Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017


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Joint Press Statement
On the 14th September 2017

The ongoing barbaric military drill in the South East, tagged: “Operation Python Dance 11 is a Declaration of war against defenceless Nigerians. The military drill is uncalled for. It cannot stop the agitation in the South East.

The Biafra secessionist movement is a reaction of the high handedness of the Government to the people. The Buhari Government has not been treating the South East people as equal partners in the Nigerian project. They are being sidelined and secluded from the scheme of things. Buhari is running an apathy Government in the Southern part of the country, especially in the South East region.

The military action will only escalate the volatile situation, whereby defenceless citizens will become the causalities of its aggression. If the videos trending in the social media have  anything substance in them then the Buhari Government has declared conventional war against defenceless citizens in the East who are now being treated like the six million Jews in Germany. The world must rise in defense of the people of the South East. They have not committed any offense that warrants their being  subjected to such inhuman treatments.

Nnamdi Kanu and his IPOB group are only agitating for self-determination which is guaranteed under the enabling international treaties. There is no-where in the world where people who agitate  for their rights are treated like prisoners of war. Non-violence struggle is the recognized means for those who peacefully pursue self-government. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional for the Nigerian Government to respond to the IPOB’s non-violence struggle with such brutish and barbaric approach. The only way to put to rest the said agitation is to conduct referendum.

Instead of unleashing the state’s instrumentalities of power against defenceless citizens, why not allow them to exercise their democratic rights to determine their future existence in Nigeria. The people of Catalonia considered themselves as semi-autonomous people. They brandished their flag, coat of arm and national anthem yet the Spanish Government has not taken military action against them. Even the Basque people are agitating for self-government in Spain. The Government of Spain did not declare war against its citizens. The Scottish people also clamoured for self-government in the United Kingdom, the later did not brutalize its citizens but simply gave them a platform to decide their fate through referendum.

President Buhari should learn from the modern trend of events in the world. His style of governance is fast dividing the Country. No amount of Operation Python Dance in the South East or Operation Crocodile Smile in the Niger Delta would cow the people to stop the agitations against injustice. Only restructuring, true federalism can put to rest the series of agitations in the country.

Buhari should see himself as a President of Nigeria and not of a particular section of the Country. The issue of Nnamdi Kanu’s planned arrest is ill-conceived. Only recently, the Federal Government  claimed that the reason it failed to arrest the northern youth coalition that threatened to evict the Igbos in the North was because of likely breach of  security, Why is it that the same Government, who cited security reasons to shirk its constitutional responsibility,  is planning to arrest Nnamdi Kanu in such manner? The is the same Government that applied to court to revoke Kanu’s bail. Why can’t it wait for the Court’s decision before taking the law in its hand?

Does it mean that only the northerners constitute security threat to be free from arrest, while the Southerners did not constitute security threats? Will Nigerians ever feel as one united entity if the Government keeps on treating its citizens in such a dehumanizing manner? What is happening in Nigeria has reminded us of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The whole thing appeared to us like the Southern Nigerians are under the colony of autocratic and despotic Government. Only God can deliver us.

Dickson Bruce Bekederemo
Niger-Delta Security Watch Organization of Nigeria.

Comr,  Austin Ozobo,
President – Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative;

Alaowei Cleric Esq.,
National President, Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusaders (FOHURAC).

Fred Brisibe
Coordinator = Ijaw Human Rights Monitors

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