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|You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 12:10pm On Feb 22, 2012|
ABURI: THE “SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE” THAT GOT AWAY
World Re-known Historian
29th July 2003.
After Nigeria was dragged to the brink of the abyss by two military coups in 1966, its military leaders met to try to bring the country back from the brink. The meeting evolved into perhaps the best documented constitutional debate of all time which touched upon fundamental concepts regarding the balance of power between the central government and federating regions in a federation and professional soldiers’ outlook to military coups and seniority.
It was a potential breakthrough occasion. Between January 5th and 7th 1967, the memembers of that SMC. Following a second bloody army coup in July 1966, the mbers of Nigeria's then ruling military junta, the Supreme Military Council (SMC), met for the first time at Aburi in Ghana under the auspices of the Ghanaian Head of State: Lt-General Joe Ankrah. Ankrah was no stranger to coup plots as he had become Ghana’s first military Head of State after Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah was deposed in a coup while Nkrumah was abroad visiting China. Ankrah was later forced to resign in April 1969 after admitting his role in a bribery scandal.
Ankrah had served in the Congo during the UN peace-keeping mission there in the early 1960s and it is likely he personally knew the Nigerian soldiers (including Ironsi, Fajuyi, Ojukwu and Gowon) who served in the same mission. The meeting at Aburi was the first official meeting of all Military Governor of the eastern region of Nigeria: Lt-Colonel 'Emeka' Ojukwu had refused to attend any SMC meeting outside the eastern region of Nigeria due to concerns over his safety.
The massacre of tens of thousands of Igbos in northern Nigeria only heightened Ojukwu's sense of isolation and insecurity. In turn, Ojukwu's public distrust towards the SMC (whom he suspected of tacitly supporting, or having a hand in the massacres) served to antagonised the SMC, who began to suspect that Ojukwu was planning the secession of the eastern region from the rest of Nigeria.
The fashionable political theory being bandied about in Nigeria today is that a "Sovereign National Conference" (SNC) should be held to resolve the country’s constitutional problems and coup plotting culture. Many do not realise that Nigeria has already had half a dozen constitutional debates - none of which has ever resolved the nagging problems which have dogged Nigeria from independence till today.
Nigeria has wasted billions of Naira on constitutional debates and constitutions that are no longer in use, and a future SNC is unlikely to discuss anything that has not already been covered in the previous constitutional debates. Ironically the best recorded of these constitutional debates was never implemented, and Nigeria has been paying the price since. To plan for the future Nigeria might do well to go back into its archives and learn from the "SNC" which it has already had.
THE ONE AMBITIOUS MAN AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY QUOTE.
In the months preceding Aburi the SMC and Ojukwu had engaged in a war of words with the two sides trading multiple accusations and blaming each other for causing or exacerbating the crisis. The Military Governor of the north: Lt-Colonel Hassan Usman Katsina dismissed Ojukwu's confident and eloquent public statements on the crisis as attempts by Ojukwu "to show how much English he knows or learned at Oxford".
As far as Katsina was concerned, Nigeria's problem was a stand-off "between one ambitious man and the rest of the country". Throughout the six months following the coup of July 29th 1966, Ojukwu repeated his mantra that "I, as the Military Governor of the east cannot meet anywhere in Nigeria where there are northern troops". That virtually ruled out an SMC meeting inside Nigeria's borders. Ojukwu had even turned down offers to attend an SMC meeting on board a British (whom Ojukwu, and Igbos in general did not entirely trust) naval ship, and at Benin, but was finally convinced to attend in the neutral territory of Aburi in Ghana. Ojukwu's aides (WHICH INCUDES MY FATHER/AN UNCLE)were not without doubt.
Some warned him that the Aburi meeting could be a trap set by anti-Igbo members of the Federal Government to arrest or kill him. Ojukwu brushed aside their concerns by pointing out that he had received a guarantee of safe passage from Lt-Colonel Gowon, and that he had to trust Gowon's word as an officer and a gentleman. Virtually everything discussed at that Aburi conference is relevant till today. So much so that a reader would be tempted to believe that the discussion was on Nigeria's current problems, rather than over 40 years earlier, in 1967.
It is probably the best recorded constitutional debate in history. Aware that something momentous was occurring, the Ghanaians had the conference tape recorded. The tape of the discussions was later released by Ojukwu as a series of six long playing gramophone records.
In attendance on the Nigerian Federal Military Government (FMG) side were:
NAME & POSITIONS
Lt-Colonel Yakubu Gowon: Head of the SMC*
Commodore Joseph Akinwale Wey: Head of the Nigerian Navy
Colonel Robert Adeyinka Adebayo: Military Governor of the western region
Lt-Colonel Hassan Usman Katsina: Military Governor of the northern region
Lt-Colonel David Akpode Ejoor: Governor of mid-west region
Major Mobolaji Johnson: Military Governor of Lagos
Alhaji Kam Selem: Inspector-General of Police
Timothy Omo-Bare: Police Affairs
Official Eastern delegation:
Col Emeka Ojukwu (Only): Governor of South East
(*Head of the SMC as Ironsi’s whereabouts were “unknown”)
Ojukwu was in attendance as the eastern region's Military Governor. The FMG delegation arrived "wreathed in smiles" and anxious to mollify their former brother-in-arms Ojukwu. Colonels Adebayo and Gowon even offered to embrace Ojukwu. However Ojukwu was still stung by the terrible massacres of his Igbo kinsmen in northern Nigeria the previous year and was in no mood to embrace his former colleagues. The contrast in the demeanor of the participants was in itself a microcosm of what took place over the course of the next two days. While the federal delegation behaved as if the Aburi conference was a social gathering to reunite former friends who had fallen out in a social tiff, Ojukwu saw the conference for what it really was: a historic constitutional debate that would determine Nigeria's future social and political structure.
