Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the Operation Python Dance in the southeast region will not solve the problem of agitation.
The former president in an interview with Newsweek noted that military engagement was not the solution to the problem but dialogue.
There has been unrest in the region between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra led by Nnamdi Kanu and soldiers and Obasanjo argues that it is better to handle the situation diplomatically.
Obasanjo called on President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with Kanu before the social unrest degenerate into a full blown war.
He said: “Those who fought the war in Biafra will not want to fight any other war. I fought in the war. It’s an unfortunate war. I don’t want to see another war.
“The heavy boot is not the solution.
“I don’t see anything wrong in that [Buhari meeting with Kanu]. I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it.
“I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him, people of his age, [and ask:] ‘What are your worries?’ Not only from the southeast but from all parts of Nigeria.
“We are not dialoguing enough either at the local or international level”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian military categorized IPOB as a terrorist group.
The Defence Headquarters said following analysis by the military on the various activities of the group, the Armed Forces has profiled the IPOB as a terrorist organization.
The DHQ in a statement signed by the director of defence information John Eneche said after due professional development and recent developments and activities of the group, it has become important to notify the public that IPOB and its members are not as non-violent as they claim.
Eneche also warned parents and unsuspecting residents of the southeast and the general public to advice their wards against joining the group.