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”.