The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) at the weekend described the Nigerian Army‘s decision to start up another military exercise in the South East tagged ‘Operation Python Dance 11’, as a Jihad on the innocent people of Biafra.
The Nigerian Army said at the weekend that the exercise was solely aimed at fighting crime in the area, but IPOB, in a statement made available to journalists in Awka and signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Comrade Emma Powerful, called on the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Burutai to take back the armoured tanks being assembled in the Biafra land to the war fronts in the North where they were mostly needed, adding that IPOB was not fighting any war in the South East.
The group said that the latest attempt to use military force against Biafra’s peaceful agitators for self determination further vindicated IPOB position that Nigeria was irredeemably incapable of human development.
The statement read: “We wish to alert humanity about the silent Jihad war being unleashed on peaceful Biafran populations, in order to complete the extermination of the Igbo race under the pretext of military exercise in a peaceful civilian environment.
“This act of primitive criminal intimidation and provocation must not go unchallenged by men and of good conscience.
“President Muhammadu Buhari was supposedly elected to preside over a transparent civilian democratic government. However, what we have today is an administration of Fulani ethnic jingoists and unprecedented religious bigotry never before witnessed in Nigeria.
“This latest attempt to use military show of force in Biafra land to deal with legitimate peaceful agitation for self determination vindicates IPOB position that Nigeria is irredeemably incapable of human development.
“Where on earth is it heard that combat ready troops are deployed within the borders of a country to deal with a non-violent civil matter? Such a thing can only happen in Nigeria.
“It makes a mockery of the role of the military and nonsense of the constitution that soldiers can be ordered by one army officer, without the permission of the Senate, to kill civilian populations in an area devoid of any conflict.
“This is one of the many reasons why IPOB cannot share the same geo-political space with people that can hardly reason like humans.
“We, the IPOB advise Buratai not to march his army into Biafra land under the cover of Operation Python Dance because IPOB is agitating for self-determination in a peaceful manner. We have no arms and will never resort to bearing arms.
“Buhari and Buratai should rather focus their attention on the Boko Haram-ravaged areas of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States. Boko Haram is a well armed army and it is the one Buratai should be facing and not market women in Aba and traders at Onitsha. We are peaceful people by nature, but will not tolerate any molestation or intimidation on our soil.
“By this latest action, the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled government had once again proved that it was undemocratic. Its thinking was that it could intimidate Biafrans the same way it had intimidated and conquered Hausa people along with other indigenous ethnic minorities of the North.
“Previous Fulani Jihad campaigns to conquer and subjugate Biafra land always ended in failure and that is why Biafra has remained untainted till date.”
The statement further read: “President Buhari and his core Arewa North are misguided into thinking that the present generation can be subdued with threats of war as they did to our fathers. Arewa people boast that they won the 1967-70 war. But as serving officers, which some of them were during that time, they knew very well that Biafra was defeated by Britain and her fellow conspirators and not Nigeria. History is replete with events and instances where British support for Nigeria, especially regarding the secret sale of weapons to General Yakubu Gowon, proved decisive in ending the war in favour of Nigeria.
“The fact remains that Nigeria, as a country, has never won any war on its own. They always need outside help to succeed. The limited gains made against Boko Haram in 2015 was as a result of the coalition put together by former President Jonathan, comprising of troops from Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
“Nigeria cannot point to any theatre of war comprising exclusively of Nigerian troops, with the exception of the Congo expedition led by General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, where they recorded any victory against an armed opposition
“Cameroon took Bakassi Peninsula from Nigeria after series of skirmishes between them that ended in defeat for Nigeria, both on the battle field and in court.
“Nigerian Army is only strong when it comes to killing unarmed peaceful civilians. In battlefield against a formidable adversary, they are cowards. Whenever they come into contact with any battle ready formation, they crumble and flee.
“The few people cheering Buratai on with this ill-advised military exercise were the same people that called for the execution of Mohammed Yusuf, the peaceful Boko Haram leader. His death gave Nigerians Abubakar Shekau and the deadly insurgency ravaging the North today.
“Successive Nigerian governments are good at creating problems out of nothing. Had the Nigerian government not executed Mohammed Yusuf in cold blood, there wouldn’t have been any Boko Haram as we know it today.
“Had Ken Saro-Wiwa not been executed by the Nigerian state, there would be no militancy in the Niger Delta.
“Those Hausa Fulani people benefiting from defence contracts and wanting to expand the frontiers of Islam into Biafraland must know that any conflict they ignite will consume them because Britain will no longer support them openly, should they provoke another bloody conflict in Biafra.”
The group, while calling on people not to entertain any fear because the entire world knows the stand of IPOB, however urged Biafrans to remain calm and continue to be law abiding in their peaceful agitation.