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Inside The Aburi Accord - Politics - Nairaland

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Inside The Aburi Accord by relchange: 10:39pm On Apr 11, 2012
Inside the Aburi accord

“The Aburi summit was a last ditch effort to save a tottering
republic from collapse. So, on January 4 and 5, 1967, Nigerian’s top military brass converged in Aburi, in the Republic of Ghana for an unusual conference.

It just refuses to fade away. It is called the Aburi Accord, signed by the leaders of the country forty six years ago in Aburi, Ghana. It was an accord that was meant to tackle the issue of true federalism in the county. In its fifty two years as a sovereign state, Nigeria has held several conferences and arrived at several decisions.

Even before Nigeria’s Independence in 1960, the nationalist leaders held several conferences to agitate for the country’s independence. But none of these many conferences has generated much interest like the Aburi conference that produced the popular Aburi accord.


The Aburi Accord was precipitated by the crisis that trailed the counter coup of July 26 1966, and the massacre of Southerners, mainly Igbos in Northern Nigeria. The counter coup was a revenge coup to the military coup that occurred earlier in the year.

On January 16, 1966, six young Majors in the Nigerian Army had staged the first coup in the history of the country. That military putsch of January 15, 1966 that toppled the first republic claimed the lives of then Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, finance Minister, Chief Okotie Eboh and other leading lights of that republic. Though the coupists, did not succeed in taking over power, the then Senate President, Nwafor Orizu invited the Military High Command to take over the running of government. Thus General Aguiyi Ironsi , the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Nigeria Army assumed office as Nigeria first Military ruler.

Six months later, some Northern soldiers led by Murtala Mohammed, who later became Head of state staged a counter coup. Soldiers of Eastern origin were targeted with many of them killed while others were chased out of the barracks by the Northern troops. Ironsi, who was on an official visit to Ibadan, capital of the Western Region, was abducted by the coupists alongside his host and Military Governor of Western Nigeria, Col Adekunle Fajuyi. Both men were eventually killed. And Lt Col Yakubu Gowon, the Chief of Army staff was installed by the mutineers as the new Head of State.

But Lt Col. Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Military Governor, Eastern Region, as he then was, would take none of that. He refused to recognize Gowon as the new Head of State and Supreme Commander of the Nigeria Army. He had insisted that in the absence of Ironsi, the most senior Army officer, in this case Bragadier Babafemi Ogundipe should take charge of affairs in the country to maintain order and discipline in the Army. But Gowon held on to power in Lagos.
The entire country was enveloped in tension. Fear and mistrust pervaded the land. Soldiers and civilians of Eastern origin resident in the North, who had run home after the massacre that trailed the July 26 counter coup could not return to the North for fear of their lives. The nation was thrown into chaos. Meetings were held. Conferences were conveyed to find a solution to the national problem. On August 9, 1966 the representatives of the four military governors met and agreed that troops should return to their regions of origin to allow tempers to cool.

An Ad-Hoc Constitutional Conference began on September 12, same year to find solution the problem in the country, but that was a futile effort. The constitutional conference was adjourned indefinitely on October 3, 1966.
The Supreme Military Council (SMC) could not meet. Ojukwu had refused to attend a meeting in any part of the country where there are soldiers of Northern extraction,while the other members of the SMC could not come to the East for a meeting. For months , there was a stand-off between the Government of the Eastern Region and the new Military rulers in Lagos.

It was this state of affairs that gave rise to the Aburi conference. The Aburi summit was a last ditch effort to save a tottering republic from collapse. So, on January 4 and 5, 1967, Nigerian’s top military brass converged in Aburi, in the Republic of Ghana for an unusual conference. Unusual in the sense that that would the first and only time, after the country’s independence in 1960, the nation’s leaders will gather in a foreign land to brainstorm on the problems of the country.
The conference, facilitated by the then Ghanaian Head of State, Lt. General Joe Ankrah, was attended by nine military leaders of the country namely: Gowon, Ojukwu, 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 and Timothy Omo-Bare
Others who attended the momentous Aburi conference were: N. Akpan Secretary to the Military Governor-East; Alhaji Ali Akilu Secretary to the Military Governor-North; D. Lawani Under Secretary, Military Governor’s Office-Mid-West; P. Odumosu Secretary to the Military Governor-West and S. Akenzua Permanent Under-Secretary-Federal Cabinet Office.

