Kanu: Senators urge restraint, respect for human rights
The South East caucus in the Senate has sought restraint from all parties to the lingering altercation in the South East occasioned by the renewed presence of soldiers in the region. It decried what it called “the ongoing military show of force in the states, particularly in the remote villages around Umuahia, the Abia State capital.”
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its chairman, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the caucus also condemned the alleged military incursion into the countryhome of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, saying such action suggests willful personalisation of the operation and deliberate abuse of the people’s fundamental rights.
Abaribe regretted that the operation was coming at a time the caucus had engaged the IPOB leadership extracted firm commitment from them to make their agitations non-violent.
The statement reads: “We had hoped that our ongoing engagement with the group be given a chance, and here we are, with a hurried military action deep into a highly populated area with high propensity for casualty, which occurrence would rather escalate the already tense situation.
“It is more worrisome that the military operation, Python Dance II, restricted to the South East in a peace time, has no doubt fouled the environment and sent strong signal that the region is under siege, which should not be in a democracy.”
It continued: “We therefore urge extreme caution, and advise the military to de-escalate the situation and choose the best operational modus that would not only guarantee the safety of Nigerians, but also enhance national unity.
“Nigeria is not at war, people are only exercising their constitutional and universally guaranteed rights. So far, they are carrying on in a manner that have never given room to violence which could warrant a wholesale military expedition.”
The caucus, according to Abaribe, sympathises with the wounded and reiterates the call for dialogue as a panacea to the perennial agitations.
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