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More than that of any other ethnopolitical interest group in the country, the role of Ndiigbo has defined the history of modern Nigeria. From the drive to open up most parts of colonial Nigeria, struggle for Independence, intervention of military rule and the Civil War, the roles that Ndiigbo played have been pivotal in creating the nation that we have today. But such roles have collectively put Ndiigbo at vulnerable positions where they consistently have been made to bear more than their own share of the agony of nation building in a multiethnic society like ours. Igbo role in Biafra and thus the Civil War has defined the course of the Nigerian nation for more than 3 decades. For their role, Ndiigbo have often been utilized as the punching bag by the nation’s political leaders as well as other rival interest groups since the debacle of Biafra.

A leading think tank on Igbo affairs recently concluded a review of the future for Igbo nation, taking into account the experiences of the past 4 decades. The deliberations, amongst other issues, debated the options for Ndiigbo in Nigeria of the 21st Century. There were options 1 through 12 which delineated future relations that ranged from complete capitulation and resignation to the whims and caprices of rival groups, seeking dominance within the Nigerian state, revival of separatist struggle a la Biafra or the founding of a sovereign state for Ndiigbo out of the present Nigeria. Two camps developed during the deliberations, like thus: (a.) Remain as part of Nigeria and fight for domination (“Igbonization” of the country, in the pattern of the current Sharia goals by the Hausa/Fulani and (b.) Work toward breakup of the country by supporting the Yoruba-driven "Sovereign National Conference" strategy, and negotiating our freedom when that goal is achieved.

The highly emotional debate that tormented participants for days was eventually concluded by a compromise resolution which was termed Option 3B, since it was the amended version of option 3 in the list of 12.

Option 3B, which was unanimously approved and adopted reads: "Remain as part of Nigeria and fight for self-determination for Ndigbo (Utilizing all resources available to us to develop Igboland with the expectation that, if Nigeria disintegrates, an independent Igbo nation will be at parity with the North and West)".

Option 3B has provided the political template with which the BMP Committee and other Igbocentric groups are patterning their visions for a new Nigeria, as far as Ndiigbo are concerned. The choice of this option is based on the fact that Ndiigbo have made tremendous sacrifices for the Nigerian nation, especially during the Civil War. The only way to justify those sacrifices for posterity is to ensure that the blood of 1.5 million Biafrans, who perished in the struggle to keep Nigeria one, was not spilt in vain. The evolution of the novel “Enyimba Doctrine” is in consonance with the basic tenets and spirit of Option 3B.

Osondu
The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo

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