Typically, western world’s perspective was focused on image, rather than on the genuine problems of the protagonists. As secret diplomatic dispatches later declassified by the United States State Department depicted the FMG-eastern region stand-off as a personality clash between Ojukwu and Gowon. According to the American perspective: "many Americans admire Ojukwu. We like young, intelligent and romantic leaders, and Ojukwu has panache, quick intelligence and an actor's voice and eloquent/fluency. The contrast with Gowon - troubled by the enormity of his task, not Bottom educated, painfully earnest and slow to react, hesitant and repetitive in speech - led some Americans to view the Nigerian-Biafran conflict as a personal duel between two mismatched individuals".
As they were busy fighting in Vietnam and fighting a "cold war" against the USSR, the Americans did not become militarily or politically involved in the dispute. Instead, treating the conflict as one falling within Britain's sphere of influence.
THE REUNION OF FORMER COLLEAGUES
The Ghanaian host Lt-General Ankrah made a few introductory remarks and reminded his guests that "the whole world is looking up to you as military men and of there is any failure to reunify or even bring perfect understanding to Nigeria as a whole, you will find that the blame will rest with us through the centuries".
Ankrah added that although he understood that the eastern region/rest of Nigeria stand-off was an internal matter for Nigerians, they should not hesitate to ask him for any help should they feel the need. Although Commodore Wey played an avuncular role, the discussion revolved around the younger Colonels: Adebayo, Ejoor, Katsina, Ojukwu. and Gowon.
Ojukwu showed from the beginning that he was prepared for serious business. He arrived at the conference armed with detailed notes, and army of secretaries. The extent of Ojukwu’s pre-preparation is shown by the fact that he gave the other debaters copies of documents he had prepared in advance, which enunciated his ideas. The other debaters should have realised at this point, that something serious was going to occur. After the hostility and bitterness that preceded the Aburi meeting, the civilian observers were stunned at the camaraderie displayed by the military officers. The debaters threw off formality and addressed each other by their first names: "Emeka", "Bolaji", "Jack" (nickname of Lt-Colonel Gowon) were thrown around as if addressing each other in at a social gathering. One of Ojukwu’s secretaries was amazed to observe that “the meeting went on in a most friendly and cordial atmosphere which made us, the non-military advisers, develop a genuine respect and admiration for the military men and their sense of comradeship. The meeting continued so smoothly and ended so successfully…, that I for one, was convinced that among themselves, the military had their own methods”.
Ojukwu decided to show his good faith, and to test the good faith of the others by asking all present to renounce the use of force to settle the crisis. Ojukwu's motion was accepted without objection. While this request by Ojukwu may sound very noble, he was in fact playing a cunning soldier-politician. Ojukwu (despite his boasts of the eastern region's military prowess) realised that he could not succeed in a military campaign against the far more heavily armed FMG. By getting them to renounce the use of force, Ojukwu was trying to negate the FMG's military advantage. For he knew that if the political situation eventually got out of control, the FMG would find it difficult to resort to a military campaign having already given their word that they would not use force. This may have been an influential factor in Gowon's subsequent reluctance to engage the eastern region in a fully fledged war.
The assembled military officers struck a chord in unison on the subject of politicians. All of them voiced their contempt for the behaviour of civilian politicians whom they blamed for the wholesale bloodletting of the previous years (ignoring the fact that more Nigerian civilians had been murdered by politically motivated violence, in the one year of military rule so far, than in the preceding five years of civilian democratic rule). Commodore Wey slammed the point home rather forcefully when he declared that "Candidly if there had ever been a time in my life when I thought somebody had hurt me sufficiently for me to wish to kill him it was when one of these fellows [politicians] opened his mouth too wide".
Despite Ironsi’s murder six months earlier, no public announcement regarding his death had been made and his whereabouts were still presumed unknown, although most of the SMC definitely knew he was dead. Gowon’s regime had eerily repeated the mistake made by Ironsi himself: failing to publicly acknowledge the army officers killed in a coup d’etat.
By not announcing Ironsi’s death, Gowon also made his own position tenuous and gave Ojukwu the opportunity to reason that since the Supreme Commander Ironsi was “missing”, only the officer directly behind Ironsi in army seniority could replace him as Supreme Commander. Major Mobolaji Johnson encapsulated the issue that the east was steadfastly refusing to recognize Gowon as Head of State while the other regions accepted him (albeit tentatively in the case of the west): “The main problem now is that as far as the east is concerned, there is no central government. Why? This is what we must find out. …, For all the east knows the former Supreme Commander [Ironsi] is only missing and until such a time that they know his whereabouts they do not know any other Supreme Commander. These are the points that have been brought out by the east.”
