[dropcap]G[/dropcap]overnorship candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria in Anambra Sate(ACPN), Akunwata Ejoh Ojiba has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to withdraw “Operation Egwu Eke II” and the troops deployed in Abia and South Eastern States in the guise of dealing with the agitation of IPOB for a referendum for self determination.
“What is the reason for this military deployment when IPOB is not using violence to pursue its demand? Why are the leaders in South Eastern states watching this violation of our democratic freedom with sealed lips?
“What will be the major achievement for the military if it succeeds in taking out Mazi Nnamdi Kanu while leaving the entire nation in turmoil?”, he queried.
Akunwata Ojiba said the Federal Government is in a better position to know that dialogue is the best option to conflict resolution instead of aggressive and offensive military action against unarmed and a non combatant group expressing their democratic right.
Ojiba said the deployment of troops to South Eastern states when there is no state of emergency and threat to peace from IPOB is worrisome because it has come at a time the Igbos living in the North and other parts of Nigeria are being threatened with Quit notices and those in their home states are living under military occupation.
“these are sad times for the Igbo man who is now confronted with major leadership challenge” Ojiba said “President Muhammadu Buhari should address the root cause of the agitation of IPOB rather than embark on a scotched earth policy as exemplified by operation Egwu Eke II, which is “offensive and provocative”.
He said the time has come for the international community to show greater interest in the situation in the South East where people are no longer safe in their homes, placces of worship or where they conduct their economic activities.
He urged the military high command to respect the sanctity of life in their operations, “even as they keep denying the loss of lives in their activities.
Akunwata Ojiba also advised the IPOB agitators to trade with caution in exercising their democratic rights, bearing in mind that the Igbos in diaspora will be in for the worst should there be crisis in the region.
“Operation Egwu Eke II” is the translation of the Nigerian military’s “Operation Python Dance II” in the native language of South Easterners.