If you thought that kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he expired was horrific, then take a moment to reflect on the equally Floydian horror of pinning down the faces of scores of unarmed Igbo kids in muddy water by elements of the Nigerian army during Operation Python Dance 2 until they all expired and their bodies tossed into shallow graves.
Their crime was crying out for social justice in Nigeria by expressing a legitimate desire to leave Nigeria and form Biafra as a separate sovereign entity to bear their aspirations for equality and fair play.
In a world where black lives truly matter, the commanders and soldiers of Operation Python Dance 2 would be jailed for crimes against humanity. More than George Floyd’s lynching which was a hate crime, Operation Python Dance 2 was State sponsored lynching of Igbo kids standing on every footing with the Biafran genocide and really epitomizes the Igbo reality in Nigeria.
Ethnic hatred is deeply embedded in the Nigerian experience and it was the root cause of Biafran genocide. It was also the thinking behind using the military to extinguish legitimate political speech when mere police action would have been used elsewhere in the world, even in notorious tyranical enclaves.
After 50 years of bearing the brunt of ethnic hatred, deep seated resentment and total rejection of the Nigerian State has begun to simmer in Igboland with the likes of Nnamdi Kanu as one of its arrow heads. Make no mistake about it, Nnamdi Kanu champions the aspirations of many Igbos who have lost faith and confidence in ever attaining social justice with all the structural deficits that burden Nigeria.
The fault lines of division keep widening in Nigeria, being pressed further apart by simmering ethnic animosity and a nepotic government that gives no heed to fair play and inclusiveness.
Take a moment again to think about George Floyd and then think about the Igbo victims of Operation Python Dance 2. If visceral reactions are not welling up in you, then you are less than human. It was horrific. Everytime and everywhere a video of George Floyd’s lynching is played, a video of the lynching of Biafran boys during Python Dance 2 should be played.
Operation Python Dance 2 weighs with numbing horror on Kanu’s mind as a nightmare which could have been avoided had Nnia Nwodo as President General of Ohaneze, played his cards differently as far as Kanu was concerned. But the Igbo elite faults Nnamdi Kanu’s causal analysis on Python Dance. In fact, while ethnic hatred was the root cause of Operation Python Dance 2, the proximate cause of it was Kanu’s unguarded rhetoric capped by his widely circulated video of so called Biafran Security Service that conveyed the false impression that Kanu had formed a militia ready to attack Nigerian State. The Nigerian State seized on that pretext and felt duty bound to confront what it considered a growing insurgency and afterwards proscribed IPOB as a terrorist organization.
It’s all ethnic hatred rearing its ugly head and Nwodo had no hand in it. He simply managed it as best he could.
If anyone is to be blamed for Operation Python Dance and its aftermath, it is the Igbo elite who are quick to condemn President Trump for running a racist government but give a pass to Buhari and his sponsorship of vile and hateful murder of defenseless Igbo kids while Fulani herdsmen are rampaging all over the country, slashing, burning and slitting their way as the Nigerian army and police force and the Nigerian Judiciary look the other way.
If the Igbos had militia that did one infinitesimal fraction of what the Fulani herdsmen are doing today, without a doubt, Nigerian State would have continued the Biafran genocide from where they stopped. The senseless disparate treatment of Nigerians has to stop or Nigerians must go their separate ways.
Operation Python Dance 2 is the Igbo George Floyd experience. But unlike the United States where police reforms are being enacted to put an end to police brutality, the Igbo elite have not presented Python Dance 2 and its horrors to a world that must hear and must heed and must stop the ongoing genocide in Nigeria.