Aburi Acord; It’s Implication On The Nigerian Civil War

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Aburi Acord; It’s Implication On The Nigerian Civil War


Abstract


This study is on Aburi accord its implication on the Nigeria civil war. The total population for the study is 200 staff of ministry of defence, Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up civilian security officers, administrative officers, senior officers and junior officers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Many scholars believe the Aburi question and its implication on the Nigerian Civil War has its origin in the creation of the Nigerian state. That is, the debate over the implementation of the Aburi agreement was the problem of how the origin of the Nigerian state became tied to the issue of the future association of the constituent units within the nation. In the views of Adebayo Oluoshi and Osita Agbu (1996), “the attempt by the military officers to prevent the nation from experiencing a bloody conflict merely fudged the question of Aburi and complicated it further with the consequences of civil war”.

Precisely, on January 1, 1914, Britain, a former colonial power gave birth to the nation, Nigeria through series of diplomatic initiatives and conquests that led to the amalgamation of the ethnically and cultural incongruent Northern and Southern Protectorates. This, unquestionably, according to Eleazu, explains that Nigeria became a British colony as a result of the diplomacy of imperialism than a matter of choice for any of the peoples that were to be enclosed within this grid that came to be recognized and administered as one territorial unit called Nigeria (Eleazu, 195:61-71). From the time of its amalgamation in 1914, to independence in 1960 and beyond, the nation’s stuttering part to survival was marred by a quantum of serious conflict issues that climaxed into the civil war that took place between 1967-1970. Obviously, this history of crises was a result of the decision to merge the various incompatible entities as one.

Incompatibility among the various groups was further aggravated by political disturbances that engulfed the Nigerian especially the early post-independence years. Threatened by a state of total collapse after a period of bloody military coups the Nigerian Army went to Aburi in search of peace. Aburi, Ghana and the failure to implement Aburi ratifications regarding the country’s unity, resulted in the 30 months civil war. Many years after the war the present leaders of the nation ought to have learnt a great lesson of history. But religion politics and the economy have remained virtually unchanged and in almost the same guise as in the pre-civil war years, the country seem also to be on the part of disintegration.

The obvious pointers to these assumption are the general state of insecurity and political instability characterized by regular abrogation of the rule of law, official corruption and incompetence, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, vandalizing of crude oil flow stations and pipeline that almost crippled the economic mainstay of Nigerian economy, the unabated religious/ethnic conflicts in Jos. More recently, a new form of crisis reminiscent of the 1966 pogrom is engulfing other states in the north including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja (Amamkpa:2012:6). A Muslim fundamentalist sect going by the name Jama’atahl al-sunna li-da’wawa-l-quital, popularly known as Boko Haram (Western Education is forbidden), has gained a stranglehold on the region unleashing terror most especially on non-Muslim indigenes of the North. Very unfortunately, 46 years after Aburi and the civil war, the current trend of insecurity still cast shadows of doubts on national unity prompting plethora of demands for national conference, sovereign national confab, true federalism, political autonomy, restructuring Nigeria into six geo-political zones, financial autonomy to local government and a resistance to any change of status quo.

In a build-up to Aburi and the Civil war, 1967-1970, scholars and experts have reeled out a number of factors responsible for crises of those ominous years. These factors which include: political, social, economic, religious, etc are interwoven and could not be considered as terra incognita as far as the geo-political developments in Nigeria are concerned. Amidst the myriad of political sub-factors, the role of Aburi Accord in starting the war was, more often than not, considered the last straw. One of the oft-quoted statements of this period was reflected in Obasanjo’s My Command: [Aburi]…was the last ditch of effort to save Nigeria from collapse (Obasanjo, 1980:145). This statement was corroborated by several other scholars who pointed to the Aburi Accord as the last gap in that circle of conflict.

