ABURI ACCORD: EFFECT ON THE nigerian CIVIL WAR
ABURI ACCORD: EFFECT ON THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Many academics argue that the Aburi conundrum and its implications for the Nigerian Civil War originated with the establishment of the Nigerian state. In other words, the discussion over the execution of the Aburi Accord was about how the origins of the Nigerian state became linked to the subject of the future affiliation of the constituent parts within the nation.
According to Adebayo Oluoshi and Osita Agbu (1996), “the military officers' attempt 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.”
Specifically, on January 1, 1914, Britain, a former colonial power, gave birth to nigeria through a series of diplomatic moves and conquests that resulted in the unification of the ethnically and culturally disparate Northern and Southern Protectorates.
According to Eleazu, this unquestionably explains why Nigeria became a British colony rather than a matter of choice for any of the peoples that were to be enclosed within this grid that came to be recognised and administered as one territorial unit called Nigeria (Eleazu, 195:61-71).
From its formation in 1914 to independence in 1960 and beyond, the nation's faltering path to survival was hampered by a slew of significant conflict issues that culminated in the civil war that lasted from 1967 to 1970. Clearly, the choice to integrate the different incompatible entities into one resulted in this history of crises.
Political instability that overtook Nigeria, particularly in the early post-independence years, exacerbated incompatibility among the various communities. Threatened by total collapse following a history of brutal military coups, the Nigerian Army travelled to Aburi in search of peace.
The 30 month civil war began in Aburi, Ghana, as a result of the failure to implement Aburi ratifications addressing the country's unity. Many years after the battle, the country's current leaders should have learned a valuable historical lesson.
However, religion, politics, and the economy have stayed substantially intact and in nearly the same form as before the civil war, and the country appears to be on the verge of dissolution.
The obvious indicators of these assumptions are the general state of insecurity and political instability, which is characterised by regular violations of the rule of law, official corruption and incompetence, kidnapping, armed robbery, militancy, vandalism of crude oil flow stations and pipelines, which nearly crippled Nigeria's economic mainstay, and unabated religious/ethnic conflicts in Jos.
More recently, a new type of crisis like the 1966 pogrom has engulfed additional northern states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja (Amamkpa:2012:6).
A Muslim extremist sect called as Jama'atahl al-sunna li-da'wawa-l-quital (Western Education is Forbidden) has achieved a stranglehold on the region, unleashing terror, particularly on non-Muslim indigenes of the North.
Unfortunately, 46 years after Aburi and the civil war, the current trend of insecurity continues to cast doubts on national unity, prompting a slew of demands for a national conference, sovereign national confab, true federalism, political autonomy, restructuring Nigeria into six geopolitical zones, financial autonomy for local governments, and opposition to any change in the status quo.
Scholars and experts have identified a number of causes responsible for the crises of 1967-1970 in the run-up to Aburi and the Civil War. These aspects, which include: political, social, economic, religious, and so on, are intertwined and cannot be considered terra incognita in terms of geopolitical events in Nigeria.
Among the plethora of political sub-factors, the significance of the Aburi Accord in igniting the war was frequently regarded as the final straw. Obasanjo's My Command mirrored one of the period's most frequently referenced statements: [Aburi]…
was the last ditch effort to save Nigeria from collapse (Obasanjo, 1980:145). Several other scholars agreed with this assessment, citing the Aburi Accord as the last gap in that circle of strife.
Nigeria was driven to the verge of disaster in the run-up to the Aburi summit by two military coups in 1966. A deadlock between two military chiefs (Gowon and Ojukwu) was one among the far-reaching consequences. The reason for the clash, which typically dominated the agenda of the Aburi conference, was as follows:
The Nigerian Army's leadership and restructure
Compensation and relocation for the victims of the 1966 pogrom
After repeated unsuccessful attempts to bring (Gowon and Ojukwu) to the negotiating table, a more secure location in Ghana, Aburi, was mutually agreed upon.