A Yoruba-based youth group, Progressive Yoruba Youth, on Sunday warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), against raising false alarm over the proposed nationwide Operation Python Dance introduced by the Nigerian Army.
The group, while addressing journalists in Lagos, said it was surprised that the PDP had the effrontery to reject the proposed nationwide exercise.
PYY National President, Comrade Kola Salawu, while addressing newsmen, said he was surprised that PDP could make such allegations that the exercise was conceived to intimidate voters.
Salawu said, “We are most surprised that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had the effrontery to reject the nationwide Operation Python Dance planned by the Nigerian Army. In its usual tradition of equating being the opposition with scaremongering, the PDP adduced a host of reasons that are lacking in logic and common sense to classify the military operation as part of a plot to rig the coming election.
“The PDP, through a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Kola Ologbodinyan, said Operation Python Dance was conceived to intimidate voters. The statement also promoted the fallacy that everybody “knew the direction the 2019 presidential election tide if flowing”, which is best interpreted to imply that the onetime ruling party is in an hallucinatory state that made it assume it has been forgiven by Nigerians to an extent that it can even come third place in next year’s elections.
“Without recourse to the reasons given by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, we have in the past kept close watch on the conduct of the various iteration of Operation Python Dance when it was confined to the South-East of the country. The records show that the operation successfully curtailed the separatist elements in that part of the country and was therefore able to keep the country united. Operation Python Dance can be credited for flushing out practitioners of kidnap for ransom in the south-east, it has reduced armed robbery in the area and even more significantly, it has be instrumental in mopping up the small arms that once proliferated the entire area.
“In the south-west, we have been dealing with several instances of criminality that have defied the regular police force and we will not allow PDP’s tantrum to deny us of the opportunity to be rid of these problems. We know for a certainty that there has been an upsurge in robberies, cultism and even more pressing are the ritualists that seem to have been on the upsurge. We believe that the nationwide Operation Python Dance, in addition to any other thing that the Army has in mind, would help deal with these issues besetting the south-west. When the operation takes place simultaneously, we expect it to be even more effective since it will not be possible for the criminal elements threatening the wellbeing of the country to escape from one part to the other.
“If the PDP is unable to come to terms with reality, it only needs to remind itself that a Boko Haram kingpin responsible for crimes in Abuja, Niger, Edo, Ondo and Kogi states was apprehended in Lagos. This is indicative of the extent to which criminals have spread across the country in their bid to escape from the heat that has been turned on them in the places where they once operated. We understand that the continuation of these crimes work fine for the PDP, which sees them as cheap campaign props. We will not waste time asking if the PDP is responsible for these crimes in order to use them for campaign.
“By the way, it is important to point out that many of these crimes are the extreme measures that the criminally minded part of the population resorted to when they are no longer being given the slush funds from what PDP government used to steal from our commonwealth. These are people that that have become used to being lazy and spending easy money. It is also on record that several of such people that have been apprehended by law enforcement have history with the PDP as the thugs they use for election rigging. It is therefore understandable that this party is worried that the military operation will incapacitate its rigging brigade up to a point that votes would count.
“We have also learnt that the PDP, being made up of a bunch of rabble-rousers, had perfected plans for its thugs to embark on nationwide violent protests once they lose at the poll. Some groups had said that these protests would be the basis for it to render the country ungovernable and request for the unthinkable to happen. If follows that this party would become jittery if Operation Python Dance would prevent hoodlums from taking over the streets. But we see this as a selfish reason to be critical of what the country sorely need at this point.
“We are using this opportunity to advise the PDP to dredge up its achievements as a onetime ruling party to convince Nigerians to vote it in the next elections instead of hallucinating fictitious rigging plot and spotting ghosts behind every shadow that flits past. Its obsession with the glaring loss awaiting it at the polls has gotten to a point where we think its leadership should seek professional help to cope with what is coming. It is a matter of time before they insinuate that the 2019 Budget is meant to rig the elections. In our view, what the PDP is looking for it is getting. He who has no evil intention has nothing to fear from Operation Python Dance. If the PDP has not empowered people with firearms and other dangerous weapons then it should not be afraid about what the military exercise will expose.
“For us in the south-west, we once pleaded with the Army to extend Operation Python Dance to our area to deal with the issues that we are having. The decision of the military to grant our wish is welcome and we do not want the fear harboured by the PDP to deny us of this opportunity. What we will like the PDP to do is to stop any shenanigans and face the reality.
“Our expectations are that Nigerians in other geo-political zones of the country will be supportive of the operation so that its success would greatly help to flush criminals out of the country”.