Kanu’s Home Invasion– As the working week rounded off on Friday, the Nigerian military force announced the launch of the second phase of the “Python Dance” in the South-east region.
The “Python Dance” is not a new language in Nigeria. It is a term that fosters anxiety and tension in the people. It can be described as a strong military presence used to counter and crudely address security threats.
According to the Nigerian army, it has been scheduled to last from Friday 15 September to Saturday 14 October 2017.
In an official statement signed on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, the essence of the exercise was in response to the “mindless assassinations (even in religious places), attack on security personnel, theft of weapons, armed banditry, kidnapping, cultism and violent agitations, as well as other security challenges” in the region.
It said that the operation was strictly for the interest and safety of the people; thus, urged people of the Southeastern states to remain calm as well as vigilant to report suspicious movements around them.
Pro-Biafrans and observers predicted that this was an attack in waiting under the guise of ensuring the security of the people as the yuletide season approaches.
Contrary to the presented reason, many saw the Friday announcement as yet another follow up to the call of Lauretta Onochie, a presidential aid to have Nnamdi Kanu locked up for flouting court order and his bail conditions.
Meanwhile, there were several calls to abort any plans of re-arresting the IPOB leader as the aftermath may be too chaotic for the nation.
2 days after the controversial statement, reports flocked the internet on an attack in the residence of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Vanguard report says the attackers were dressed in army and police uniforms. They arrived Nnamdi Kanu’s residence in several Hilux Pick-up vans and opened fire on the people there.
IPOB Media and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Emma reported thus:
“We did not clash with anybody or group. The attackers wore Nigerian soldiers and Nigeria Police uniforms and came to kill our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in his compound at Afaraukwu, Umuahia and started shooting sporadically and killed five people and up to 30 other people had bullet wounds. After attacking our people, they drove off. They came in five Hilux vans.”
The Nigerian army has retorted IPOB’s side of the story. According to the army, the story was fabricated.
In defense of what they have called a false accusation, they said:
“This is far from the truth. Rather, it was a group of suspected IPOB militants that blocked the road against troops of 145 Battalion while on show of force along FMC-World Bank Road in Umuahia town, Abia State at about 6.00-6.30pm, today (yesterday).”
“They insisted that the military vehicles would not pass and started pelting the soldiers with stones and broken bottles to the point of injuring an innocent female passerby and a soldier, Corporal Kolawole Mathew.”
“The troops fired warning shots in the air and the hoodlums dispersed. No life was lost.”
MASSOB has blatantly condemned the act by the Nigerian army. The Pro -Biafran body has queried why the purported security operation was not launched in the northeast as Igbo residents were massively attacked, raped and dehumanized.
Restructuring Nigeria seems to be a term Nigerian leaders have used more ceremoniously than practically. With every following occurrence in the ethnic turmoil, “One Nigeria” may as well be a farce.
It is feared that more conflicts between Biafra agitators and the federal government may escalate.
In the words of Eastern Consultative Assembly,
“We (ECA) are warning that if the Army did not fish out the culprits who shot at the residence of Nnamdi Kanu, it will be setting a motion for uncontrollable crisis that will overwhelm the country.”
South-east governors have registered their dismay at the incident.