The agenda included: the re-organisation of the Armed Forces, Constitutional Arrangement and the Issue of displaced persons within the Nigeria, with the overall aim of of a political re-engineering for the country. For a start, it was also agreed by the participants that the Nigerian crisis would not be resolved through the use of arms.

In Aburi, all the participants made a strong argument for a return to true federalism that was in operation in the country before the first military coup of January 1966.
Specifically, Adebayo 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”. While Gowon agreed to “do away with any decree that certainly tended to go towards too much centralisation.”
At the end of the two days conference, the much talked about Aburi Accord was signed by the participants at that historic summit.

It was resolved amongst others that “Members agree that the legislative and executive authority of the Federal Military Government should remain in the Supreme Military Council, to which any decision affecting the whole country shall be referred for determination provided that where it is not possible for a meeting to be held the matter requiring determination must be referred to military governors for their comment and concurrence.

“Specifically, the council agreed that appointments to senior ranks in the police, diplomatic, and consular services as well as appointment to super-scale posts in the federal civil service and the equivalent posts in the statutory corporation must be approved by the Supreme Military Council.
“The regional members felt that all the decrees passed since January 15, 1966, and which detracted from previous powers and positions of regional governments, should be repealed if mutual confidence is to be restored.” .
Besides, it was agreed “that the Ad Hoc Committee Should resume sitting as soon as practicable to begin from where they left off.” And “That all the Law Officers of the Federation should meet in Benin on the 14th January and list out all the Decrees and provisions of Decrees concerned so that they may be repealed not later than 21st January if possible”.

On the issue of displaced persons, it was resolved that “that civil servants and Corporation staff (including daily paid employees) who have not been absorbed should continue to be paid their full salaries until 31st March, 1967 provided they have not got alternative employment”. While “ Finance Permanent Secretaries should resume their meeting within two weeks and submit recommendations and that each Region should send three representatives to the meeting.

The major thrust of the Aburi Accord was that each region would be responsible for its own affairs, while matters that affected the entire country would be thrashed at the level of the SMC, where in the words of Ojukwu “ 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”.
On return from the Aburi conference, there were differences in the interpretation of the Accord on both the sides of the federal government and Eastern Region government. Consequently, the Accord finally broke down without addressing the problems it set out to solve. Gowon repudiation of the Accord is attributed to the Federal Bureaucracy at that time.

On January 26, 1967, Gowon in a press conference reportedly stated that the permanent secretaries had advised him “to stick to their previous recommendation and advise” on most of the issues contained in the accord.
Ojukwu reacted sharply. He gave a March 31 deadline for the implementation of the Accord or he will take measures to give effect to them within the Eastern Region. One thing led to another and on May 30, 1967, the Eastern Region government declared the Eastern Nigeria as an Independent Republic of Biafra. Gowon launched a Police action against the Eastern Region, to crush what he described as the rebellion of that region and the Nigerian civil war broke out.
All the actors of that era have faded away, but the Aburi accord still sticks out like a sore thumb.

http://www.sunnewsonline.com/webpages/politics/2012/apr/11/politics-11-04-2012-001.html
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by Callotti: 4:50am On Apr 12, 2012
On January 26, 1967, Gowon in a press conference reportedly stated that the permanent secretaries had advised him “to stick to their previous recommendation and advise” on most of the issues contained in the accord.

On return from the Aburi conference, there were differences in the interpretation of the Accord on both the sides of the federal government and Eastern Region government. Consequently, the Accord finally broke down without addressing the problems it set out to solve. Gowon repudiation of the Accord is attributed to the Federal Bureaucracy at that time.


