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Biafra: Full Text of The Aburi Accord Transcripts

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.

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Aburi as venue

Gowon and Ojukwu at Aburi Ghana
Gowon and Ojukwu at Aburi Ghana

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.

Agenda of Aburi Meeting

  • Re-organisation of the Armed forces
  • Constitutional Arrangement
  • Issue of displaced persons within the Nigeria.(c)1999-2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu

Delegates

Gowon and Ojukwu at Aburi Accord
Gowon and Ojukwu at Aburi Accord

The following are the delegates at the Aburi Conference:

  • Chairman of the Ghana National Liberation Council -Lt.-General J.A. Ankrah-Chairman
  • Lt.-Col. Yakubu Gowon- Head of State
  • Lt.-Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu – Governor Eastern Region
  • Major Mobolaji Johnson – Governor Lagos State
  • Lt.-Col. Hassan Katsina – Governor Northern Region
  • Lt.-Col. David Ejoor – Governor Mid-Western Region
  • Commodore Joseph Edet Akinwale Wey – Vice President of Nigeria
  • Colonel Robert Adebayo – Governor Western Region
  • Alhaji Kam Selem
  • Mr. T. Omo-Bare

Others as follows:

  • 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
  • S. Akenzua (who later became the Oba of Benin – Erediauwa I) Permanent Under-Secretary-Federal Cabinet Office

Biafra: Full Text of Aburi Accord Transcripts.

  • 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.

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The Accord.

Aburi Ojukwu Gown
Aburi Ojukwu Gown

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.

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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.


Conclusion – Breakdown of the Aburi Accord Transcript.

In response to the accord, the federal government promulgated Decree No. 8, which was mainly an embodiment of the accord. The accord finally broke down because of differences of interpretation on both sides. This led to the outbreak of Nigerian Civil War. Before the Decree No.8 could finally be issued on March 17, 1967, it had to be passed by the Supreme Military Council meeting which say in Benin on March 10. But Ojukwu did not attend that meeting because he had earlier rejected a draft of that decree which made mockery of the Aburi resolutions.

The really offending clauses of the decree were sections 70 and 71 which empowered the Supreme Military Council to declare a state of emergency in Nigeria, if the Head of Federal Military Government and at least three of the Governors agreed to do so. Section 71 also empowered the Head of the Federal Military Government in agreement with at least three Governors to legislate for any particular region whenever they deemed it fit during a state of emergency, with or without the consent of the Governor of that particular Region. In effect, Gowon had thus taken power unto himself to deal with Ojukwu whenever he pleased, how he pleased and as long as he pleased.


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