What does the Nigerian Army, under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, intends to achieve with her ‘Operation Python Dance’ in the South East? Perhaps, he does not mean well for the Igbos in particular and Nigerians in general.
Not long ago, President Muhammadu Buhari claimed that he met with former Biafran warlord, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, in 2003, and they “both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united”.
I want to believe that Buhari actually wants the oneness and unity of Nigeria. However, should a country seeking to “remain one and united” approve of her army’s code of ‘Operation Python Dance’ to be used amongst the citizens, especially when there is no war?
At this time, in Nigeria’s history, peaceful terms should be employed to address any situation that has not yet degenerated into war.
Let’s say that the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has threatened to burn down Nigeria…the question should be, with what would he burn down the country? Again, one may yet ask, have you seen him with any weapons?
Are the leaders of Nigeria so poor that they cannot treat rhetorics as rhetorics, not as war? Does what is happening in the South East not akin to tyranny?
Do we really know what the operation (Python Dance or Egwu Eke) means?
For the avoidance of doubt, a python is a giant snake. It’s a serpent, and it does not dance. It only dances when it’s hungry and wants to eat.
When it dances, it ends up only smashing grasses, weak trees and anything that is close to its body to touch.
A python has no business dancing for humans beings, and within their territories. This is to avoid smashing them and their properties.
Now, what does a ‘python dance” mean, or how and why does a python dance?
Those, who are familiar with the DStv, must have seen a channel that shows everything about animals and other creatures (wild and domestic). It’s called the NatGeo Wild. I love this channel.
For those, who also manage to watch the channel, a lot of people do not like to watch it when it comes to the snakes’ documentaries.
In the case of a python, when it gets hungry, it goes out to look for some food (usually a prey). If it doesn’t see any prey very close, it breaks down into what seems like a dance move to attract the attention of preys like rabbits, rats etc. It does this by jiggling and shaking its body. As it does so, unsuspecting preys become hypnotised by watching it. While the prey in sight is hypnotised, the python will pounce to deliver a deadly strike at the prey. This, it does by twisting itself around the prey until it strangles the prey. Then, it settles to swallow the strangled prey for a meal.
Hence, a python’s dance is not an entertainment, or a self-defense. It is a bait, a trap, or a trick the python uses before it attacks, kills and swallows.
These are why we should, by all means, demand that the python takes its dance from the South East to the bush.
If the Nigerian Army must do the Python (Serpent) Dance, I know a good and very suitable place for her to take the dance to: The Sambisa Forest.
However Buratai came by that code name and its conclusion, the Python Dance is too mean a code name to use in a peaceful region like the South East. It’s a code name, which should be approved under the West African region’s ECOMOG or African Union (AU)’s peace keeping missions.
Instead of Operation Python Dance, what about Operation One Love? What happened to Operation Love Thy Neighbour? How about Operation Hope. What of Operation Let’s Talk or Dialogue?
Apart from the parks or wilds, the only other place pythons roam freely and ‘operate’ their dance is on the NatGeo Wild station on DStv Channel 182, not in the South Eastern Nigeria.