Ojukwu demanded that Gowon make a categorical public statement on the fate of Ironsi. Ejoor supported this by flatly requesting “we want to know what happened to Ironsi and Fajuyi”. Despite Ojukwu’s request for an announcement, most, if not all the participants already knew that Ironsi had been murdered. But the surprising fact was the silent of the Yoruba personnels in the meeting , knowing the fact that their brother Fajuyi was also declared missing.
Gowon was informed of the death of Ironsi and Fajuyi not long after they had been killed. Gowon’s ADC Lt William Walbe was one of the junior northern soldiers that led Ironsi and Fajuyi into a bush alongside Iwo road outside Ibadan and murdered them there. Colonel Adebayo had ordered a search for their bodies, which were eventually discovered by the police. The head of the police Kam Selem would have been informed when his men discovered the bodies.
Although Ojukwu was several hundred miles away in the east when Ironsi and Fajuyi were murdered, he likely would have had the story of their death relayed to him by one of Ironsi’s ADCs Captain Andrew Nwankwo who was captured along with Ironsi and Fajuyi but managed to escape moments before they were shot. Nwankwo eventually managed to find his way back to the east.
Commodore Wey acknowledged that all the debaters already knew what happened to Ironsi. Ojukwu simply wanted Gowon to publicly acknowledge what the SMC members already knew: that Ironsi was dead. Ojukwu later acknowledged that “I heard the rumour that he [Ironsi] had been assassinated, so I began making contacts because I wanted to force them out in the open so that we could start dealing with the real situation.”
Gowon agreed to make a public announcement, and Kam Selem concurred, although he counselled that “the statement should be made in Nigeria so that the necessary honour can be given”.
The soldiers agreed to make a public statement formally announcing Ironsi’s death shortly after they returned to Nigeria, and at this point, the microphones were switched off and the civilians were asked to leave the room. Gowon then narrated the grisly tale of how Ironsi and Fajuyi had been abducted from State House in Ibadan by junior northern soldiers (including Gowon’s ADC Lt Walbe) standing right behind them, driven out to an isolated bush outside Ibadan and shot there.
COUP PLOTTERS: OJUKWU'S PROPHECY
When Ojukwu expressed his disgust over the murder of Igbo army officers by their northern colleagues in July 1966, Lt-Colonel Katsina interjected by asking Ojukwu why he had not reacted with the same revulsion when senior northern military officers were murdered by Igbo soldiers seven months earlier. Ojukwu now explained and reasoned that against th falsehood been spread but in January 1966, soldiers from every region of the federation (Nzeogwu: Mid-West, Ifeajuna-East, Ademoyega: West, Kpera: North) had staged a coup in which soldiers and politicians from every region of the federation (Akintola: West, Balewa: North, Unegbe: East, Okotie-Eboh: Mid-West) were also killed.
Whereas when northern soldiers staged a revenge coup in July, soldiers from one region of the federation only (North: Danjuma, Murtala, Martin Adamu etc) singled out soldiers from one region in the federation as their targets. Katsina took this opportunity to remind Ojukwu of the effort he had put in to prevent the murder of Igbos. Katsina told Ojukwu that "If you know how much …we have tried to console the people to stop all these movements and mass killings, you will give me and others a medal tonight."
Despite agreeing to attend the conference, Ojukwu was still refusing to recognize Lt-Colonel Gowon as Nigeria's Head of State. Ojukwu had defiantly continued to address Gowon as the "the Chief of Staff (Army)" (the post which Gowon occupied before the July counter-coup) in his public statements. Ojukwu was alarmed at the ascension of Gowon to the highest office in the land despite the presence of several other officers who were more senior than him (Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe, Commodore J.E.A. Wey, Colonel Adebayo, Lt-Colonels Hilary Njoku, Phillip Effiong, George Kurubo, Ime Imo, Conrad Nwawo and Lt-Colonels Ejoor and Ojukwu who were promoted to Lt-Colonel in the same week as Gowon).
Ojukwu almost prophetically warned that allowing a middle ranking officer backed by coup plotters to become the Head of State irrespective of seniority would create a dangerous precedent which Nigeria would find difficult to emerge from in future. He told Gowon that "any break at this time from our normal line would write in something into the Nigerian army which is bigger than all of us and that thing is indiscipline, How can you ride above people's heads purely because you are at the head of a group who have their fingers poised on the trigger? If you do it you remain forever a living example of that indiscipline which we want to get rid of because tomorrow a Corporal will think, he could just take over the company from the Major commanding the company…".
Ojukwu's warning was of course not heeded and his prediction that junior officers would in future overthrow their superior officers proved prophetic. The NCOs and Lieutenants that shot Gowon to power graduated into the Colonels that overthrew him exactly nine years later. The remnants of the same offiers, now as Brigadiers, overthrew the elected civilian government of Shehu Shagari on the last day of 1983, and later removed Major-General Buhari from power in 1985.
