By Ike A. Offor
The Nigerian Army’s entrance to the region for Operation Python Dance was fervent, aggressive and their actions were very brutal and fear-invoking indeed.
Army officers flogged innocent citizens including very aged men and women to instil fear in them in order to subdue them and their thought of Biafra.
The Nigerian army rolled in with their armoured personnel carriers in such manner that depicted war, hate and disrespect for the South Easterners’ basic human rights.
The army left the operation or exercise but began to attack the members of the IPOB and other Biafrans. No one was spared even journalists were beaten, flogged and brutalized. Passerbys are not spared in their display of force and unprofessional misconduct. The office of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, was attacked simply because the journalists were filming the entrance of the armoured personnel carriers being driven onto the streets. The Nigerian Army later claimed that the overzealous army officers will be dealt with. Up until now, no one has been reprimanded.
Then, the mission to subdue the Biafrans culminated in the invasion of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu’s family home and more brutality was unleashed in his home in which even the family dog was not spared. His family was pursued with the full force of military brutality and disdain and disregard for the law even away from the true nature of the operation python dance.
South Easterners who wore Biafran T-shirts, necklaces, bracelets and other paraphernalia depicting Biafra were all brutalised in broad daylight. There were accounts of deaths, extra-judicial executions of these people. There were accounts of retrieving of corpses of those shot and put away in secret morgue.
All these unlawful and brutal behaviours decimated the trust that the people would have had for any goodwill from the army. The Nigerian Army killed their trust in them, army disrespected their humanity. They violated their basic human rights and put fear in them.
That fear the army sought to instil in them killed the trust for the army and whatever that could come from them. It doesn’t matter anymore if you come with free food or free medical treatment. So, do not complain that they now fear and distrust the army. Isn’t that what the Nigerian Army set out to achieve in their unprofessional military mannerism?
Army should blame it on themselves and not on those South Easterners, who reciprocated to glaring, odd and gross military mannerism. Now, you have got what you wanted.
The Republican News