The Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Forum has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to halt the deployment of troops to the Southwest and Southeast.
This followed a communique issued by the Forum after a consultative meeting on Thursday in Abuja. According to the group, the military is invading state territories without invitation.
It especially condemned the recent Operation Python Dance, a show of force carried out by the Nigerian Army in the Southeast.
During the exercise, members of the now outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in a bid to foil alleged plot to apprehend their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, confronted troops in Umuahia, Abia state.
"We call on the Federal Government to always exercise restraint in the deployment of troops in quelling civil agitations, which is the responsibility of the police in any democracy,” the group said.
"Consequently, we call on the Federal Government to reconsider similar operations that the Army is embarking on in the Southwest and the South-South geopolitical zones, which are peaceful areas.
"We do not need these exercises, which are seen largely as sheer intimidation and baring of fangs.”
Also, the Forum said,“There is no gainsaying the fact that this is at the core of the many agitations across the country with some delving into separatist feelings;
Nigeria must therefore be grateful to those of us speaking in demand of restructuring of the federation for the restoration of the Federal principles enshrined in the 1960 and 1963 constitutions.”