Ojukwu's impassioned monologue at Aburi could serve as an anti coup plotter thesis. He continued to Gowon "you announced yourself as Supreme Commander. Now, Supreme Commander by virtue of the fact that you head or that you are acceptable to people who had mutinied against their commander, kidnapped him and taken him away? By virtue of the support of officers and men who had in the dead of night murdered their brother officers, by virtue of the fact that you stood at the head of a group who had turned their brother officers from the eastern region out of the barracks they shared?".
THE STAR OF THE SHOW
It was obvious to the non military observers of the Aburi conference that Ojukwu "was clearly the star performer. Everyone wanted to please and concede to him". On the federal side, only the Military Governor of the Northern Region: Lt-Colonel Hassan Usman Katsina, seemed to realize the significance of what was going on. Anxious not to allow Ojukwu's domination of the proceedings to continue for too long, he at one point dared Ojukwu to "secede, and let the three of us (West, North, Mid-West) join together".
Alarmed by talk of a possible break-up of Nigeria, Ankrah quickly interjected and told his guests that "There is no question of secession when you come here [Ghana]". Although the FMG delegation was keen to mollify and make concessions to Ojukwu, Lt-Colonel Katsina was hostile and blunt than his other colleagues. He declared matter of factly to Ojukwu: "You command the east, if you want to come into Nigeria, come into Nigeria and that is that".
THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATE
Back then as now, each region of Nigeria was petrified of domination by other regions. No region of the federation was keen to adopt a course which would concentrate too much power at the hands of Nigeria's central government. Even Gowon acknowledged this (and unwittingly played into Ojukwu's hands) by admitting that he would "I would do away with any decree that certainly tended to go towards too much centralisation". Ojukwu pounced on the central powers theme and remarked that "Centralisation is a word that stinks in Nigeria today. For that 10,000 people have been killed” (this figure was later revised up to 30,000, and then 50,000). The clash, and ill defined relationship between Nigeria's central and regional governments has been the greatest source of political bloodletting in the country's history. It led indirectly to the gruesome "religious" clashes that resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians over the introduction of Sharia law in some northern states in 2000. It led to the civil war in which over a million civilians died. It led to the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa after he agitated for greater self determination for his Ogoni people.
Using his "skilful histrionics and superior intellectual adroitness", Ojukwu managed to get the other Colonels to understand, and share his reasoning: that in order to keep Nigeria together as one nation, its constituent regions first had to move a little further apart from each other. Ojukwu used a metaphor to explain his reasoning: “It is better that we move slightly apart and survive, it is much worse that we move closer and perish in the collision.”
This may have been a paradox, but the Colonels accepted the logic of Ojukwu's argument. The problem then (as it still is in Nigeria today) is that Nigeria is so large, diverse and unwieldy that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find a leader who can elicit popularity and a following throughout, or most of the country. Amazingly Gowon accepted Ojukwu's thesis without really understanding the constitutional implications of what he was agreeing to.
Gowon was effectively sanctioning measures which would paralyse his own powers. Lt-Colonel Katsina and Colonel Adebayo also agreed and were attracted to the concept of regional autonomy. Adebayo agreed so enthusiastically that he advocated a “repeal [of] those Decrees that were passed after 15th January, 1966 but I think we should revert to what the country was as at 14th January, 1966, that is regional autonomy”.
Ojukwu envisaged a titular Head of State that would act only with the concurrence of the various regional governments: "what I envisage that whoever is at the top is a constitutional chap - constitutional within the context of the military government. That is, he is a titular head, but he would only act where, say when we have met and taken a decision".
Having got what he wanted Ojukwu was not content with the agreement to be an oral one (even though it had been taped). He insisted that “we must write it down in our decisions quite categorically that the legislative and executive authority of the Federal Military Government shall be vested in the Supreme Military Council because previously it had been vested in the Supreme Commander”.
The reason for this nuanced request from Ojukwu is that Gowon was now the Supreme Commander. By vesting official authority in the SMC (of which Ojukwu was a member) rather than the Supreme Commander Gowon, Ojukwu could ensure that no official decisions could be taken without his consent. To signify the limited powers that would be exercised by the Head of State envisaged, Ojukwu proposed that the diluted phrase "Commander-in-Chief" should be used to address the Head of State as opposed to "Supreme Commander" (a phrase signifying immense power). The title "Commander-in-Chief" has been employed by every Nigerian Head of State subsequent to Aburi.
While the other delegates arrived at Aburi with a simple, but unformulated idea that somehow, Nigeria must stay together, "Ojukwu was the only participant who knew what he wanted, and he secured the signatures of the SMC to documents which would have had the effect of turning Nigeria into little more than a customs union".
Ojukwu managed to get virtually everything he wanted, and was so pleased by his success that he even declared that he would serve under Gowon if he (Gowon) kept to the agreements reached. At that point, Gowon arose from his table position and embraced Ojukwu.
The fulcrum of the agreement at Aburi was that each region would be responsible for its own affairs, and that the FMG would be responsible for matters that affected the entire country: a simple enough concept. Afterwards the officers toasted their reconciliation and agreement with champagne.
