The bloody 2011 Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla in Niger state, has triggered angry reaction from Ndigbos, who have sworn to do everything possible to protect their kith and kin in Nigeria.
A group, Ogbunigwe Ndigbo, which described itself as an Igbo revolutionary movement, in a strongly worded statement yesterday declared war on the extremist Boko Haram sect, which claimed responsibility for the dastardly attack that killed 43 worshippers on Christmas day.
Apparently angered by the recent threat by Boko Haram giving Christian Southerners three day ultimatum to quit Northern states, the group asked all Northern Moslems in the South East to quit the region within two weeks , saying their safety could no longer be guaranteed.
“We have watched with pains in our hearts the massacre of our people in the northern part of Nigeria, and it is obvious that the federal government is not capable of protecting the lives and property of Ndigbo. The recent Christmas bombing has strengthened our resolve to raise arms and defend our people.
“Ogbunigwe Ndigbo is a counter terrorist group sworn to the protection of Ndigbo and to avenge any drop of blood of our brothers shed anywhere in Nigeria. We will use extreme violence to protect ourselves where necessary.
“We have watched the killing of our people all over the North by Boko Haram terrorist group, and we are declaring war on this group and any other group that sheds the blood of our people. We are not new in the act of defending our people, we have done it before and this time will not be an exception.
“We are going to target the sponsors of this inhumanity against our people. We will target their economic interests and their families. We will use every means possible to kill them and their corroborators, even if those corroborators are our people.
“Ndigbo will not continue to be guinea pigs in a country where we have laboured so much to build. Enough is enough. We have resolved to make this sacrifice even with our lives for the safety and freedom of our children unborn,” the group declared.
The statement, titled, “Enough is Enough” and signed by one “General Red Devil Nwokolo” as “Commander of the Peoples Army”, rolled out an action plan for the year to demonstrate the willingness and ability of the group to carry out its mission.
Though it opted to observe the whole of January as a period free of any action, Mr. Nwokolo said all Igbos nationwide are expected to boycott the purchase and eating of beef between February 1 and 10, as a way of punishing the economic interest of their oppressors, while they are to abstain from any form of work on February 13, as a demonstration of total disenchantment with the Christmas day bombing.
On February 14, the group said a bomb would be detonated in an undisclosed location in the country they consider safe, warning that subsequently such bombs would be targeted at financial infrastructures of the sponsors of Boko Haram and their immediate families.
While reminding Boko Haram and their sponsors that no group has a monopoly of violence, Ogbunigwe Ndigbo, whose logo is the picture of the local bomb used during the Biafran war, said it would continue to operate underground and would not hesitate to return fire for fire with any agency of government that seek to interfere with their programmes.
“We have been patient in for a long time and watch the security operatives treat violent Boko Haram members with kid gloves and diplomatic negotiations, while non-violent groups in the East, like MASSOB, is being hounded into detention and killed daily. He who makes peaceful resolutions impossible makes violent resistance inevitable. We will stop at nothing to redeem the labours and the blood of our past heroes. Until the last man and the last pint of blood. No retreat, no surrender,” it said.