South-East groups on Monday lambasted the Nigerian Army over the alleged attack on Biafra agitators at Nnamdi Kanu’s country home in Abia State.
It was alleged that no fewer than five persons lost their lives in the said attack, while scores were also wounded.
Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), said he was the target of the attack, even as the military insisted that no life was lost.
In a reaction, the Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA) said it was worrisome that only a section of the country was being allowed to go on “with the historic culture of enslaving others, to totally control the military, defense, intelligence and security architecture of a multi-ethic, heterogeneous country.”
Rev. Fr. John Odey, the Publicity Secretary of ECA, in a statement lamented that “isolating a whole region as five percent losers, deliberating excluding same region from the entire security organs of the country, and now provoking them with a military invasion is the height of insensitivity and brazen insult of a people.
“Driving towards the gate of the most popular leader in the zone (a man who controls electrifying adoration of over 99 percent of the masses of the zone) to blare sirens, shoot into the air and display armored tanks, is clearly a deliberate and fully rehearsed plot to provoke mayhem.”
He added that “the Army, the government and friends of the presidency, continuously make it difficult for the people to respect the government.
“Childish behavior such as this, at a time prayers are ceaselessly made to de-escalate tension in the country, only leaves the citizens wondering if the FG has secretly concluded that provoking bloodshed is the way to go.”
“Bullets and armored tanks cannot sustain the unjust unitary structure. The attack on Kanu’s residence is unintelligent it will certainly back fire.”
Similarly, the Igbo Women Assembly, IWA, the Igbo Leaders’ of Thought (ILT), the Igbo Youth Movement. IYM, the South-East Christian Network and the Igbo Students’ Union have also risen in condemnation of the said attack.
Chief (Mrs.) Maria Okwor of the IWA said: “The idea of invading Mazi Nnamdi Kanu’s residence on Sunday evening to “Show force” is appalling and very provocative.
“The Army cannot show force in Sambisa, in plateau state (where hundreds of villagers were slaughtered by Fulani herdsmen) in Ikorodu, Lagos, (where Badoo cult have forced residents to relocate).
“The display of show of force five meters from Kanu’s bedroom is a pointer that the FG wants to provoke warfare in the East. This government is clearly an enemy government. We call on the FG to apologise without delay for this infantile act of deliberate provocation.
On his part, Evang. Eliot Ugochukwu-Uko of the ILT and the IYM said maintained that “the story by the army that some kids threw stones at the military convoy is hollow and uninspiring.
“Why would the army choose Kanu’s residence to perform their ‘show of force’ on Sunday evening. Why would the army choose Kanu’s residence of all places to show force, only to claim that unknown children pelted them with stones, in order to justify their use of live bullets on a residential compound.
“The Army is only confirming the suspicious, that it is a sectional army determined to wage war against the people of Eastern Nigeria, all in a bid to sustain Nigeria’s unjust unitary structure, and to resist the restructuring of Nigeria. Injustice will not prevail over justice. “They are only making Kanu more loved and more deified.”