The federal delegation's jubilation was such that on his plane flight home, Ojukwu asked one of his secretaries whether the federal delegation had fully understood the implications of what had been agreed.
Hindsight tells us that no one at Aburi (other than Ojukwu) really understood the constitutional implications of what had been agreed. Ojukwu was obviously delighted with this - hence why he was in such a hurry to implement the decisions taken, and why the Federal Government had to renege on them.
Some have argued that Ojukwu took the SMC for a ride by using his superior intelligence to trap the SMC officers into an agreement they did not understand. Ojukwu was engaged in a constitutional debate by himself against five military officers, and two police officers, yet still got his way. He can hardly be faulted for outwitting opponents that outnumbered him by seven to one. Questions might be asked of the other SMC members of greater numerical strength who allowed Ojukwu to extract such substantial concessions from them.
A CONSTITUTION IN WAITING
By failing to implement the Aburi decisions, Nigeria missed a golden opportunity to find a constitutional arrangement acceptable to all of its constituent parts. Had even half of the Aburi accords being ratified, Nigeria may have saved itself a substantial amount of the subsequent bloodshed that ensued over the next four decades.
It is a sad commentary on the lack of progress that Nigeria has made since Aburi that the issues discussed then (over 40 years ago years ago) are still being argued over today. Back in 1967, the Aburi decisions were not implemented for one primary reason: oil.
Nigeria's greedy power brokers did not want a loose constitutional arrangement that would deprive them of the vast revenues which Nigeria earns from its crude oil exports. Hence Nigeria is glued together under a powerful central government of a type more suitable to a country with contiguous ethnicity.
Nigeria is quite simply too large, too diverse, and too fractious a country to have an all powerful central government of the type it has today. Across Nigeria, there are groups agitating for greater devolvement of federal power to the regions. Although the mantra of these groups is "restructuring" of the Nigerian federation - what they really intend is what Ojukwu wanted to achieve at the Aburi conference in 1967: a constitutional arrangement that would devolve so much power to the regions that the entity known as Nigeria would exist in name only.
Rather than engaging in another constitutional drafting/conference exercise at which will waste more taxpayers' money, and serve as a means for corrupt "big men" to get even richer, Nigeria would do well to dip into its archives and review the transcript of the debate at Aburi which is gathering dust in the national archives.
The debate transcript is sufficiently detailed to serve as a constitution in waiting. To learn from the debates and mistakes of the past may ensure a better future for Nigeria. What Nigeria needs is a "constitutional chap" of the type envisaged by Ojukwu back at Aburi. As Ojukwu said “It is better that we move slightly apart and survive, it is much worse that we move closer and perish in the collision.”
This will be an eye opener for many naive young generation Nigeria that had been lied to about Nigeria. They can now see that the person being presented to them as Emeka Ojukwu is far from the real person. He was a man of vision, courageous and foresight.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 12:38pm On Feb 22, 2012|
I published this few years ago and decided to publish again because of the the recent glamourous call for SNC by every Dickson and Harry, especially the socalled southern Nigerians. I cooled off from this Nairaland for whhile for personal reason but had to post this again to remind young Nigerians especially "Yoruba" who use every excuse to justify the mistakes of their father between 1966-70. The salt of a an is based on realising your folly and correct it, instead of wallowing on it because its too hard to say that I was wrong.
Its painful to me personally when this socalled southerners jaundice on their call for a SNC or shamefully romanticing about a possible Southern Republic of all sorts and then in another issue , they will disrspect our noble Ikemba and all Biafrans (Not just Igbos).
Its no secret, Nigeria of 2012 was a creation of those that use to happily call themselves Northerners and the Yorubas. Why they are not in love with their on creation today baffles me. They started with their creation of states, which was a big mistake but its original intention was to divide and rule the former Old East and was very successful using the lies of Enahoro, Saro Wiwa and Ed Clarke etc, but later it becomes a tool of stealing oil wealth that belongs to to other people.
Those with conscience will read this Aburi's minutes and thinks like humans, while others, very predictably will read and behave like typical Nigerians, bury their head in the sand of tribalism and wallow in their ignorance
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by aribisala0(m): 1:12pm On Feb 22, 2012|
THESE ARE NOT "MINUTES"
This is a narrative by someone who does not appear to have been present( I stand to be corrected)
Normally "Minutes" are AGREED by ALL parties or if agreement not possible then dissenting views also added.#
I am not saying they are accurate or not. I don't know but it is MISLEADING to call this offering "MINUTES"
Minutes are a FACTUAL account of what happened at a meeting.
What you supplied is full of OPINION and ANALYSIS and cannot be "MINUTES"
e.g"Ojukwu was the only participant who knew what he wanted,
Ojukwu's warning was of course not heeded and his prediction that junior officers would in future overthrow their superior officers proved prophetic. The NCOs and Lieutenants that shot Gowon to power graduated into the Colonels that overthrew him exactly nine years later. The remnants of the same offiers, now as Brigadiers, overthrew the elected civilian government of Shehu Shagari on the last day of 1983, and later removed Major-General Buhari from power in 1985
is this part of minutes?
