Posted by David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi and Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha | 24 August 2018 | 1,321 times
Anger and condemnation have greeted the proposed relaunch of the third round of Operation Python Dance also known as Operation Python Dance III by the Nigeria Army in the South East region.
The first and second rounds of the military exercise, according to a report by the Amnesty International (AI) led to the killing of 250 and 150 Igbo youths respectively.
A human rights group, Campaign for Democracy (CD) has condemned the planned operation, alleging that it is another ploy to unjustifiably kill defenceless Igbo youths.
National Publicity Secretary of CD, Dede Uzor A. Uzor said in a statement that another Operation Python Dance in Igboland where there is no crisis amounted to a deliberate plot to provoke Igbo and slaughter their youths.
Also reacting, former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Idemili branch, Ben Okoko, said the operations were a huge and monumental waste of public funds.
According to him, the exercises also showed the incompetence of the Nigerian military in handling the internal affairs of the country, adding that the military in Nigeria has come of age and should have a paradigm shift from “physicalism” to intelligence gathering and undercover operations.
In his own reaction, General Overseer of Mount Zion Faith Global Liberation Ministry Inc. (a.k.a. By Fire By Fire), Nnewi, Anambra state, Bishop Abraham Chris Udeh, declared that South East zone and its people did not need anything called Operation Python Dance for any reason whatsoever.
He warned that anyone fronting such a move is making a mockery of Igbo in totality and at the same time “reminding us of the civil war massacre against us.”
He added: “Enough of that remembrance and marginalization of Ndigbo. They must be put to a stop without further delay else, the wrath of God will visit them individually and collectively.
“The Operation Python Dance III should be sent to the areas where there are massive killings like in the northern part of the country where Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents are disturbing the peace of the country and not in the South East where there is peace and quietness.”
Also reacting, Vincent Ezekwueme, Anambra State chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) declared: “I reject in its entirety, the proposed relaunch of the third Operation Python Dance in South East zone because the zone is yet to recover from the shock and damning effects of the first and second exercises carried out in the past which were very disastrous in nature.”
Ezekwueme noted that instead of Python Dance, the South East zone was in dire and desperate need of infrastructural developments, particularly the resuscitation of moribund Onitsha Sea Port, Onitsha/3-3/Otuocha road, Enugu/Awka/Onitsha road, Nnewi/Uga/Akokwa/Arondizuogu/Okigwe road, Akanu Ibiam Airport, appointment of easterners into sensitive and strategic positions.
Ezekwueme noted that with these developments in place, the people of South-East would rather stage a Dance of Smile and at the same time, have a sense of belonging, instead of the dreaded Dance of Python.
•Excerpted from a Daily Sun report
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