The Python Dance in the Southeast

I am Igbo… Full blooded and proud to be one…I am also proudly Nigerian and also a very patriotic one at that. But if you dear call be Biafran (as many people do), I will also proudly answer because that has formed an integral part of my (our) history and identity and I don’t see any negativity attached to this identity.

We have all been following the agitation stories across the country, the various narratives and counter narratives from different quarters and from different people based of their individual and or collective sentiments. But that has not changed the issues at stake, neither has it silenced the cries of ‘perceived’ marginalization and the genuine call for the ‘restructuring’ (whatever that means) of Nigeria.

There may be superior knowledge and experiences of the history of our dear nation Nigeria but again as it relates to the 1967–1970 civil war I ask these questions; was the war necessary, I say no. Was it justified, I also say no. And was the war avoidable, my answer is a big YES. The late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu (God rest his soul) said “the war was brought to me…” And am sure his justification for the war was self defence which, on its own merit, is universally acceptable. Recent comments emerging from the Southeast is now tilting towards self defence and this may be the beginning of a bigger problem, bigger than what was experienced between 1967–1970 if nothing strategic is done to address the problems.

The ‘Operation Python Dance 2’ launched in the Southeast may be well intended but the approach and reports of military activities against unarmed civilians gives a semblance of a repetition of our negative history. Now let us x-ray the tactics of a Python. A Python studies its prey, suffocates it and then swallows it up. Is this the plan for the Southeast??? Can the entire Southeast be suffocated? Can it be swallowed up? No I don’t think so…

Our constant fear is that a man with a hammer is always tempted to see every problem as a nail… The manner in which IPOB conducts its activities is highly condemnable. But deploying soldiers to the Southeast will only make a bad situation worse… True nobody or group is above the law but nobody or group should also be treated as if under the law.

What is the role of the gallant men of the Nigeria Police Force in handling internal problems that our well trained military are being distracted from the fight against insurgency in the Northeast (even though I strongly believe that constructive dialogue would have saved us the present insurgency in the North, militancy in the Niger Delta and the ongoing secessionist agitation in the Southeast). Any nation that unleashes its military force on its citizens, unarmed ones at that, does not mean well for her people to say the least.

I was thinking that our dear nation would have learnt from making anybody a hero by not repeatig actions and mistakes of the past. Let us all speak out against this impending danger guised under “Operation Python Dance 2”. Let us begin to stress on the need to deal with issues and not with individuals or groups. Let us also not let any individual or group distract us from the collective challenges confronting us as a nation.

I stand with ONE NIGERIA. I always will. But I also stand against the current ‘siege’ on Igbo Land.

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