IT IS CLEAR THERE IS A MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE MEANING OF THE WORD "minutes"
What we have here in this thread is a monumental fraud by the poster telling us these are minutes when they are NOT
Then goes on to tell us he "PUBLISHED" it previously when the correct term is "REPRODUCED"
Ultimately this is ONE account of events among the controversial MANY accounts and quite why this account is to be preferred to others is UNCLEAR
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by BlackPikiN(m): 1:21pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Oga Eziachi, Hw body?
HappY New Year o.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by aribisala0(m): 1:21pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Eziachi:really incomprehensible verbiage. keep it simple and intelligible
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 1:57pm On Feb 22, 2012|
aribisala0:Simplicity is in the intellect of the consumer, while intelligent, you dare not recognise even when lodge in your nose. Excuse is the is food for low unrepentant sardists. Hence the word or point you can recognised as important from the whole point is simple, MINUTES!!!!!!
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by ofala(m): 1:59pm On Feb 22, 2012|
The fact is that many that have realized the truth will NOT openly admit it but what will note be wished away is the fact that Ikemba saw all these 40 years ago and tried to patriotically stop it. Ikemba is one of the most de-tribalised Nigerian that had ever lived. I am not saying this for anyone to believe but it is the TRUTH, Now look at it this way,a lot of never-do-well children that have access to cheap internet will soon come here to say what they don't knoe or what they were told told but before they bring their cross, I want to ask how many of then had successfull done ANYTHING positive for Nigeria, With so much passion for our Country,I want to ask those that knew me in Jos why they had to attack us when we were employing thousands of Northerners in a farming venture that the Platuea State government adjudged to be the 'first of such in Jos', I came back with my life and who are the loosers? THE SAME NORTH! Without trying to divert the discussion here, let us start now to tell ourselves the truth without sentiment and find ways of living together in agreed principles, We will be greater as one Nigeria but some sections will learn to STOP THESE SENSELESS KILLINGS as we are experiencing today. When 'they' came searching for me in 2009 in jos for no sins of mine,little did they know that God who directed my footsteps to Jos was Divinely guiding me. My Norther driver that was supposed to take me to the airport was murdered but fortunately for me I made two exit plans, One via the airport and the other, via the back of a truck carrying carrots, As they opened fire on my driver and couldn't see me inside the car,what then prompted them to go to my house and still killed two Northers who were my security? I have to relay this to further open up our brothers eyes who keeps saying we aren't hated. How cab you desire to kil somebody who came to your place, employs hundreds of your people daily and even constructed two boreholes in the community. I believe in Nigerian but please my brothers and sisters,let us not keep repeating the lies and deceits, Has anyone asked how the Norther Nigerian will grow economically after all these maddening killings of innocent people? Just google up Norther Nigeria and come back to comment. Nigeria would have been much better today if our forefathers and the likes of Gowon saw reasons to restructure Nigeria 40 years ago. Who is deceiving who? I have a Northern gateman now in the South who is living very happily with us but why is it so so hard for the Northers to stop killing Southerners? I rest my case but above all Ikemba came,saw and fought for Justice,the same justice that is being sought in Nigeria till date.May God bless Nigeria
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 1:59pm On Feb 22, 2012|
BlackPikiN:Body is still inside the clothe. How about you, hope you are keeping well?
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Sam Milla(m): 2:01pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Another great quote from ikemba. "it is better to stay apart and succeed than to come together and perish in the collission." exactly what is happening tpday.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by nagoma(m): 2:03pm On Feb 22, 2012|
History according to the Igbos ? " Ojukwu used his superior intelligence to, "
Very objective indeed! No one will take a second look at this recycled crap.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by bjdon: 2:11pm On Feb 22, 2012|
It would seem it is Igbo people who contiune to wallow in self-pity and hatred for everyone else. Get over yourselves. Every tribe in Nigeria has blood on it's hand and has offended others. The only question now is how do we move forward and maybe, just maybe hand over a developing stable nation to our children. Give the victimhood a rest please.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by aribisala0(m): 2:13pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Not all Igbos are like that .Honestly I never met any before NL
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 2:16pm On Feb 22, 2012|
nagoma:How funny no one will take a second you but the you the writer did took a second look, hence you bother to post a reply. The same people romancing now of getting rid of northerners or even having the cheek of calling for a Southern Nigerian republic. Not long ago, the slogan was: "One indivisible nation" "We have no other nation except Nigeria".
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by KINGwax(m): 2:21pm On Feb 22, 2012|
aribisala0:nicely elucidated. So much brain dn d OP whom in his case is so obsessed wit their leader and painted him a better man.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by aribisala0(m): 2:22pm On Feb 22, 2012|
The word MINUTES is FUNDAMENTAL to your thread. Pity you do not get it. Do not forget that YOU invited me from another thread to come and read this!!!
My guy you are not right in the head!!
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by akanawu(m): 2:24pm On Feb 22, 2012|
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|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 2:26pm On Feb 22, 2012|
bjdon:Its a known fact that no one like been reminded of their folly and its understandable when it gets on their nerve. Dress the issue based on what was in the post and not your well known feeling about Igbos. Moving forward in Nigeria is what we have heard for more than 50 years but you still haven't moved a metre. Your idea of handing any sort of Nigeria to your children is like giving them a scorpion for a birthday present, as the one your fathers handed to you is in a mess.
