Tension In Onitsha As Soldiers Block Niger Bridge

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Consequent upon the ‘Operation Python Dance’ which was recently launched by the army in the South-east to provide security in the zone, a blockade has been put on the famous Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State.

According to Daily Sun report, the unwelcome move has caused tension among residents in the area and outrage among human and pro-democracy groups in the region which have faulted the blockade of the Niger Bridge by the Nigerian Army.

Describing the Operation as a declaration of Jihad against the South-east zone, Chairman of International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law (Intersociety), Emeka Umeagbalasi, called on the Federal Government and the Army authorities to dismantle the road blocks immediately.

He stated that the army’s internal security should not translate to psychological war against a particular ethnic group, particularly at a time it is known they return home to celebrate Yuletide.

“The army’s occupation tagged ‘Operation Python’ is nothing but a plot to subject the entire South-East to untold hardship, torture and extortion.”



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Umeagbalasi questioned why after several mayhem perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen in different parts of the country especially in Southern Kaduna, the Army failed to take the same action to checkmate their excesses.

The activist further pointed out that the roadblocks created by the soldiers on major roads in the South-East was already creating hardship for the people even before the Yuletide. This is because the gridlock caused by the roadblocks leads to a lot of time waste on the Niger Bridge in particular, where the Nigerian Army had increased road blocks as well as at Asaba and Onitsha which is affecting the economy of the zone.

On its part, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) described the Army’s action as a provocation, especially when those allegedly murdered by the soldiers in the wake of peaceful demonstrations by pro-Biafra groups have not been accounted for.