Magnus Eze, Enugu
Two leading pro-Biafra groups; the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) have condemned the proposed military exercise in the South East, code-named “Operation Python Dance 4.”
IPOB said they would continue to resist perpetuation of extra-judicial killings by the military in Igboland; including the murderous activities of herdsmen.
This came as the apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo asked the military to call-off its impending operation because the governors have beefed up security in the five states in the region.
Rising from a two-day National Executive Committee meeting in Enugu, on Wednesday, the body called on the military to call-off the intended exercise arguing that the South East “is relatively peaceful as the Governors of the area have fortified our security well enough to guarantee the safety of our people before, during and even after the yuletide season.”
IPOB and MASSOB described the forthcoming operation as a continuation of ethnic cleansing and another grand design to further intimidate and Islamise Igboland.
Director, Media and Publicity of IPOB, Emmanuel Powerful told Saturday Sun, yesterday, that the constant harassment and killing of innocent civilians in the East by the military will not make up for their failure to deal with insurgency and terrorism ravaging the North.
According to him, any reasonable society would have noticed by now that meaningless military exercises designed to torment civil society were a tactical diversion to cover up the failures of the Nigerian Army in tackling terrorism.
“The plan is to give the world the misleading impression that insecurity is affecting every part of Nigeria and Biafraland when that is not the case,” he said.
The group alleged that the objective of the Operation Python Dance 3 which was launched earlier in the year, to extinguish IPOB using military force, failed woefully.
“In 2017, this same Nigerian Army with active connivance of South East governors and Ohaneze Ndigbo used Operation Python Dance 2 as cover to attempt the assassination of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and elimination of hundreds of Biafrans of which 28 gallant men fell at Isiama-Afaraukwu Umuahia in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s compound during the invasion.
“At a time when Nigerian army is being roundly defeated on all fronts by Boko Haram, culminating in some soldiers fleeing from battle and recourse to Saudi spirituality as a means of combating their self-made insurgency, Fulani caliphate have instead chosen to display the bravery of their army against unarmed innocent civilians in Igboland” IPOB said.
IPOB maintained that there was peace in Igboland except for places where killer herdsmen were wreaking havoc. “It is therefore the duty of the masses to resist them as we IPOB are doing”.
On its part, MASSOB said that it was another dimension of war prosecution by the Buhari-led administration against Ndigbo, which amounted to political declaration of state of emergency in South East states.
According to MASSOB leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu, “the Army headquarters with its ulterior motives started annihilating operations in the region since November 27, 2016 when the maiden python dance exercise was launched without any public enlightenment and orientation in other to maim their people.”
He restated that the primary target and reason of these operations was to silence and mesmerise the activities of pro-Biafra agitators whose non-violent activism and international diplomatic sympathies have caused jittery and diplomatic cracks on the Federal Government.
“The military planned of fourth annihilation python dancing is against the people of Biafra mostly the Igbos during this coming Christmas period through intensive pressurised monetary extortion, harassment/ intimidations, mesmerization and secret / extra judicial killings of Ndigbo because of current Biafranization of Igboland and Ndigbo.
“They know that Christmas season is a period of Igbo gathering with much concentration in Igboland, so to the military, it’s a fertile land and opportunity for creating fears/tensions among our people which they thought will derail the love, confidence and consciousness of Biafra. MASSOB describes this is an extension of Buhari led administration forceful Islamisation of Igboland through military fears and religious intimidation.
“This operation is also designed to demoralise the people of Biafra from returning home for Christmas celebration. The military operation is beyond Igbo leaders including the Governors and National Assembly members. MASSOB and the people of Biafra will never be intimidated, grow cold or lose focus on Biafra actualization and restoration. We encourage the military to continue their python dancing until all their nakedness get completely exposed before the international communities.
“MASSOB advise the people of Biafra not to panic or entertain fears because of another python dancing of Nigeria military in Biafra land. No amount of Nigeria military intimidations, python dancing and militarisation of Biafra land will ever extinguish Biafra spirit among our people,” Madu stated.