Victimhood? Naaa! We are just happy to remind you lot, about the Nigeria you and your fathers created, just that you prefer that we keep quiet and join the useless mantra of moving forward. But Aint gonna happen.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Eziachi: 2:40pm On Feb 22, 2012|
KINGwax:ONLY a fool is not happy to show off his worthy asset. Time, events etc has proved that Ikemba is a one-off good asset whom very human with non tainted Nigerian tribalistic blood should respect and be proud off.
For his visionary, no stealing from the masses but rather gives his to the masses. In a wonderful land called Nigeria, that is not tolerated.
Ikemba won't be the first or the last leader lovers of good thing should obsessed with, it part of human character. For once, a prophet is being recognised in his own land and foreigners like you are not happy about it. Its not our fault. Am also obsessed with another visionary man called Ayodele Awojobi.
Sorry, no apologies.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by KINGwax(m): 2:50pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Eziachi:it's like u really don't undstnd how much folly u've displayed by answerin every who opposed ur obsession. Mayb u lack d true undstndin of obsession. It simply means d state of occupyin your mind COMPLETELY wit thoughts of ONE PARTICULAR THING OR PERSON so dt YOU CANNOT THINK OF SOMETHING ELSE. You're a slowpoke
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Okija_juju(m): 2:51pm On Feb 22, 2012|
This is not a minute, this is simply an article. . . . And to be fair, seems rather one-sided as it focuses so much on Ojukwu to the extent of calling his comments "Prophesies". . . .
Like Aribisala said, this is not to dispute the truthfulness of the article, but without a doubt, this is an unbalanced and biased report.
Alusi OkijaTM THE gods are not to blame, cos the gods are wise. . . . .
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by bisiaet: 2:58pm On Feb 22, 2012|
So what Meaning what? Who cares This is not a minute its an episode or may I call it a book. Living in the past is a terrible nightmare. Aburi, Aburo, Abura or whatever no longer relevant its gone and gone for final, guys move on Aburi issue is now an history because att the of this all some greazy head on Nairaland will digress this topic to Tribal war or to Biafra nonsense again thereby heating up the house unecessarily.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by KINGwax(m): 3:06pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Okija_juju:watch your back. The ikemba-obsessed madman, eziachi will be on your trail soon. Be warned!
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by aribisala0(m): 3:10pm On Feb 22, 2012|
You cannot move on without history.
There are all kinds of history
For a car service history e.g
A man his
CV is history also
medical history,intimate history, offending history etc
Fuel subsidy has its own history as does Brazil in Football History etc
The Ipad has history which will influence the future
The issue is not to delete history but to what utility it is deployed.Everything has its place and time. One needs to know WHICH history to use WHERE and WHEN
There are many of us who sympathize with the aspiration for Biafra but unfortunately it is impossible to find common ground with fanatics whose thinking is in absolute and dichotomous terms and do not distinguish between ideational dissenters and enmity.Their tragedy is they have only ONE idea if indeed it amounts to that
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by yemmy_ma: 3:18pm On Feb 22, 2012|
@Op, it seems you did not go to school. You are probably sitting with a dictionary by your side merging incongruent words together and leave out sense in your composition.
If you want to know more about Ojukwu, well here you are. Note the highlighted
When Biafra's military resistance collapsed, Ojukwu fled to Côte d'Ivoire.
Efiong assumed leadership in this situation of turmoil, starvation, and collapse. He became Head of State of Biafra on 8 January 1970 and on 12 January announced surrender.
At the time of the surrender, Efiong believed that the situation was hopeless and that prolonging the conflict would have led only to the further destruction and starvation of the people of Biafra. At that time Effiong said, "I am convinced now that a stop must be put to the bloodshed which is going on as a result of the war. I am also convinced that the suffering of our people must be brought to an immediate end."
Nnaemeka L. Aneke wrote, "General Efiong’s handling of Biafra’s surrender is one of the most tactical and devoted maneuvers ever seen on the Nigerian scene. Those who do not appreciate the depth of it may not have appreciated what was at stake as Biafra capitulated." Many observers had expected wholesale retribution at war's end.
In a 1996 interview, Efiong reflected on those events:
I have no regrets whatsoever of my involvement in Biafra or the role I played. The war deprived me of my property, dignity, my name. Yet, I saved so many souls on both sides and by this, I mean Biafra and Nigeria. . . .
I felt that I played a role which has kept this country united till today. . . .
At the end of it all when I saw they (Biafran soldiers) could no longer continue and Ojukwu had fled, I did what was ideal after wide consultation . . . 
Efiong died 6 November 2003, at the age of 78 less than two weeks before his 79th birthday.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by houvest: 3:20pm On Feb 22, 2012|
Funny how folks try to wallow in denial. So all the message for Nigeria's survival the Aburi accord has to give to some reallywell bosom-fed Nigerians is a resort to play on semantics of minutes or no minutes. How shallow can these guys get to remain in the ostrich status of doggedly burying their heads in the sand. Shall we wait for Godut for this bizarre and grotesque approach to life by these folks comes to an end?
