#EndSARS : Oduduwa agitators, IPOB, Ohanaeze youths, warn FG against deployment of military
* To commence mother of protests Oct 20
From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Oduduwa republic agitators; the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB; and the youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural body, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, have warned the federal government against deploying the military against the #EndSARS protesters.
The groups which sternly warned of the grave implications of using force against the protesters, vowed to commence mother of protests on October 20.
Oduduwa agitators and IPOB in a joint press statement accused the military high command of using the proposed nationwide special military operation tagged ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ as a cover to clamp down on the agitators.
The statement was signed by Mr Zacheus Somorin, Director of Communication, Yoruba One Voice; and Ms. Christy Ekama, Principal Secretary to the Directorate of State, Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB).
It read in part :”We read with shock and dismay the plan by the Federal Government to deploy the Armed Forces under the guise of “Operation Crocodile Smile” with the sole aim to quell the popular #ENDSARS protests across the country.”
According to the statement, the ongoing protests are a clear testament to failure of leadership in the country .
The agitators expressed support for the ongoing protests which according to them will ultimately lead to the restructuring of Nigeria.
“We fully endorse the #ENDSARS protests. We commend Nigerian youths for again rising to the occasion to redirect the drifting ship of state.
“The Federal Government must immediately rescind its decision to deploy the Armed Forces to truncate legitimate protests by Nigerians. This is contrary to international law.
“The Federal Government must not add to the gruesome bloodletting by the discredited SARS operatives through the ill-advised deployment of the Armed Forces.
“We will hold the Buhari Administration and its officials responsible for any killings occasioned by the deployment of the Armed Forces to quell legitimate civil protests.
“We call on the United Nations and the international community to take particular interest in the #ENDSARS protests and the planned deployment of the Armed Forces, and to hold Nigerian officials to account for any infringement of civil rights.
“The Armed Forces must be reminded that their loyalty is to the Nigerian state. The era of regime protection is gone forever.
“We commend Nigerian youths for their courage and sacrifices in the face of police brutality, joblessness, insecurity, extra-judicial killings and hopelessness.
“We stand in solidarity with you in the struggle for a better future.”
Similarly, the National President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, Comrade Igboayaka O. Igboayaka has warned the Nigerian Government to jettison the plan to launch Operation Crocodile Smile, describing it as “an action capable of ending the existence of Nigeria within one month.”
According to OYC, the army has no business on the internal affairs of the country.
The apex Igbo youths body asked the army to restrict itself to the Nigerian borders.
OYC said that protests by the youths would commence heavily from 20th October till 31st December if the demands of the protesters were not met.
OYC claimed that “the Nigerian government wants to use the army to harass and cow the youths into terminating the protest abruptly”.
It argued that “the UN law has a provision that any country that sustained a peaceful protest or mass resistance up to a month, the UN army will intervene in such country for peacekeeping mission, which in the case of Nigeria, may lead to referendum or possible restructuring.”
OYC urged the protesters to endeavour to raise Nigerian flags during each of the protest, and possibly sew a cloth with the Nigerian colours of green and white and wear it during every protest till 31st Dec. 2020.
” Raising the flag will debar or restrain the military from shooting at the protesters, because it is a secret code of the Nigeria Army”, the statement said.
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