TUESDAY TRENDS – OPERATION PYTHON DANCE
1945 and 1953 Pogrom, Nigerian Independence, 1966 Coup and Counter Coup, Pogrom, Declaration Of Biafra’s Cessation from Nigeria, Announcement of Police Action to cull Excesses by Military Governor of Eastern Nigeria, Full Blown Civil War (or Genocide as some prefer to put it), End of Civil War, No Victor No Vanquished, Coup, 1975 Bloodless Coup and 1976 Bloody Coup, The First Coming of Obasanjo, Hello Democracy, we missed you. 1983 Coup + First Coming of Buhari, War Against Indiscipline and Corruption, 1985 IBB Coup, Maradona Steps Aside, 1993 Abacha Coup, 1999 Elections (Democracy, we missed you). MASSOB and Uwazurike, MEND and Henry Okah, Niger Delta’s plenty “Freedom Fighters”, Very Expensive Amnesty Program, IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu, Operation Python Dance 1, Operation Python Dance 2.
That is a very short description of how Nigeria, a country where every tribe claims to be marginalized got to where we are right now.
I have always been of the opinion that the arrest and unnecessary continued illegal detention of Nnamdi Kanu was a goof and misdirection by the present administration. Not only did it win him sympathizers, it kind of canonized him, making him into a hero of sorts for impressionable youths.
The decision of the army to display a show of power in the south-east, though limited to Abia state was one that caused more problems than gave solutions. Suddenly the army is caught in multiple image issues, human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, etc. By the way, where are the Southeastern lawyers willing to go to court on these issues.
It is unbelievable how the video clips of these ugly incidents got on the internet. Anyone who has had an unpleasant experience with members of any unit of Nigeria’s Armed Forces will tell you, “no witness is safe, one with a camera is an endangered specie”. Just ask the folks at the NUJ headquarters in Abia state.
With the excuse that they were photographed while in transit, they tore the office apart. With none of them even seeing the picture in question. By the way, I was never taught that it is illegal to take a picture of the Nigerian Army, for the gentlemen of the press in Abia State, Experience is the best teacher.
For me, there are only two positives from this whole incident, which gives me a glimmer of hope that a civil war isn’t as close by as some of us fear. Firstly, the response of the Senate President to the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist group by the Nigerian Military. Their failure to follow already established procedure would have been the beginning of another level of “Anything Goes” in Nigeria’s Military and Security. Apparently, you can’t fight illegality with illegality.
Secondly, the visit of Northern Governors to Abia state. That is a big show of solidarity, rather than power. It puts forward a United front that tells anyone who thinks otherwise that “we stand together” irrespective of political affiliations, religion or ethnicity.
Considering that our Vice President is a highly celebrated lawyer, whose selling point has been his work ethic, intelligence and relationship with the populace, I think it’s high time we begin to get government policies and actions that are more relatable, more humane and less likely to be seen as irresponsible and illegal by a court of law. In other words, less Operation Python Dance, more Operation Feed The Nation.