Biafra: Full Text of The Aburi Accord Transcripts: Aburi Accord was reached in 1967 at a meeting attended by delegates of both the Federal Government of Nigeria (the Supreme Military Council) and the Eastern delegates, led by the Eastern Region’s leader Colonel Ojukwu. The meeting was billed to be the last chance of preventing all-out war. It was held between 4 and 5 January 1967.
Aburi, Eastern Region of Ghana was chosen as a venue because the eastern delegates led by the Governor of Eastern State Colonel Ojukwu’s safety could not be guaranteed anywhere within the western or northern part of the country.
- A military committee comprising representatives of the regions should meet to take statistics of arms and ammunition in the country. Unallocated stores of arms and ammunition held in the country should be shared equitably between the various commands in the federation.
- The Army should be reorganized in order to restore discipline and confidence, Specifically,
- a. the army should be governed by the Supreme Military Council which would be chaired by a Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Head of the Federal Military Government;
- b. Area Commands under Area Commanders and corresponding to existing Regions should be created.
- c. During the period of the military government, Military Governors should have control over Area Commands, for internal security.
- d. A military headquarters, comprising equal representation from the regions and headed by a Chief of Staff, should be established.
- e. A Lagos Garrison, including Ikeja Barracks, should be created.
- In accordance with the decision of August 9, 1966, Army personnel of Northern Nigerian origin should return to the North from the West. In order to meet the security needs of the West, a crash programme of recruitment and training is necessary but the details should be examined after the Military Committee has finished their work.
- The Supreme Military Council should deal with all matters of the policy including promotion to top executive posts in the Armed Forces and the Police.
- The legislative and executive authority of the federal Military Government should be referred for determination, provided that, where a meeting was not possible, such a matter must be referred to the Military Governors for their comments and concurrence.
- Appointments to the Diplomatic and consular posts as well as to superscale posts in the Federal Public Service and equivalent posts in the Federal Corporations must be approved by the Supreme Military Council.
- With a view to promoting mutual confidence, all decrees or provisions of decrees passed since January 15, 1966, which detracted from the previous powers and positions of the Regional Governments should be repealed. Law officers of the Federation should meet in Benin on January 14, 1967, and list all the decrees or provisions of Decrees concerned, so that they may be repealed not later than January 21, 1967, if possible.
- A meeting of Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance of all the governments in the federation should be convened within two weeks to consider ways and means of resolving the serious problems posed by displaced persons all over the country.
- Displaced civil servants and corporation staff (including daily-paid employees) should continue to be paid their full salaries until March 31, 1967, provided they have not secured alternative employment. The Military Governors of the East, West, and Mid-West should send representatives (Police Commissioners) to meet and discuss the problems of recovery of property left behind by displaced persons.
- The Ad Hoc Constitutional Committee should resume sitting as soon as practicable, and the question of accepting the unanimous recommendations of September 1966 should be considered at a later meeting of the Supreme Military Council.
- For at least the next six months there should be purely a Military Government having nothing to do with politicians.
- The deceased military leaders should be accorded full military honors due to them.
- All government information media should be restrained from making inflammatory statements and causing embarrassment to various Governments in the Federation.
- Lt.-Col Ojukwu should keep his order – that non-Easterners should leave the Eastern Region – under constant review with a view to its being lifted as soon as practicable.
- The next meeting of the Supreme Military Council should be within Nigeria at a venue to be mutually agreed upon.
Aburi Accord is as follows:
1. 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 possible for a meeting to be held the matter requiring determination must be referred to military governors for their comment and concurrence.
2. Specifically, the council agreed that appointments to senior ranks in the police, diplomatic, and consular services as well as an appointment to superscale posts in the federal civil service and the equivalent posts in the statutory corporation must be approved by the Supreme Military Council.
3. 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.