non-violent and in conformity with international best practices.
The statement said: “We had hoped that our ongoing engagement with the group be given a chance, and 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 the military’s 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 had never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition.”