"Nature has made up her mind that what cannot defend itself, shall not be defended"
-Ralph Wado Emerson
In International peace study, there is something called Balance of Terror.
Balance of terror means that two parties have the capacity to inflict the same amount of terror on each other, which then now leads to Balance of Fear which automatically transforms into restraint and therefore peace.
The phrase was coined by Lester Pearson a Canadian Nobel peace prize winner and former Prime minister, in 1955.
This theory probably stopped a fourth world war during the Cuban missile crises when the US and the USSR realized they both had First and Second Strike nuclear capabilities.
This simply means, the ability to receive a nuclear attack and respond with the same amount of ferocity.
Premier Nikita Kruschev and President John Kennedy both decided to shield their swords knowing that an armed conflict between them will lead to a Mutual Assured Destruction ( MAD) during the Cuban Missile Crises in 1962.
For so many years Islamic hardliners have often hacked down either Christians or foreigners in their land at the slightest provocation especially in the northern part of Nigeria. This un-Islamic act has been ongoing for a long time and at times, the good Muslims become afraid to speak out.
These actions have continued and cases like the Gideon Akulaku who was beheaded and youths danced around with his head in Kano, came to mind. Every little provocation has led to killings in the north.
I remember when the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait led to the U.S. Invasion of Iraq. There was mass protest amongst anti-war and especially muslim communities around the globe.
In Nigeria, this protest also began in the north and on the fourth day of the war, over 300 Igbos and Christians had been hacked to death in northern parts of Nigeria as part of protest against the war.
The irony is that, as at that time, the war in Iraq had only killed 36 people. So 300 people were killed as protest in a war that had just killed 36 people!
With all the American SCUD missiles and Apache helicopters, the United States succeeded in killing only 36 people in Iraq, while fellow Nigerians with bows and arrows, machetes and clubs have obliterated 300 of their country men .
Julia Morley organized the first Miss world beauty pageant in Nigeria and the date coincidentally fell into during the month of Ramadan. There were lots of protests from some Islamic fundamentalists about holding such an event during the Ramdan in Nigeria.
Isioma Daniels, a young UK trained journalist working with ThisDay newspaper did an article on her weekend column where she tried to calm down frayed nerves . In her article, she asked fundamentalist muslims to calm down and then she said the 'unthinkable'. She reasoned that even Muhammed had many wives and all of them were beautiful women, and if this beauty pageant was held during his time, he would probably encouraged it and possibly married one of the girls.
All hell was let loose. The northern states erupted with riots and you know what riots meant in the north then. The usual suspects, igbos and Christians were turned to body bags . The killings and burning of churches continued for days .
The greatest shocker came from the then Deputy governor of Zamfara state. In what seemed to be an official endorsement of the riots, the Deputy governor actually publicly proclaimed a 'Fatwa' on Isioma Daniels.
ThisDay offices in the north were burnt down as killer gangs roamed the streets looking for the poor lady, while many more were killed as collateral damage .
Isioma Daniels was lucky to have been smuggled out of the country and since then she has never stepped her foot in Nigeria. Julia Morley and her Miss world group were also smuggled out of the country. It was a national shame for what is considered a secular state.
After these killings, an Igbo delegation led by then governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu went to the north and openly told northern leaders to stop these killings or Igbos will be forced to defend themselves or retaliate when they are attacked.
The next northen attacks in the north finally came and rumours had it that a trailer load of dead bodies where brought back to Onitsha and Aba, and a vicious retaliatory killings erupted in several igbo communities in the south east.
Thence came the balance of terror which metermophosed into balance of fear which therefore led to peace, up until the Boko Haram era.
When Boko Haram started in Nigeria, the initial targets were churches, Christians and police stations. I remember the vicious attacks at the Madalla church on Xmas day of 2011 where body parts were littered as far around as the roof of the church, and various other churches like Deeper Life, where Christians were wiped out in a church during a night vigil, Mountain of Fire in jos, so many churches and Christian communities.
I remember the case of how an Igbo Union in Adamawa state were holding a meeting on how to take back the bodies of their brothers killed by Boko Haram and they were attacked during the meeting.
The killers wiped away all of them including the pregnant wife of the town union president whose house the meeting was being held .
Due to the efforts of the Nigerian security forces, the Boko haram sect have been seriously decimated and their ability to strike civil populates have been reduced.
But today, the greatest menace is a more vicious and highly evasive group known as the Fulani herdsmen. They strike, disappear and live behind tears, sorrow and blood. They rip out intestines , butcher humans like cows, strangulate infants, burn down whole communities and escape without a trace.
It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that " Nature has made up her mind that what cannot defend itself, shall not be defended". This is the reason why these killers can keep striking deep in Igbo land without any form of fear. They noticed that the Igbos have lost the ability to protect themselves and strike back.
In Igbo land, the traditional security measure of Ndi-Nche ( Vigilantes) has either vanished or exists without adequate ammunitions.
The Igbos and other tribes falling victims to the herdsmen must realize that it is only when the herdsmen realize there will be consequences if they attack them, can they think twice about attacking any of these communities.
Many years ago, it was almost impossible for foreign invaders to kill with impunity in Igbo land, but Enugu has defied that. Most often the governor will go the scene and cry, then everything will become normal until they strike again.
I've often said that our security system in Nigeria is tailored to fail. The system where you send a Yoruba man to be chief of police in Kano and vice versa. In serious minded societies, it is not even state police that some people chant about, it is local government police. That's why we have Miami police and Orlando police all within a state like Florida. This is because serious communities understand that security must be home grown. The youths of Miami are the ones who grow up and make up the Miami police department. It is their land, they defend it with greater passion and commitment . They know the streets front and back, they know fishy characters and they watch out for new entrance who might cause trouble .
In addition to this proper structure of security in a country like the United States, many will be shocked that most US states still have armed vigilantes within.
Whilst I commiserate with the victims in Enugu whose gory pictures have assaulted my vision this past weekend, I urge the people to arise and set up an armed vigilante force that will tell invaders that there will be serious consequences when they are attacked.
The loud silence of the Federal Government us a clear message to these communities saying "We cannot help you, so you better wake up and live or sleep and die!"
Balance of fear is about the power of consequences. The fear of consequences is the only thing that guarantees peace.
May God bless Nigeria.
-FranklySpeaking; Contributor to Thelma Thinks on political and other matters.