Nigerians in the United Kingdom under the aegis of the Nigeria Round-table Group has condemned the current military crackdown in the South East.
The Roundtable Group, which is a coalition of various South-East, South-West, and South-South groups and professionals in the United Kingdom, said the “invasion” of the South East by Nigerian military under its Operation Python Dance II (Egwu Eke II), was against Nigeria’s Constitution.
The group expressed concern that the operation had hardly begun than the Nigeria Army recorded a clash with IPOB youths in what the soldiers tagged an exercise of “show of force”.
In a statement at the end of an emergency meeting in London on Tuesday signed by Felix Adejumo, Tochukwu Ezeoke and Charles Omoregie, made available to The Neighbourhood, the group noted that the conditions in the Nigerian Constitution that allow for the deployment of the army in any part of the country as provided for in Section 217 (2)(c) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution had not arisen. “Therefore the Nigerian Army has no business getting involved in the traditional duties of the Nigeria Police”, it said.
“We, therefore, advise the Federal government to desist from this reprehensive act as Nigeria is not at war with itself or anyone as the circumstances provided for deployment of the Army has not arisen”, the group stated.
“Using Nigerian Army to repel what appears to be a legitimate agitation by the people of the South East region demanding a referendum is a right of any people.
“This act of military deployment by the Nigeria government amounts to aggression in the absence of any breakdown of law and order.
The group described as a waste of taxpayer’s money for the Nigeria Army to be engaging in the duties of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies.
The Group called on the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, as the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces, to exercise restraint in handling several agitations for restructuring around the country.
“We call on President Buhari to withdraw troops from the South-East immediately and also call on the United Nations and other international communities to prevail on President Buhari to cease this unwarranted attack on innocent citizens”, the UK-based Nigerians added.
The Nigeria Round Table, United Kingdom declared their support for the Ibadan Declaration by the South-West Nigeria and described it “as the way to go in sustaining peace, equity, security and development in Nigeria.”
The group also indicated interest in partnering with the organisers to ensure that Nigeria was restructured to the benefit of all her citizens.