The Igbo Civil Society Coalition (ICSCO), a coalition of civil society organisations, activists, human rights groups and the academia in Igboland has claimed that the Nigerian Army killed no fewer than 100 people and injured 200 others during the Army operation ‘Python Dance’ in the south-east last year. The fresh allegation was contained in a communique issued by the group at the end of its meeting in Enugu on Tuesday. The groups equally rejected the proposed cattle colony of the federal government in the southeast, describing it as a ploy to achieve islamization agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The communique was signed by the National Coordinator, Professor Obasi Igwe and convener Mazi Ikechukwu Bismarck Oji. The communiqué titled: “Nigeria must value her citizens’ lives” reads:
That ICSCO met today in Enugu at its first General Congress of the year to assess, review in the polity last year and in the first few weeks of this year, as it affects Ndigbo, the following communiqué was issued:
“We aver that Genocide did occur during last year’s Operation Python Dance II in the South East. From our investigation, at least 100 lives were confirmed lost and at least 200 nursing various degrees of injury and permanent disabilities. “The Nigerian Government must as a matter of conscience acknowledges that the Nigerian Army overstepped its bounds during the Operation and culprits in the killing of civilians and other gross human right violations brought to book.
“We note that till date, the Nigerian Army has not taken any steps to punish the soldiers that invaded the Abia State NUJ Secretariat and brutalized journalists during the operation despite pledging to do so. “The arrest of two journalists –the Elombah brothers by the dreaded SARS on allegations of publishing libelous information about the IG of Police is another instance of human right violation that justifies the call by well meaning Nigerians for the scrapping of the anti robbery squad.
“Furthermore, we totally condemn the seeming inaction being exhibited by the Federal Government with regards to the ongoing massacre of defenseless citizens across the country especially in Benue and Taraba States by marauding Fulani “herdsmen” rated globally as the 4th most dangerous terrorist group. “We are disappointed that despite previous similar occurrences of these inhuman attacks, the Federal Government has done nothing to either stop the attacks or protect the unsuspecting citizens/victims or punish the law breakers.