David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka and Amby Uneze in Owerri
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) yesterday urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai to fight insecurity in the north rather then planning another military operation in the South-east.
But the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) urged the South-east people to engage constructively the army with respect to its exercise code named “Operation Python Dance III” in the zone.
The two organisations made the remarks in separate statements they issued yesterday condemning the plan of the Nigerian Army to begin the fourth phase of Operation Python Dance in the south-east geopolitical zone.
In a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, IPOB described the operation as a misplaced one, noting that geo-political zone was relatively peaceful.
The statement said announcing countless and meaningless military operations within the borders of Nigeria is indicative that this army headed by Buratai “is just an instrument of suppression and intimidation.
“Civilised democratic countries set up their armies to fight external enemies and protect their borders but in Africa as with all developmentally backward parts of the world, national armies are being used to oppress the civilian population of which Nigeria is a prime example.
“They should stop fooling themselves and reveal the motive behind these countless invasions of Biafraland, which is to aid Fulani terror herdsmen acquire and consolidate farm lands forcibly taken from non-Fulani communities in the south.
“There is no insecurity in Biafraland save for those introduced by land grabbing Fulani terror herdsmen, aided and abated by South East governors.”
Also, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said the next phase of the Operation Python Dance should not be like the first one, adding that the army was made up of different types of people of Nigeria.
“When the military exercise does not molest anybody or disrupt people from doing their legitimate business, that society is a balanced society,” Onwubiko added.
He said that the army operatives that were coming were not army of occupation just as he added that they play according to the rules establishing the Nigerian army.
According to him, it is the belief that peaceful coexistence and security are the desire of all; that is a fact self-evident in the communal nature of man. It presupposes that any program meant to ensure the safety of that society would always be supported by it.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for enhancing that the grants given to human rights commission in the country was prompt and urged the commission to live up to expectations of Nigerians.