Ojukwu reacted sharply. He gave a March 31 deadline for the implementation of the Accord or he will take measures to give effect to them within the Eastern Region. One thing led to another and on May 30, 1967, the Eastern Region government declared the Eastern Nigeria as an Independent Republic of Biafra. Gowon launched a Police action against the Eastern Region, to crush what he described as the rebellion of that region and the Nigerian civil war broke out.

Not a very wise thing to do. Especially without the consensus of other regions.
The negotiations would have continued. . .without bloodshed.
Well, back to the future.
Too late to turn back the hands of time.
God bless Gowon!
GO ON WITH ONE NIGERIA. cool
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by mpumalanga: 1:16pm On Apr 12, 2012
Callotti:

Not a very wise thing to do. Especially without the consensus of other regions.
The negotiations would have continued. . .without bloodshed.
Well, back to the future.
Too late to turn back the hands of time.
God bless Gowon!
GO ON WITH ONE NIGERIA. cool

but your unity must be attractive as we are now in the era of third generation human right which includes self determination.countries are no more together by force as Scotland and southern Sudan demonstrated so learn from south africa that made their one nation to be attractive to the previous homelands for them to give up their separate independent homelands and join up with the new souh africa because it is attractive.
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by Callotti: 1:23pm On Apr 12, 2012
mpumalanga:

but your unity must be attractive as we are now in the era of third generation human right which includes self determination.countries are no more together by force as Scotland and southern Sudan demonstrated so learn from south africa that made their one nation to be attractive to the previous homelands for them to give up their separate independent homelands and join up with the new souh africa because it is attractive.

The circumstances present in the countries you referred to above are NOT present in Nigeria and have NEVER been.
Nigeria's problem bothers on cowardice and illiteracy.
The worst abusers of the human rights are indigenes of YOUR own villages who sell you out for their own selfish interests.
So, who is oppressing who?

The same phenomenon is in the Northern parts of Nigeria. . .as well as the Southern parts of Nigeria.
In Nigeria you have no common enemy! So, who are you fighting against without TRAITORS in your midst? YOU OWN TRIBE!!!

Instead of learning from South Africa, Sudan or Scotland(where you have legitimate causes to be fought) learn from 'THE ABURI ACCORD' where brothers SOLD out brothers for less than 30 shillings! The never ending tragedy of Nigerians and NIGERIA!!! kiss

Start from Anambra State. . .i.e the UBA brothers Vs Ngige! Inside the same "ONE BIAFRA"!
Now, Northerners are killing Northerners IN THE NORTH!

I ask again? Who is the Nigerian enemy? wink

Look in the mirror! kiss
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by mpumalanga: 12:13pm On Apr 13, 2012
Callotti:

The circumstances present in the countries you referred to above are NOT present in Nigeria and have NEVER been.
Nigeria's problem bothers on cowardice and illiteracy.
The worst abusers of the human rights are indigenes of YOUR own villages who sell you out for their own selfish interests.
So, who is oppressing who?

The same phenomenon is in the Northern parts of Nigeria. . .as well as the Southern parts of Nigeria.
In Nigeria you have no common enemy! So, who are you fighting against without TRAITORS in your midst? YOU OWN TRIBE!!!

Instead of learning from South Africa, Sudan or Scotland(where you have legitimate causes to be fought) learn from 'THE ABURI ACCORD' where brothers SOLD out brothers for less than 30 shillings! The never ending tragedy of Nigerians and NIGERIA!!! kiss

art from Anambra State. . .i.e the UBA brothers Vs Ngige! Inside the same "ONE BIAFRA"!
Now,St Northerners are killing Northerners IN THE NORTH!

I ask again? Who is the Nigerian enemy? wink

Look in the mirror! kiss
In every struggle,their will always be traitors but it does not nullify the nobleness of the struggle.It is like you are insisting to be with people that want to leave you why?you are asking for the enemy but the enemy is that person or group of persons that are suppressing the right of self determination of others using a collective name like Nigeria.

