Osita Chidoka, the United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election, has called on the Nigerian Army to release its report on the investigation into alleged rights abuse of pro-Biafra agitators during Operation Python Dance II in the South-East region of the country.
In a statement on Saturday, Viola Ifeyinwa Okolie, media director of the Chidoka campaign, said the military should honour its pledge of investigating and punishing any errant officers found culpable.
Recall that on the heels of the military’s renewed controversial operation in the South-East, a video had surfaced allegedly showing personnel of the army forcing some pro-Biafra agitators likely belonging to the now-proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to undergo some maltreatment in mud.
“Chief Chidoka urges the military high command to release the report of its investigation on alleged abuses and violation of the rights of citizens by security officials involved in the widely criticised Operation Python Dance in the southeast.
“The UPP candidate recalls that the military had acknowledged that it was investigating reports of alleged rights violations including a video showing the dehumanisation of civilians by some soldiers along Port-Harcourt – Enugu Expressway.
“He therefore urges the military to accelerate its inquest, make its findings public and apply appropriate punishments on errant officers, while mechanisms are put in place to end such violations”, part of the statement read.
Chidoka also spoke on the 50th anniversary of the Asaba massacre which occurred in October of 1967, urging reflection, understanding and a “soothing word” from the federal government.
“The UPP candidate, a staunch advocate of justice, equity and fairness, notes that a soothing word from the federal government at occasions such as this will act as a mollifying balm to the survivors and relatives of the deceased.
“Chief Chidoka maintains that Ndi Igbo are a peaceful, accommodating and forgiving people whose only demand has been for a fairer union; a union founded on justice, equity and fairness, and where no man is oppressed or relegated. He believes a fairer union where all obstacles to equal opportunities are removed, will assuage frayed nerves and ease the pains of the past”, the statement further reported.
It added that eminent Nigerians “including Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka and Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Father Matthew Hassan Kukah”, would attend the anniversary ceremony.
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