A former director of the State Security Service, SSS, Mike Ejiofor, has faulted the ongoing military operation in Nigeria’s South-east, describing it as having the potential to compound the security challenges in the country.
The commencement on Sunday of the military operation codenamed “Operation Python Dance” led to a violent skirmish in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, between the army and the supporters of the separatist group, IPOB. Some journalists were also brutalised by the rampaging soldiers.
“Now, we’ve seen it – this Operation Python Dance – it has a great consequence to our national security,” Mr. Ejiofor said Wednesday on Channels Television in a programme.
Mr. Ejiofor said what was happening (military siege) in the South-east was “very disturbing”.
“My fears are that these situations, if not checked now, can conflagrate into a more serious national security situation,” he said.
“I have witnessed the civil war. No country survives a second civil war. We must do everything to avoid this.”
The former director of the country’s secret police said ”not every Igbo man was in support of Nnamdi Kanu,” the separatist leader who has been campaigning for the independent nation for Biafra – to be made up mainly by the states in the South-east region.
Mr. Ejiofor, who appealed to the army to withdraw troops from the region, advised the federal government to pursue its case against the IPOB leader, Mr. Kanu, in the court.
“He has been charged to court. He was given bail conditions that are overtly seen to have been breached. So, we should wait for him to appear in court. He has a date in court.
“The court will now be in a position to decide either to revoke the bail condition because he has flouted it. The army going to confront Kanu with his group is going to throw us into a serious problem,” he said.
Mr. Ejiofor said even the codename for the military operation is fundamentally flawed because it “didn’t sound conciliatory.”
“Let’s look at Operation Python Dance. What is a python? A python conscripts the victim before it swallows it. That is not conciliatory at all. At this stage of our national life where we have a lot of national security challenges, we should try and see how we can solve some of the problems instead of adding more to our problems.
“That dance is not necessary. It’s uncalled for. I am using this opportunity to appeal to the military authority and the federal government to stop that dance,” Mr. Ejiofor said.
Meanwhile, as the stalemate continues, the Abia State government has extended the recently declared three-day curfew in Aba until Friday.