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The recent Sharia-instigated riot in Kaduna State, which killed many Igbos and wreaked havoc to their properties and businesses, led to spontaneous rampage in Southern states where enraged mobs hounded and killed hundreds of persons who were believed to be Northern Moslems resident in the area. The initial spark of retaliatory violence started in Aba (Enyimba City) in Abia State and quickly spread to the contiguous states of Imo and Akwa Ibom. Before the situation could be brought under control by law enforcement authorities, an estimated 400 lives have been lost. This was the first time that the attack on Ndiigbo in the North has drawn instantaneous repercussions in Igbo heartland and elsewhere in the South.

It is easy to see that a new paradigm shift has taken place in the attitude of Ndiigbo toward perennial destruction of their lives and properties by supposed fellow citizen, especially in the North, for no justifiable reason. In a related development, the Ikemba Nnewi, the ex-Biafran Head of State, had admonished Ndiigbo to cease the habit of fleeing their places of domicile for the East as has been the case during recurrent national crises of the past decades. An unspoken doctrine appears to be in place now to ensure that everyone understands that an unprovoked attack on Ndiigbo anywhere in Nigeria will be matched with retaliatory strikes at both the location of the attack and elsewhere within the country as the situation warrants. The first test for the “Enyimba Doctrine” during the recent Sharia riots did not only get the immediate attention of Aso Rock but also it sent a clear warning to Northern political leaders to do something quickly to rein in their belligerent hordes or face predictable consequences whenever Ndiigbo are attacked again in their domain.

There are reports from many Igbo communities in various Nigerian states that Ndiigbo have been counseled to make necessary preparatory arrangements to ensure that the essence of the new “Enyimba Doctrine” is put in place in the locations where they reside and do their business activities. It should be recalled that Ndiigbo have been attacked on several occasions in Lagos by the notorious “Area Boys” who have relied on intimidation and violence to extort cash and other favors from Igbo traders in their midst. It is expected that future nuisance attacks by these hooligans will be effectively countered on the spot and appropriate steps will be taken to identify and deal decisively with their subterranean backers in high places.

The “Enyimba Doctrine” is not unlike the policy which the Israelis have used effectively to curtail the incessant attacks from their adversaries in Palestine. For Ndiigbo, the new doctrine is not only an added insurance to bolster their immediate security in this particularly turbulent phase of Nigerian history but its implementation in the coming months and years will certainly persuade our compatriots to seek civilized and peaceful means to live together as fellow citizens. During the Civil War, 1.5 million Biafrans, mostly Ndiigbo, lost their lives in a bid to maintain a united Nigeria. This generation has vowed to honor the sacrificial offerings of our kith and kin by affirming that Nigeria must continue to remain one and indivisible nation in which Ndiigbo must feel at ease and free to reside anywhere within its borders. This is the essence of the “Enyimba Doctrine”.

Osondu
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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