Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari, to caution Nigerian Army on their operation Python Dance II, saying the move might lead to another civil war.
Ekweremadu in a letter to the President said withdrawal of the troops from the South East will avert a second Civil war.
The Deputy Senate President had earlier condemned the military siege of the South East, noting that dialogue and inclusion were best options in resolving the agitation in the region.
In a letter titled, “Rising Tension in the South East: Appeal to Call Off Operation Egwu Eke”, Ekweremadu said the rising tension in the region compelled him to appeal to Buhari “to take immediate steps to avert another civil war in Nigeria”.
The five-page letter read in part: “The peace of Nigeria has never been this fragile since the end of the civil war and as leaders we must do everything humanly possible and legitimate to hold the nation together in peace and prosperity.
“As President and Commander-in-Chief, you would agree with me that there is need for caution.
“Recall, Your Excellency, that the South East Caucus of the Senate met with you on November 9, 2016. We had a heart-to-heart discussion on pressing issues affecting the South East. Recall that on the issue of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, who was then in detention, we pleaded for your intervention and strongly advised against his continued detention. We were of the view that his continued detention would only further popularise, and in fact make him a hero.
“Furthermore, we informed you that when the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, was detained during the administration of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, we approached the former President and appealed to him to immediately release Chief Uwazuruike to avoid creating a mountain out of a molehill. He heeded the advice and Chief Uwazuruike and MASSOB have never posed any threat to the peace and sovereignty of Nigeria ever after.
“I recall, however, that on the appeal for the release of Nnamdi Kanu, you told us to allow the judicial process to run its cause. But, in retrospect, it proved to be a big mistake on the side of government as his continued detention made him a hero among a cross-section of the people.
“I am afraid, Your Excellency, that the government is embarking on yet another huge misjudgment today by adopting a military option to the Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB challenge. Therefore, I most respectfully appeal to you to order the immediate withdrawal of the military from the South East as their presence can only and is indeed already amplifying tension in the region.
“As things stand, the reaction of the youth in the region is unpredictable. It is also possible that their reactions and actions of the military may be misrepresented or exaggerated on the Social media and trigger a chain of other actions in other parts of the country also.
“Not even Your Excellency or anyone else for that matter can certainly foretell the outcome of such chain of actions, reactions, and reprisals. But at least, you are in a position to imagine the number of the avoidable casualties and deaths.”