An avalanche of reaction, has trailed soldiers clash with members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, at the Umuahia country home of its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, which left many people injured as well the Army’s deployment of troops to the South East for Operation Python Dance 11 (Egwu-Eke).
Soldiers attached to the Forward Operation Base, FOB, Umuahia, had clashed with the IPOB at Afara Ukwu community, Umuahia.
The reactions ranged from outright condemnation to expression of concern and call on the government to ensure that the crisis did not degenerate.
South-East governors said the clash at Kanu’s home and Operation Python Dance do not speak well of the unity of the Nigeria.
Igbo socio-cultural association, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said what is happening in the South-East is ‘’a show of military brigandage and sheer prostitution of power without authority.’’
Also, elder statesman and Chairman of The Patriots, Professor Ben Nwabueze, SAN, said the issues are matters of grave concern and urged the government to take actions that will stop the crisis from escalating.
Other people and groups, who spoke on the issues, include traditional rulers of Umuahia North Local Council, where Kanu hails from; former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh; Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB; Eastern Consultative Assembly, ECA and Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT. Others are Igbo Youths Movement, IYM; Igbo Students Union, ISU; South-East Christian Assembly, SECN; Igbo Women Assembly, IWA and Igbo National Council, INC.
It’s a worrisome development – South East governors
However, South East Governors expressed worries over the incident, stating their determination to ensure peace, political stability and economic prosperity in the zone. Speaking on phone with Vanguard, the Director of Information, South East Governor’s Forum Secretariat, Mr. Mike Udah said the invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home by security operatives doesn’t speak well of the unity of the nation.
He pointed out that efforts were being made by the South East Governors to meet over the development and find ways to nip it in the board.
His words: “The South East Governors had held meetings to ensure the agitations by Pro-Biafra groups do not escalate. The recent invasion of the home of Nnamdi Kanu does not speak well of the unity of the nation. It is indeed worrisome. The governors are trying to nip such development in the bud.” In like manner, Ohanaeze, in a statement issued in Abakaliki, by its National Publicity Secretary, Prince Uche Achi-Okpaga, decried the invasion of Kanu’s home.
Achi-Okpaga said: “The invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s home is brazen show of military brigandage and sheer prostitution of power without authority. It baffles me that soldiers are unleashed on a person that is peaceful and devoid of violence, while the gun-trotting herdsmen are still on rampage in virtually every nook and cranny of Nigeria. It is a pity that the tenets of democracy are being battered with reckless impunity in Nigeria.
“The Operation Python Dance is a deliberate ploy to gag the South-East like a conquered territory. There is no doubt any longer about the disposition of the APC-led Federal Government on the Igbo. The recent NNPC appointments strongly attest to our assertions and these consequential events dramatise them beyond doubt.
“Today, Boko Haram is still killing and herdsmen pulverising villages but it is in the South-East that is even peaceful that soldiers are deployed at close points. Expectedly, the soldiers now unleash economic mayhem on motorists and deal brutally with those who refuses to bring the “white.” I think what we have is choreographic democracy.”
No cause for alarm – Abia police
Meanwhile, the Police in Abia State have said that there is no cause for alarm over Sunday’s clash between soldiers and IPOB members in Umuahia.
In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Abia State Police Command, DSP Geoffrey Ogbonna, the Police said the situation was instantly brought under control without loss of life.
Ogbonna said a policeman sustained a machete cut on his head and back, while one of the soldiers was injured on his left wrist, including one Mrs. Grace Nwokeukwu of Umuobasi lsiama Afara, Umuahia who also had a machete cut on her head.
He said the victims were taken to Police Clinic, Umuahia for treatment and urged residents of the city to go about their normal businesses without fear.
Govt must stop crisis from escalating – Ben Nwabueze
Professor Ben Nwabueze, in a statement said: ‘’The report of the attack on Nnamdi Kanu’s Umuahia home by soldiers, during which some people were reportedly killed or injured is a matter of grave concern, because it occurred at a time the country is facing destabilising crisis and threat to its peaceful co-existence and at a time the South East governors are making valiant efforts to contain the danger of the repercussions of the crisis by interventions with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and the IPOB.
”The situation in the country calls for great restraint on the part of all, and for the Federal Government to stop actions capable of escalating all crisis, such as the reported attack on Nnamdi Kanu’s home.’’
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