- Former minister of aviation, Osita Chidoka has called for an end to Operation python Dance 2 in the southeast
- The army medical outreach had caused confusion in Anambra state as some students were said to have fled their schools
- Chidoka noted that people’s reactions to the army’s medical outreach showed clearly that they no longer had trust in the military
The candidate of the United Progressives Party (UPP) in the November 18 governorship election in Anambra state, Osita Chisoka, has restated his call to end the military “Operation Python Dance” in the state.
His call followed Wednesday, October 11 confusion and panic by the residents of the state over rumours that the medical outreach of the Nigerian army was dangerous to human health.
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In a statement sent to NAIJ.com, Viola Ifeyinwa Okolie, the director media, Osita Chidoka Campaign said the recent event in the region where the people were evading army’s medical outreach showed clearly that the people no longer had trust in the military.
The statement read: “The Osita Chidoka Campaign Organization has been deeply concerned over conflicting reports on Wednesday’s state-wide panic apparently triggered by mix-ups at a medical outreach organized by the military in some schools in Anambra state.
“Whereas we have nothing against any genuine social responsibility service by the military, we are greatly disturbed by the unfortunate twist of event, which evinces clearly, the intensity of mistrust and lack of confidence in the military by the civilian population, ostensibly occasioned by undesirable effects of Operation Python Dance II in the southeast.
“This is not the first time the military will be undertaking such exercise in the region, but the panic and rejection that confronted the latest exercise speaks volumes of the gap that now unfortunately exists between the military and civilian population in the southeast due to the Operation Python Dance.
“It is instructive to note that the witnessed public rejection does not indicate that the people had no need for medical care.
“While they were running from the military, many citizens were trooping to similar interventions including that organized by the Chidoka Campaign, which recorded hundreds of medical interventions in Onitsha, the same Wednesday. As we speak, our medical team who have been in the field for several weeks now, are still attending to people without any incident.
“Our take therefore, is that the Operation Python Dance II has painfully eroded the faith and confidence the citizens hitherto have in the military as their pillar of protection.
"The reported rights violations and professional misconduct of some unscrupulous uniformed men involved in the main Operation Python Dance II have succeeded in instilling fear in civilians while retarding their desired reliance on the military for such laudable interventions.
“Consequently, we urge the military high command not to gloss over this incident, but take urgent and immediate practical steps to allay the fears of the people and rebuild public confidence in the noble institution of the military, especially in the southeast.
“The first step towards this is for the military authorities to immediately end the Operation Python Dance II and withdraw soldiers from the streets. This is in addition to releasing the outcome of its investigation on reported rights violations in the Operation Python Dance II, while appropriate sanctions are meted out on erring officers.
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“Finally, we call on ndi Anambra and all citizens in other states of the southeast to continue to remain calm, law-abiding and go about their normal activities as we expect the military authorities to expeditiously handle the matter.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that the Anambra state government debunked the rumour making round the state that the students in Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area of the state were being forced by the army to undertake medical care.
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