In a build-up to the Aburi conference, Nigeria was dragged to the brink of the abyss by two military coups in 1966. One of the far-reaching implications was a stalemate between two military leaders (Gowon and Ojukwu). The reason for the face-off, which invariably dominated the agenda of the Aburi conference, was predicated on the following:

  • The leadership and restructuring of the Nigerian Army
  • The compensation and relocation of victims of the 1966 Pogrom

After several unfruitful attempts to bring (Gowon and Ojukwu) to the negotiating table, Aburi, a more secured venue, in Ghana, was mutually agreed.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Threatened by a state of total collapse after a period of bloody military coups the Nigerian Army went to Aburi in search of peace. Aburi, Ghana and the failure to implement Aburi ratifications regarding the country’s unity resulted in the 30 months civil war. Many years after the war the present leaders of the nation ought to have learnt a great lesson of history. But religion politics and the economy have remained virtually unchanged and in almost the same guise as in the pre-civil war years, the country seem also to be on the part of disintegration The obvious pointers to these assumption are the general state of insecurity and political instability characterized by regular abrogation of the rule of law, official corruption and incompetence, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, vandalizing of crude oil flow stations and pipeline that almost crippled the economic mainstay of Nigerian economy, the unabated religious/ethnic conflicts in Jos. More recently, a new form of crisis reminiscent of the 1966 pogrom is engulfing other states in the north including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja (Amamkpa:2012:6). On this background the researcher wants to investigate Aburi accord its implication on the Nigerian civil war


1.3 Aim and Purpose of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

1. To ascertain the relationship between Aburi accord and Nigeria civil war
2. To know the contribution of Aburi in Nigeria civil war
3. To ascertain the impact of Aburi to National unity


1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there is no relationship between Aburi accord and Nigeria civil war
    H1: there is relationship between Aburi accord and Nigeria civil war
  2. H02: Aburi accord did not contribute to Nigeria civil war
    H2: Aburi accord did contribute to Nigeria civil war

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will give a clear insight on Aburi accord its implication on the Nigerian civil war. The study will be beneficial to students, government of Nigeria and the general public. The study will serve as a reference to other researcher that will embark on this topic


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers Aburi accord its implication on the Nigerian civil war. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Implication:

The conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated.

Civil War:

The Nigerian Civil War, commonly known as the Biafran War (6 July 1967 – 15 January 1970), was a war fought between the government of Nigeria

Aburi Accord:

Aburi Accord was reached in 1967 at a meeting attended by delegates of both the Federal Government of Nigeria 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.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Aburi accord its implication on the Nigerian civil war

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Aburi accord its implication on the Nigerian civil war


5.2 Summary

This study was on Aburi accord its implication on the Nigerian civil war. Three objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the relationship between Aburi accord and Nigeria civil war, to know the contribution of Aburi in Nigeria civil war, to ascertain the impact of Aburi to National unit. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of ministry of defence, Abuja. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up civilian security officers, administrative officers, senior officers and junior officers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

It has been established that in the event of stalemate between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Ojukwu‟s Eastern Region to resolve Nigeria‟s internal conflict, Ghana, under the leadership of General J.A. Ankrah, in the spirit of good neighbourliness, offered its territory for mediation, between the belligerent parties to the crisis in January 1967. While some African countries like Gabon, Ivory Coast, Tanzania and Guinea gave diplomatic recognition to the secessionist Republic of Biafra, Ghana maintained her neutrality, though, to the consternation of the Nigerian Government. Though Ghana‟s categorization of people of Igbo descent living in its territory as special refugees‟ and its expulsion of Yoruba and Hausa elements in November 1969 raised great suspicion of its sympathy for the Republic of Biafra”, it never at any point in time made any official pronouncement to the effect of recognizing Biafra as a sovereign state. Even then, its action may be rationalised based on the perception of the international community that the rest of Nigeria was bent on exterminating the Igbo ethnic nationality (Ikime, 2002:67). Finally, Ghana was not the architect of the Nigerian civil war. All the remote and immediate factors that prompted the war suggest that the Nigerian State was faced with internal dissention and disintegration between 1966 and 1970. Nigeria was indeed a house divided against itself at the time of Ghana‟s intervention. Since Ghana was never a party to the war, it should therefore be exonerated from all insinuations as a collaborator with Biafra. Its mediatory role should be commended for promoting peace and good neighbourliness in the West African sub-region


5.4 Recommendation

African problems must be confronted and address by the Africans themselves. African leaderships and their government should stop the attitude of self-enslavement to the West. The survival of Africans is in the hands of Africans themselves. African leadership and their governments should be committed and determined to confront and address African problems with African solutions


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