Exactly 45 years ago this month, in January 1967, Nigerian military leaders (Gowon, Ojukwu, Hassan-Katsina, Ejoor and Adebayo) with their civilian aides journeyed to Aburi, Ghana, to discuss how to save the Nigerian federation.
At the Aburi Talks, Ojukwu’s suggestion for a confederate arrangement was unanimously and enthusiastically adopted; it was agreed that the then four regions should develop at their own paces and with their own resources and contribute to the running of the centre. Nigeria was being suffocated by the overwhelming control of the centre. It was like existing inside a pressure cooker.
On return to Nigeria, the Head of State, Yakubu Gowon repudiated the agreements, and what followed next were crises that led to civil war. Is it not obvious today that if Nigeria does not toe the path of confederation, all of us would self-destruct in an orgy of violence and civil war? Nigeria should not be allowed to disintegrate, but should rather adopt a confederate arrangement and whittle down the federal influence and might. With the call yesterday by South East leaders for their people to abandon the North, I see 1996 replaying itself, right before our eyes. History beckons on Jonathan.