YNaija Editorial: We have been made enemies of the State

It’s been a full week since the Nigerian government unleashed its Operation Python Dance II on innocent Nigerians in the South East. While we’d hoped that the sheer irresponsibility of a show of force against one’s own citizens would have resolved itself – for the best – in that time, a horrible situation has only got much worse. The Nigerian Army has not only had to deliver half-truths and half-baked reasons for their occupation of Abia, they have gone completely rogue and promised to launch an equivalent of the operation in the South West.

From East to West, the condemnation, as they say, was real. But our Presidency turned the proverbial deaf ear. Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu only found his voice when he needed to play the he-did-it-first game in defense of President Muhammadu. Of course we should have known better than to expect more from the same Preesidency that came up with the rat story.

What we could never have anticipated however, is how the Federal Government declared declared us all enemies of State. Or how do you describe a situation where, unprovoked, the military arrive with what we can assume is all the militariness they’ve got – armoured tanks, firearms and whatever else – to do what even they cannot explain. The only thing we know is that Operation Python Dance II has in Abia terrorising citizens for a week.

Of course, the authorities want you to believe the move is legitimate and that they are trying to curb armed robberies, kidnappings and communal clashes but of course, we don’t need a shaman to tell us how much of a lie that is.

If their first port of call – the ransacking of the Nigerian Union of Journalists’ offices and intimidation of the media – did not prove this to you then surely their contradictory tales of WHY the operation is even happening at all according to different officers must have. One senior military officer did not even know and he said as much.

What a mess.

A mess that will cost us our freedoms if we do not start to speak out and loud against the unnecessary intimidation of the Nigerian citizenry by the Buhari administration.

First, it was ministers threatening to shut down the press under the guise of curbing hate speech, then the military made the unforgivable blunder of announcing its plans to monitor citizens’ use of social media and now this. Are now supposed to accept that it has suddenly become the job of the Army to protect the nation from Armed robbers? What then will be the use of an equally terrorising police force? Is there no one thinking at all in Aso Rock?

Last week, we begged that we all forget about the personalities involved and focus on issues instead. So we’ll do just that. It is clear as day that this is all about suppressing the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the secessionist group’s activities especially in the South East. Yet, even  that is wrong. Nnamdi Kanu, and his IPOB are no State enemies either. Until a credible authority declares IPOB a terrorist group – like the Boko Haram that the Nigerian Army should really be dealing with rather that dancing and faking smiles about town – then we are still dealing with the same situation: a country where the military has been unleashed on innocent citizens.

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