19 September 2017

Nigeria: Jonathan's Aide Condemns Military Operations - Blasts Lai Mohammed

An aide to former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday condemned the plans by the military to extend its show of force to the South-South and the South-West.

Reno Omokri called on the Muhammadu Buhari administration to tread with caution.

The Nigerian Army had on Sunday announced that it would undertake operation Crocodile Smile in the South-south and South-west regions.

The Army had launched Operation Python Dance II in the Southeast, leading to skirmishes between soldiers and members of the separatist group, IPOB.

Similarly, Senate President Bukola Saraki had said the military has no right to declare the Indigenous People of Biafra as a terror group.

In his statement on Tuesday, Mr. Omokri said the military should be separated from the police, adding that Nigeria was no longer under a military regime.

"Nigeria is no longer under military rule. In a democracy, you separate the military from the police," he said.

"The military is not meant to fight criminality within a nation because they are trained to fight a nation' s external enemies.

"It is the police that are trained to fight crime internally. When the military starts doing the job of the police and starts fighting or doing what they call a 'show of force,' the effect will not be to reduce crime . The effect will be to intimidate people."

Mr. Omokri, however, took a shot at the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, over his statement that the activities of IPOB were being sponsored by those who lost elections.

Addressing a press conference at the weekend, the minister had said the agitators in the South-east were being sponsored by disgruntled politicians and treasury looters.

But Mr. Omokri said the "insinuations in the press conference given by Minister of Information , Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Sunday, accusing the opposition of sponsoring the IPOB and the fact that he mentioned that Nnamdi Kanu preached Nigerian unity during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is another clear indication that the present administration has not left propaganda mode for proper agenda mode two and a half year into their tenure."

He noted that if the government knows which opposition members are sponsoring IPOB, it should "identify them, arrest them and then prosecute them.

"It is our suspicion that Lai Mohammed is talking from history seeing as he criticised the Jonathan government for banning Boko Haram in a statement he released on June 10 , 2013 , even though the Jonathan government had gone through due process before proscribing that murderous sect. Perhaps Lai Mohammed thinks everybody is like him and those he represents," the statement said.

Mr. Omokri, therefore, advised Mr. Mohammed to focus on governing the nation and desist from dishing out propaganda.

He however commended the South-east governors for their efforts in restoring peace in the South-east region.


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