Members of the House of Representatives from the south eastern Nigeria have declared that any military operation that frightens, maims or leads to loss of lives of citizens and property is unjustifiable.
The federal lawmakers spoke on the heels of the Monday invasion of Afara Ukwu, Umuahia, Abia State, the home country of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu by a detachment of the Nigerian army where some fatalities were reported to have happened.
A statement signed by the Deputy Minority Leader and Leader South-East Caucus, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chukwuka Onyema on Wednesday called for caution in Abia State and the entire south east zone.
The legislators however expressed their support to a Seven -man Committee by the South East Governors to investigate the causes of the current conflict in Abia State.
The statement read in full: “The attention of the South East Caucus of the House of Representatives has been drawn to the reported fallout from the ongoing military show of force in the South East, code named Operation Python Dance II.
“Though without convincing explanations, we were informed that a few days ago, some civilians were shot and wounded as they clashed with soldiers at Afaraukwu Village in Umuahia, yet again we have received report of a military invasion of the Umuahia NUJ Office where journalists were molested and their equipment destroyed.
“As a result of the escalating tension, Abia State Governor had to impose a dust to dawn curfew in the commercial town of Aba.
“While we appreciate the right to discharge core duties of the Nigeria armed forces as spelt out under section 217 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), there is no gainsaying that internal military operations can only be conducted without doing violence to the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights of citizens.
“To conduct operations that frighten, maim or lead to loss of lives of citizens and property, are clearly unjustifiable and an offence to our democracy and the rule of law.
“We therefore call for a de-escalation of “internal military operations” in Abia State and the South East as a whole, while urging our brothers and sisters at home to remain civil and law abiding.
“We wish to express our support to the reported setting up of a Seven -man Committee by the South East Governors to investigate the causes of the current conflict in Abia State.”