Operation Python Dance: Travellers Narrate Horrendous Ordeal In The Hands Of Soldiers


Nigerian soldiers in the street of South East in Operation Python Dance

By Frank Davids

I was travelling to Awka from Enugu on Sunday when out journey got impeded by the murderous zoo soldiers towards Orji-River/Ezeago.
All of us were ordered to exit the bus for no reason. We did as we were instructed and the soldiers rummaged the bus searching for what I didn’t know. After the search in the bus, they ordered each of us to open our bags and turn it upside down for them to search the bags as well. Before I knew what was happening, one of the Soldiers smashed something similar to a truncheon on my head and when I demanded to know why I got a sound slap on my chin. I was still aghast and in awe, nursing the pain when a guy tapped me.
“Remove that earpiece you are putting on and listen to them properly,” said the guy. He was an Oko Polytechnic student going back to school after a successful visit to his parents residing in Enugu.
“But I have one ear free. So I can’t even put on an earpiece because of soldiers?” I whispered to myself.
Immediately, the guy himself got a loud slap. Still perplexed, it took him some seconds to notice that he had a tinted spectacle on his face and that probably would’ve been the reason why he was slapped. After that, the soldiers started searching our bags.
After the search, we were about getting back inside the car to continue our journey when they noticed that the same guy had a Biafran necklace on his chest.
“Wetin be this thing,” one of the soldiers asked with a harsh tone holding the necklace on the guy’s neck firmly.
“It’s a necklace” the guy replied,
“Which necklace,” the soldier asked boisterously. But the guy was still silent. They kicked him down and hit him with their gun asking him “which necklace”.
” Biafran necklace” the guy answered.
“Wetin be Biafra”? One of the ignorant soldiers that couldn’t even speak proper English asked mockingly. This is where I got mad and rage started taking over me but I kept calm because I knew that if I should react or intervene on the guy’s behalf, it would turn to something more negative because I don’t trust myself when it comes to temperament especially when issues have got to do with our dear country Biafra or our dear leader Kanu or our reputable group IPOB.
” My country,” the guy said quickly. The soldiers started laughing and this time brought out a thick belt when a superior soldier from nowhere came and whispered to the ears of those five soldiers already with us.
Suddenly, they all laughed at us mockingly and ordered us back to the bus and to disappear from their presence…
We moved and not less than 40 seconds, we nearly had an accident which was caused by a trailer. The Hausa driver of that trailer left his lane for no reason and was driving in our own lane. So while trying to avoid a pothole on our own lane, he almost hit us but our driver gracefully avoided colliding with the trailer and instead drove straight inside the bush. So, we stopped, all of us came out and our driver started inspecting the bus to know if anything had spoilt. The people in the trailer came out and started shouting at our driver, threatening to kill him if he kept saying they were wrong. So, we the passengers intervened and started heaping curses on those Hausa drivers for deliberately trying to cause an accident. While this was going on, some soldiers from nowhere came and behold they were those ones that stopped us before. Unknown to us that they’ve been following us surreptitiously. Their reason for tailing on us was what I even till now don’t know, probably they were planning to kill us because they already had an encounter with us and noticed that all of us on that bus were Biafrans.
So when they arrived, they asked what the problem was and we started narrating how the Hausa people were at fault and how the trailer almost killed us. We even showed them our bus that was parked in the bush.
As we were narrating, the Hausa drivers spoke Hausa to their army brothers and they (The soldiers) turned against us and threatened to shoot us all down. They ordered that same Oko guy that had already had an encounter with them initially outta the bus and they flogged him mercilessly. They slapped our driver for challenging the Hausa trailer drivers even when they knew that the Hausa Fulani drivers were actually the trouble seekers and not us and they were the ones at fault.

While all these were going on, it became dawn on me, it became crystally clear like a cave to me that there are people that own this country. I noticed that am not among and that I can never be among. I noticed that am not a first-class citizen neither am I a second-class citizen. I noticed that am no longer safe and the same thing applies to every Igbo or Biafran out there. I discovered that thousands of troops have been deployed to the Eastern part of the country to not only survey but kill us because we kept on going past military checkpoints. From just Enugu here to Awka, we went past not less than 12 military checkpoints. I saw that we’re clearly in trouble, Deep inside me, I wept!

And yet some people still want me to admit that am a Nigerian. The worst part of it is that some of my fellow tribespeople are still myopic to see all these and they still stand for the phoney “one Nigeria”……..

One Nigeria’s balderdash!
Nigeria I detest, hate & reject thee!
Biafra, I love, cherish & hail Thee!

(Content is solely of the writer)

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