We are humans not crabs so we should not be insisting that none should go out of the pit or are you afraid of loosing global relevance if every body goes their way.Are you suggesting that we should wait for a force mejure intervention with all our claims of civilization?Let every body go and betray and kill their own people and they will then face justice because their will be no ethnic fortress to protect anybody. Scotland want self determination for Scottish people and igbos want the same just like your own nation can go for theirs.
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by Callotti: 2:28pm On Apr 13, 2012
mpumalanga: In every struggle,their will always be traitors but it does not nullify the nobleness of the struggle.It is like you are insisting to be with people that want to leave you why?you are asking for the enemy but the enemy is that person or group of persons that are suppressing the right of self determination of others using a collective name like Nigeria.

We are humans not crabs so we should not be insisting that none should go out of the pit or are you afraid of loosing global relevance if every body goes their way.Are you suggesting that we should wait for a force mejure intervention with all our claims of civilization?Let every body go and betray and kill their own people and they will then face justice because their will be no ethnic fortress to protect anybody. Scotland want self determination for Scottish people and igbos want the same just like your own nation can go for theirs.

The only problem is that you are in the minority concerning this 'divide and conquer principle. Majority of Nigerians do not agree with you. If you go your way, be prepared to be colonized by Niger Republic. If you cannot contain Boko Haram within Nigeria, what makes you think you can contain them as neighbours? You can't your own people accountable right now. . .and you are talking of 'going your own way'? Please, stop dreaming. Get ready to be sold again and again.
Back to square one. You have a Southern president now. Let us see what he can do before you go your separate ways. A coward will always be a coward. Period!
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by mpumalanga: 4:45pm On Apr 13, 2012
Callotti:

The only problem is that you are in the minority concerning this 'divide anc conquer principle. Majority of Nigerians do not agree with you. If you go your way, be prepared to be colonized by Niger Republic. If you cannot contain Boko Haram within Nigeria, what makes you think you can contain them as neighbours? You can't your own people accountable right now. . .and you are talking of 'going your own way'? Please, stop dreaming. Get ready to be sold again and again.
Back to square one. You have a Southern president now. Let us see what he can do before you go your separate ways. A coward will always be a coward. Period!

THERE is no divide and conquer as what they are saying just is to go like southern Sudan and i don't know why it should be your pain that they can not contain boko haram as neighbors,do you think it is a convincing reason as boko haram have stated that they want their own self determination.Nobody sold anybody and you should for one day worry about what will happen to your own people when every body answer their father's name.

Their is no cowardice in having absolute confidence to be alone and i believe that the best thing to do is to check very well to know if you are insisting to be with them due to un-acknowledged sens of inherent inadequacy.
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by Callotti: 12:36am On Apr 14, 2012
mpumalanga:

THERE is no divide and conquer as what they are saying just is to go like southern Sudan and i don't know why it should be your pain that they can not contain boko haram as neighbors,do you think it is a convincing reason as boko haram have stated that they want their own self determination.Nobody sold anybody and you should for one day worry about what will happen to your own people when every body answer their father's name.

Their is no cowardice in having absolute confidence to be alone and i believe that the best thing to do is to check very well to know if you are insisting to be with them due to un-acknowledged sens of inherent inadequacy.

I ask again If Boko Haram went their own way OR EVEN BIAFRA. . .would you feel comfortable having them as neigbours? I would not.
Especially knowing what they are presently doing in Nigeria where EVERYONE CAN SEE THEM.
Could you keep them out of your 'New Country' with your porous borders and corrupt officials?
Bottom line, if you cannot deal with the problems you have as one country. . . don't expect to do so when you become independent countries.
You will be begging ECOWAS and NATO to liberate you all over again.
It is not my pain. . .just common sense.
Use it! It is common and FREE!. kiss
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by toba: 9:16am On Apr 14, 2012
nice one. at least those of us that weren't born in the 60s can read and learn about what happened back then
Re: Inside The Aburi Accord by Bontee: 2:29pm On Jun 07, 2012
Interesting cool

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