Raphael Ede, Enugu
Igbo Civil Society Coalition (ICSCO) has said the Federal Government’s plan to conduct Operation Python Dance III in the South East is needless and urged the government to dialogue with Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
It said IPOB is a pressure group that doesn’t constitute a threat to the federal or state government and blamed the agitations in the South East on President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged selective policies which, it said, alienate the Igbo in the governance of the country.
The National Coordinator of ICSCO, Prof. Obasi Igwe, who spoke to Daily Sun on the recent statement by the army on its plan to conduct Operation Python Dance III, following the recent resurfacing of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB, in Israel, said IPOB is constitutionally and legally entitled to agitate for whatever thing, provided they do so in a peaceful manner.
“Federal Government doesn’t have any business using violence against them. It is an affront to the Igbo nation. The Buhari government is practically saying ‘there is nothing the Igbo can do.’ ‘We can preserve the Fulani terrorists, Boko Haram terrorists,’ and ‘we can indirectly arm them and rehabilitate them,’ but ‘we can destroy youthful Igbo people’. “
He described as cynical, the idea of proscribing IPOB as a terrorist organisation.
“The government should bring IPOB to the negotiating table and treat them much better than it is treating other people. The government is condoning terrorism in Nigeria. The Buhari government is continuing the civil war that is supposed to have ended in 1970.
“He is always saying Nigeria is indivisible and he is dividing Nigeria. He is saying all the things he is not doing and doing all the things he is not saying.
“So, we are appealing to the federal government to listen to international public opinion and stop the illegality and mayhem against Igbo youths.
“They should stop the python dance thing; why not the python dance when the war is in the North East? In the Middle Belt, Fulani people are wiping villages and renaming them.
“So, what is the dance all about? Do they have arms? Is any Igbo man planning to go to war?
“The only way they can stop the agitation is by good policies and development of the Igbo land.
“They should treat the Igbo nation the way you are treating other nations and all these agitations, even if they continue they will be considerably reduced. Simple common sense because they want to keep the Igbo nation as slaves.”