Military-IPOB Crisis– The Nigerian military reportedly invaded the home of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, damaged properties, killed some and made away with Kanu’s father and many IPOB members.
Deaf to the calls of Nigerian elites and citizens to withdraw soldiers from the tensed Southeast zone, the military has insisted on accomplishing the Operation Python Dance mission.
Across the nation, many rhetoric questions have arose- What are soldiers trained for? At what point do they become so above the law that they repeatedly kill in broad day light and get away with it? Have they become tools to a political end? Of what use is the military if they seemingly have no difference with criminals?
What really is the purpose of the so called Python dance? A dance that could not be used to quench the Southern Kaduna massacre but intimidates unarmed citizens.
Southeasteners are faced with a government that unapologetically sidelines them; Political leaders who are perpetually mute in the face of difficulty; and security forces who have taken sides with the “powers that be”.
If the Igbos had uncompromising representatives in government, there may not have been need for the common man to take the initiative and fight for a course which is more justified than condemned.
The Igbo tribe resurrected the call for secession because of the gross injustice and socio-economic inequality meted out to them. As though they were threats, they have been denied rights in both economic and the political sphere.
On the request for a referendum to obtain the view of the people as done in true democratic societies, the Nigerian federal government denied it and has resorted to military intimidation to subdue the Igbo tribe.
In a video made public via Vanguard by the IPOB leader, his father’s palace was in utter ruins with 4 young men lying dead. According to him the military made away with many IPOB members alongside Kanu’s father.
Responding to the hideous attacks of the military, Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s presidential aide in an official statement slammed Dr Oby Ezekwesili who stated the obvious and condemned the sectionalism coming from the presidency.
In his words:
“There is a deliberate sinister agenda by IPOB to provoke the soldiers into killing innocent people in retaliation so that Nnamdi Kanu would use the pictures of the victims for international propaganda by the accusing the government of ethnic cleansing against the Igbos with the sole purpose of gaining sympathy.”
“While it is convenient for the civil society activist to condemn the military and the government of President Buhari, Mrs Ezekwesili didn’t find it appropriate, even once, to criticise the dangerous and violent propaganda being propagated by the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Oby, as they call her, tweets on everything. Why was she silent on this one?”
The Nigerian government’s body language shows that the leaders clearly learnt nothing from history. Violence begets violence. The more violence they unleash, the further and stronger the fight gets and the more harm it does to the welfare of the entire nation.
Still grappling with the economy, the Nigerian government is creating more loopholes with the ongoing clash.
It will not be ruled out that both clashing groups share in the blame of the outcome of the situation.
History and posterity will continue to keep records of countries that broke out from countries.
While Biafra is not necessarily a bad idea; setting up the BSS-Biafra Security Service- was a major provocation and a treasonable act. IPOB leader’s utterances have not always been diplomatic enough.
Likewise the Nigerian FG’s response is magnifying an already bad situation. If there was fairness and equity, there would be no calls for secession.
The Federal government found an excuse in the ignorant errors of the IPOB to perpetuate inexcusable crimes of murder, assault and destruction of properties.
As the military insists on not leaving the Southeast zone, more IPOB members across the region are trooping down to the conflicting Abia state. Given the tension, some inhabitants are fleeing the state to protect their lives.
Before conceding power to the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan emphatically stated that his political ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. It will be worth it if the ruling government and the IPOB see sense in that belief.