Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja and Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
A civil rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has described planned military exercise, Python Dance Operation, as a plot to perpetrate mass arrests, killings, detention without trial and commit other forms of human rights abuses in the South East.
The Nigerian Army, yesterday, launched three operations that would take place in different parts of Nigeria, targeted at flushing criminals out.
The operations include Ayem Akpatuma 2, Crocodile smile 4, Python dance (Egwu Eke) 4, and positive identification. The exercises runs from October 9 to December 23.
Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, who addressed journalists in Abuja, yesterday, said the operations is to consolidate on existing operations going on in different locations in Nigeria.
The Army Chief who spoke through the Chief of Training and Operations, Major General Enobonh Udoh, said that operation Ayem Akpatuma 2 will, as usual, cover states in North Central and parts of North Western States of Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi and Taraba as well as Kaduna and Niger States.
He also explained that operation python dance (Egwu Eke) 1V, will, as usual, cover entire south east states, notably, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states.
He also confirmed that Operation Crocodile Smile IV, will as usual, take place in the south south states and part of south western states, notably, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun and Rivers states.
But Intersociety, in a statement by its Board Chair, Emeka Umeagbalasi and four others, called on various organisation, media and religious bodiea to be at alert in the South Eeast and the South-south to forensically monitor movements and activities of the Army and other branches of the Armed Forces and the police particularly between now and end of December.
The group alleged that “serious embarkation of creation of artificial or false insecurity in targeted or mapped out areas in the two regions.
“One of such build up grounds for another round of military and police massacre was witnessed recently at an Aba suburb called Ndiegoro mini urban in Abia State where policemen ran riot, burnt and destroyed nine residential buildings and arrested and detained over 100 citizens including under-age, women and the aged.”