| Published Sunday, 16 September 2018 | 21:40 GMT

Igbo Group Condemns Python Dance 3, Demands Whereabouts of Kanu's Family

Global Igbo Alliance (GIA), a conglomerate of Igbo associations around the world has condemned the third invasion of Igbo land by the military in the name of operation python dance 3, as well as the second invasion of the home of Mazi Israel Okwu Kanu. A statement jointly signed by the president and the secretary of the association, Dr. Christian Duru and Mrs. Chinwe Eboh, decried the show of force on unarmed Igbo civilians, describing it as unnecessary and unwarranted. “If Nigeria were in a military era, we can understand, but in a democratic dispensation of the 21st century, Nigeria should not make herself an object of ridicule with respect to the people’s right to freedom of movement, association, and lawful assembly.

The Nigerian government should understand that when the people are fed up with the system, short of reasonably addressing their concerns, there’s little you can do to stop their protestations. We make it clear that sit-at-home action or any other non-violent civil action by a group is not unlawful and should not be visited with military action and intimidation.

The more you use force and aggression on a people who have suddenly discovered that they could be free, (thanks to Nnamdi Kanu and others), the more aggressive and resistant they become in their fight for freedom,” the group stated. The statement further read: “It beats our imagination and every sense of leadership that despite the extent, scope and intensity of the agitation that has occurred in Igbo land in the last 18 months, the Federal Government of Nigeria has not deemed it fit to “invite the agitators and Igbo leadership to a roundtable talk” to nip in the bud, what has the potential to become a critical situation in the country. No sensible government does that.

The Nigerian government has negotiated or discussed with various groups, including the Niger Delta militants, the monstrous Boko Haram terrorists, and the murderous Fulani Herdsmen “except” those agitating for Biafra or self-determination in the South East. What an irony and double standard by the government. “Even if this government hates the Igbo; if we should use that term, it is nevertheless expected that they do not ignore or neglect their leadership duties and responsibilities towards the Igbo, one of which is an opportunity to be heard as a component part of this country.

More painful is the role of the Igbo leaders in politics, who themselves should have known that a man who is rejected does not reject himself. Igbo politicians owe every man and woman of Igbo extraction a duty to protect the Igbo interest above their personal gains or interests. “It is not enough to pick APC form, PDP form or whatever form it is, for an unexamined life is not worth living. Unless drastic and radical changes in the structure of Nigeria occur by way of regional autonomy, or independent states of the component units, Nigeria will remain like a house built on a faulty foundation, which is destined to collapse. “We call on all serving and aspiring politicians in Igbo land to pause for a moment and examine their conscience.

It is time to ask the ultimate questions of where Ndigbo are, and where they are headed in Nigeria. “Nnamdi Kanu and his parents are still missing till today and Igbo leaders are carrying on as if all were normal. No other nationality in Nigeria will tolerate such gross violation of the human rights of its people. If Nnamdi Kanu’s parents were traditional title holders in the North, Nigeria would have been set ablaze by now.

Why have Igbo political leaders remained silent on the disappearance of Mazi Israel Okwu Kanu and his family members? “Nigeria is heading in a frightening direction where the masses can no longer engage in protests or exercise their civil rights as citizens. IPOB was conducting a non-violent campaign for self-determination, but today, they have been illegitimately proscribed and labeled a terrorist group. Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charlie Boy, started a civil campaign.

Today, he has been shut down and silenced; and so it is with many other citizens who have tried to exercise their fundamental human rights in Nigeria.” GIA, therefore, calls for an end to the military presence in Igbo land, saying “It is oppression of the Igbo and an abuse of their fundamental human rights.”

- Vanguard


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