The South East Senate Caucus yesterday decried the ongoing military show of force in the South Eastern States particularly in the remote villages around Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
In a statement by the caucus Chairman, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, it condemned the alleged military incursions into the country home of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, saying such action suggests willful personalisation of the operation and deliberate abuse of the people’s fundamental right.
Abaribe said that the caucus is sad that the military chose a time when the caucus has engaged IPOB leadership and even extracted firm commitment from them that its agitation will be strictly non-violent and in conformity with international best practices.
The statement said, “We had hoped that our ongoing engagement with the group be given a chance and here we are with a hurried military action deep into a highly populated area with high propensity for casualty which occurrence would rather escalate the already tense situation.
“It is more worrisome that the Military’s Operation Python Dance 2’ restricted to the South East in a peace time, has, no doubt, fouled the environment and sent strong signal that the region is under siege, which should not be so in a democracy.
“We, therefore, urge extreme caution, and advise the Military to de-escalate the situation and choose the best operational modus that will not only guaranty the safety of Nigerians, but also enhance national unity.
“Nigeria is not at war; people are only exercising their constitutional and universally guaranteed rights. So far, they are carrying on in a manner that have never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition.”
The caucus, according to Abaribe, sympathises with the wounded and reiterate the call for dialogue as a panacea to the lingering agitation.