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OPERATION PYTHON DANCE: Senate South-East Caucus Defends Kanu, Cautions Military

The South-East Caucus in the Senate on Tuesday criticised the ongoing military campaign in the south-eastern states codenamed Operation Python Dance.

The caucus lamented military invasion of remote villages around Umuahia, the Abia State capital, particularly the alleged incursion into the country home of the Independent Peoples of Biafra leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

Chairman of the Senate South-East Caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a statement, stated that such actions suggested willful personalisation of the operation and deliberate abuse of the people’s fundamental rights.

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He said the caucus was sad that the military chose a time when the caucus had engaged the IPOB leadership and extracted commitment from them that their agitations would be strictly non-violent and in conformity with international best practices.

Abaribe said, “We had hoped that our ongoing engagement with the group would be given a chance but 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.

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“It is more worrisome that military 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.

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“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 has never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition.”

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