ARMY/IPOB Row: Southeast Senators Urge Restraint, Respect For People’s Rights
The South East Senate Caucus on Tuesday in Abuja, decried the ongoing military show of force in the South Eastern states, particularly in the remote villages around Umuahia the Abia State capital.
In a statement by its Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the caucus also condemned the alleged military incursions into the countryhome of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, saying such action suggests willful personalisation of the operation and deliberate abuse of the people’s fundamental right.
He said the caucus is sad that the military chose a time when the caucus has engaged the IPOB leadership and even extracted firm commitment from them that its agitation will be strictly non-violent and in conformity with international best practices.
“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 have never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition”, Abaribe said.
The caucus according to him sympathises with the wounded and reitrate the call for dialogue as a panacea to the lingering agitation.