I am glad that we have the Soyinkas, Fani-Kayodes, Aliyus, Akpabios and increasingly many more who have embraced the truth of our past and got their consciences healed by it and they have been set free.
Thanks Eziachi for reposting this thread. Hope your leg is ok now, we have missed you for long.But I fear that you are addressing the wrong audience. You are going to get more semantics, polemics and verbiage full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Some already are calling Max Siollun the world re-known historian and original writer of this piece an Igboman. I wish you all the best.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by High_Chief(m): 3:22pm On Feb 22, 2012|
I can see that the hatred people have for Ojukwu is deep rooted, which i dont really blame you people because you were thought even in schools to hate Ikemba and Biafra agenda, so many of you grew up bein fed with lies. But what surprises me is that even at this verge, with the situation of the country so many of you are still playing blind to see that this man Ikemba really meant well for Nigeria and even loved Nigeria more than those Northern soldiers.
I also got to learn from this wonderful minutes that Nigeria were ruled by young, inexperienced and non-intelligent soldiers and the present condition of Nigeria is the end result.
So many people here like Okija_Juju who is a core Northerner still has the hatred written all over him. Honestly, I see no future for that cesspit called Nigeria, except those benefitting from the lawlessness of the country will still be holding unto it. I CAN GIVE ANYTHING TO HAVE BIAFRA 4 REAL
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by naijaking1: 3:30pm On Feb 22, 2012|
No question that the original recordings of the meeting might have been interpreted from an eastern perspective, but the tape recordings are still available
If the tape is still available, why don't we have a "federal" interpretation?
Maybe that will shine more light on the whole issue. No matter how you cut, slice, and dice this onion, a country like Nigeria can't move forward when the people who fail are promoted, and the ones who pass are not promoted, when the corrupt and inept officers get ahead and hardworking officers are frustrated, when lies, lies and more lies are used to build the foundation of our great society, and when visionary statements like Ojukwu's are ignored and people who knew the statement come out to pretend as if Aburi never happened, and are actually asking for another Aburi-like conference
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by nagoma(m): 3:36pm On Feb 22, 2012|
No doubt Ojukwu was well educated by world standard any where but you cannot attribute superior intelligence to a man who could not see the disaster he was plunging his people into. He was certainly not a prophet! The only intelligent man in Biafra was Philip Effiong.
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by bilaya(m): 3:44pm On Feb 22, 2012|
You talk as if Ojukwu had a choice.He did what any other leader would have done.What would you have done if you were in his shoes?
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by aribisala0(m): 3:51pm On Feb 22, 2012|
the circularity of this debate is hypnotizing.
Perhaps one day people will realize no one will persuade the other
Prepare for another war since the last one was unconvincing
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by chosen04(f): 4:08pm On Feb 22, 2012|
“It is better that we move slightly apart and survive, it is much worse that we move closer and perish in the collision.”
. . . . . .Until the bolded is done . . . . . . . May PEACE continue to elude the cursed entity called niGERia . . . . .Amen
May we continue to live like true niGERians:- Living together as one unhappy family, hating each other and wishing we were apart . . . . . . . AMEN
|Re: You Want A SNC?- Read This Full Minutes Of The Famous Aburi Conference. by Okija_juju(m): 4:14pm On Feb 22, 2012|
I am sorry for you. . .
You are like a man who calls his fathers house shi't yet lives everyday in it and bares his surname. .
I am not a Northerner. I am an Igbo man. Just not a backward bigot like yourself. I have studied the past, learnt my lessons and moved on. . . The principal actors in the Biafran Saga are all dying off. Their era and time is fast coming to an end, the children on the Nigerian side of the fence have all moved on, its the Easterners that are still sulking in their little corner, looking for scraps and pieces of acachievements no matter how mediocre) to hold onto as their victories from the war (e.g Biafran baby jets, Ogbunigwe and the supposed biarfran armoured vehicles), Still trying to seek relevance in the Aburi accord that was signed at a period when military men ruled, still celebrating Ojukwu as a GOD coconvenientlygnoring the part where he fled to ivory coast by night.
As grand as the Aburi accord may have been at the time, its of no relevance now. . . When would you wipe your tears, pick up your sorry Bottom and move on with your life?!
Its people like you that spend all your effort hating the Northerners and the Westerners around you, keeping malice meanwhile they barely even know that you exist. Ypu say we were thaught to hate igbos, I laugh at the splendour of your delusion . . The only thing mentioned about that beat-down that you all a war was in socials studies class in primary 4 and it barely took a chapter in the text book sef. Nobody has your time. . .
Keep all the manuscripts you can find from the war, keep all the war memmemorabilia/parparaphernalia u can find, all the recordings, pictures and publications. . . They would be worth a poo load of money 100 years down the line, when they would be sold at auctions. . .
BIAFRA is a dead dream . . .
MASSOB, Biafran Zionist Movement and co. are all trying to raise the dust of a dead corpse. . .
Ojukwu your leader is dead and would be buried by the same side that defeated him in 1969. . . .
Now go get a job so you can feed your family and hopefully, your children would not grow up with the same retrogressive narrow mindset that you have. . .
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