ABURI ACCORD ITS IMPLICATION ON THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR

ABURI ACCORD ITS IMPLICATION ON THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR

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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:

1.   The leadership and restructuring of the Nigerian Army

2.   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      OBJECTIVE 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; 

H0 there is no relationship between Aburi accord and Nigeria civil war

H1: there is relationship between Aburi accord and Nigeria civil war

 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


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