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Clampdown on groups will not end agitations, say scholars


Chief of Army staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai PHOTO: NAN

• Pro-Biafra group vows to sue Buratai, others over deployment of troops
• Cleric accuses army of displaying lack of professionalism

Some eminent scholars have said that clampdown on agitating groups will not end agitations as long as ethnic and religious politics continue to dominate the determination of political power in the country.

The scholars, including former Director-General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Prof. Elochukwu Amucheazi and professor emeritus, Okwudili Nnoli, among others, who spoke at a yearly conference on peace building and national integration in Nigeria organised by African Heritage Institution (Afriheritage), Enugu, insisted that present and succeeding leadership of the country would always witness agitations with the kind of constitution in practice.

They canvassed the restructuring of the country with inputs from the various ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria, stressing that genuine development would continue to elude the nation with the present arrangement.

Meanwhile, a secessionist group, the Biafra Zionists Federation (BZF), has vowed to sue Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Defence Staff and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for their alleged role in the recent deployment of troops to Abia State.

Leader of the BZF, Benjamin Igwe Onwuka, who spoke in Enugu yesterday, said the group would stop at nothing in prosecuting all those involved in the deployment of troops to Aba and Umuahia to make them pay for the ugly deaths that followed the exercise.

He said: “The attack on Biafran soil is an attack on all of us. The army is not supposed to be interfering in the internal security situation of the nation; they are not supposed to get involved in domestic security of the country. So, sending the army to Aba and Umuahia was with an ulterior motive.

“Anyone involved in this military force against un-armed agitators will never go scot-free. We are not only going to take them to the ICC but prosecute the matter to the end until they are made to pay dearly for it.”

In another development, Catholic Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Dr. Lucius Ugorji, has stated that the Nigerian army displayed abysmal lack of professionalism that brought embarrassment and shame to the nation during the Operation Python Dance II exercise.

He also described Nigeria as a country passing through turbulent times which seems to result from growing culture of impunity, greed and graft among the political elite, including injustice and inequity in political appointments and the distribution of social amenities.

The bishop, who stated this yesterday in a statement given to journalists in Umuahia, said that the consequence is the growing agitation of disillusionment and dissatisfaction across the nation.

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