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OPC condemns military attack on IPOB members

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The  Pan- Social -Cultural group, Oodua People’s Congress has condemned the militarisation of some part of the East under Operation Python Dance,  in the obvious attempt to arrest the growing influence of the Nnamdi  Kanu led Indigenous People of Biafra  ( IPOB),  even as it canvassed dialogue to the military option in resolving the issues at stake.

In a statement issued by the OPC in Lagos on Thursday, and signed by its Publicity Secretary, Yinka Oguntimehin, the group said the agitation of IPOB would be fruitfully addressed through dialogue rather than the military option being adopted by the Federal government.

The OPC said it does not believe there is  any  security threat in Umuahia and its environs to warrant the deployment of soldiers to intimidate and molest innocent Nigerians who are going about their lawful business.

According to the Yoruba group, the Federal Government should be careful in handling the IPOB issue, adding that any agitation that has been able to attract international sympathy and support like that of IPOB should be handled with utmost care and high degree of diplomacy.

It stressed that the implication of  the Military presence in the East and North East at the same time naturally sends signal of civil  war in the country to the international Community, and this will discourage investors, especially now that the country is assumed to have survived recession.

The OPC said history does not favour military suppression of  agitating  groups, citing the case of Odi where MEND surfaced strongly and serious damage done to the nation’s economy even after the President Olusegun Obasanjo led Federal Government was suppose to  have  successfully muscled the South South community  to silence.

It said Oil supply was forced down to 750 barrel per day from its usual 2.5m barrel as a result of  MEND activities, adding  that profitable oil activities only  picked up in the Niger Delta after the Late President Yar’dua led government successfully  dialogued with MEND .

Warning against the implication of the  military attack on IPOB and  Umuahia  leading to the killing of many  the OPC said ” all efforts must be made to guide jealously the hard earned democracy which individuals and groups fought hard to enthrone”

The OPC said the nation’s democracy is daily being threatened by sundry issues, chief among them injustice,  security and  the  economy, which it said could naturally be resolved without bloodletting if the Federal Government could be  sincere enough to take the best possible option of restructuring the country.

Re-iterating its call for the restructuring of the  country along regional line, the OPC said  the Federal government should take conscious effort to ensure that the incessant bloodletting in the country is arrested instead of aiding it through unnecessary militarisation of the country like is being done in the South East, submitting that  the recent happenings in Abia between soldiers and members of the public had underscored the urgency to reconsider the necessity of Operation Python Dance 2

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