The Nigerian Army’s free medical mission which started on September 18, 2017, in Ebonyi failed yesterday October 11, 2017, in Anambra.
This was attributed to the monkeypox injections rumour that was peddled by the outlawed Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).
Moving away from the IPOB and the rumour, it is important to state that the medical mission as good as it seems on the surface was a poorly planned event.
The Nigerian Army speaking through Colonel Sagir Musa, Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army said, “The exercise is part of the corporate social responsibility initiatives imbued in to the overall Exercise EGWU EKE 11 package to the people of the South Eastern Region which is the area of responsibility of the 82 Division.”
Egwu Eke 11 is the local name adopted for the military operation in the South East codenamed “Operation Python Dance 11” which has received condemnations from many Nigerians.
The Army had stated initially that the operation was to combat kidnapping and other security challenges in the South East, however, it’s handling of the issue in Abia where the IPOB leader resides raised a lot of questions about their intention.
The Army reportedly engaged in unnecessary combat with IPOB Members at Nnamdi Kanu’s residence while embarking on a needless “show of force”. This was even before the date announced for the commencement of the operation.
To show how poor the Nigerian Army is when it comes to strategies, in a charged environment like the South East, the exercise should have been preceded by the Free Medical Mission to serve as a means of public enlightenment as it relates to the #Operationpythondance2 but the army won’t have any of that.
They rolled out tanks and machine guns, which led to lots of casualties on the side of IPOB. This event poisoned the mind of South Easterners against the army and made them unpopular as no one will hear about the Army in other states of the region and embrace them (even if they are sharing money).
That was the main reason the medical mission failed yesterday in Anambra. That the medical mission was organised by the Army made it easy for the IPOB to peddle the rumour as it knows there is an existing disdain for the army in the region.
The lesson for the Army is to be more tactical in its approach for future operations and to improve on its poor human relations with Nigerians.