16 September 2017
By Sunday Elom
A group from northern Nigeria under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, is saying that the ongoing military operation in the south-east has their full support.
The group made this known at a press conference in Kano State while reacting to the clash between soldiers and members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.
The CNG, however, vowed to resist any attempt by the agitators to undermine the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
According to CNG, “The agitations and disturbances that have been ongoing since the coming to power of President Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo in 2015 are aimed at rendering the country practically ungovernable, and ushering in anarchy and instability, thereby occasioning a change of government by whatever means and tactics.”
The group therefore said it would take the matter to the international community, including African Union, ECOWAS, United Nations Security Council and the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The spokesman of CNG, Abdulaziz Suleiman, said the northerners have been resisting the temptation of carrying out reprisal attack and playing to the gallery and must not be forced to do so at this point.
“Northerners, in line with their disciplined nature must refuse at this point to be dragged into taking the law into their hands through unnecessary and unproductive confrontations with members of any sectional, ethnic or religious group,” Suleiman said.
The group said they doubt if Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader, is a Nigerian.
“He is a half Nigerian or perhaps not even a Nigerian, who only came to destabilise our hard earned democracy. We refuse to be toyed with,” CNG said.
According to Suleiman, “We are optimistic that the Nigerian state is doing its best to tackle the situation. They are really doing the needful. So also the government of Abia State is doing its best along that line, so we are hopeful that the situation will be dealt with in the interest of the country as a whole,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria army has refused to call off the South-East military operation tagged Python Dance II (Egwu Eke II). There were also indications that the one-month military operation would have its base in Umuahia, Abia State capital.
However, the army clarified that the exercise was not targeted at any particular person or group of persons.
It was learnt that the choice of Umuahia as the base for the exercise may not be unconnected with the activities of the Kanu’s IPOB whose tempo has increased since the return of Kanu from prison.
Furthermore, it was also learnt that Umuahia was chosen as the operational base for the military exercise since it is also serving as the headquarters of the IPOB. It is also hosting the Biafra Security Service (BSS) which was recently set up by Kanu at his Afaraukwu–Ibeku country home, where hundreds of members of the
group gather daily.
An undisclosed source also said the choice of Umuahia might not be unconnected with the alleged affinity being enjoyed by the group with Niger Delta militants.
According to the source, “It is being rumoured that since Abia became notorious for kidnapping and other criminalities before now, there is the tendency that some of the weapons used to commit these crimes are being harboured there.
“There is the erroneous belief that the militants, which of course include Igbo, could be the ones that supply the weapons used in these crimes.”
It could be recalled that Onitsha in Anambra State hosted the first operation Python Dance which lasted for three months last year.