• Short Summary

    NIGERIA'S MILITARY HEAD OF STATE, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL YAKUBU GOWON, YESTERDAY (TUESDAY) OPENED A FIVE-DAY AFRICAN SEMINAR ON THE RELEVANCE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW TO AFRICAN PROBLEMS.

  • Description

    NIGERIA'S MILITARY HEAD OF STATE, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL YAKUBU GOWON, YESTERDAY (TUESDAY) OPENED A FIVE-DAY AFRICAN SEMINAR ON THE RELEVANCE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW TO AFRICAN PROBLEMS. LATER IN THE DAY, AT A LAGOS PRESS CONFERENCE, COLONEL GOWON WARNED THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO TAKE SERIOUS ACTION IF THE GOVERNOR OF THE EASTERN REGION, LIEUTENANT-COLONEL ODUMEGWU OJUKWU, CONTINUED TO "MAKE A LAUGHING STOCK OF THE CONSTITUTION AND THE FEDERATION".

    THE SEMINAR, ORGANISED BY THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS IN CO-OPERATION WITH THE CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACE, WAS ATTENDED BY 15 AFRICAN LEGAL EXPERTS AND THREE OBSERVERS FROM NON-AFRICAN COUNTRIES.

    PARTICIPANTS CAME FROM ALGERIA, DAHOMEY, GHANA, IVORY COAST, KENYA, MALI, SIERRA LEONE, SUDAN, TANZANIA, TOGO, UGANDA AND THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC. THE CHAIRMAN WAS DR. TESIILIMI ELIAS, THE NIGERIAN ATTORNEY-GENERAL. AMONG THE SPEAKERS WAS DR. J.M. BUDA OF THE ARGENTINE.

    COLONEL GOWON'S PRESS CONFERENCE CAME THE DAY AFTER AN ANNOUNCEMENT BY COLONEL OJUKWU THAT THE EASTERN REGION FAVOURED "DECENTRALISATION" IN THE COUNTRY. THIS IS A POLICY WHICH WOULD GIVE GREATER POWER TO THE SEPARATE REGIONS OF NIGERIA. COLONEL OJUKWU SAID THAT ALTHOUGH THE EASTERN REGION PLANNED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, IT WOULD BE FAR-FETCHED TO DESCRIBED THE MOVE AS SECESSION.

    COLONEL GOWON, WHO HAS BEEN NIGERIA'S MILITARY RULER SINCE A COUP LAST JULY WHICH BROUGHT NORTHERN OFFICERS TO POWER, TOLD NEWSMEN THAT HE WOULD CONTINUE TO MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO FIND A PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO NIGERIA'S CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. BUT HE ADDED: "IF COLONEL ODUMEGWU CONTINUES TO ACT IN SUCH A WAY THAT HE MAKES A LAUGHING STOCK OF THE CONSTITUTION AND THE FEDERATION, THIS WOULD BE AN ACT OF PROVOCATION AND ONE HAS GOT TO DEAL WITH IT VERY SEVERELY".

    HE ALSO SAID: "I HOPE I SHALL NOT BE DRIVEN INTO A POSITION WHERE I HAVE TO TAKE DRASTIC ACTION THAT WOULD DAMAGE THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY".

    COLONEL GOWON SAID THE NEXT MEETING OF NIGERIA'S SUPREME MILITARY COUNCIL WOULD BE IN LAGOS ON SUNDAY (MARCH 19). BUT HE SAID HE DID NOT EXPECT COLONEL OJUKWU TO ATTEND BECAUSE NORTHERN TROOPS WERE STATIONED IN THE CAPITAL. HE ALSO ACCUSED COLONEL OJUKWU OF - "MANY ACTS OF BAD FAITH" - INCLUDING THE ILLEGAL PURCHASE OF ARMS.

    THE EAST WANTS A FORM OF CONFEDERATION IN WHICH EACH REGION WOULD BE ALMOST COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT, WHILE MOST OTHER LEADERS IN THE COUNTRY FAVOUR A FEDERATION MAINTAINING THE COUNTRY'S UNITY WHILE GRANTING EACH REGION WIDER LOCAL AUTONOMY.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAEC5CMUL56M1BHYQBVRN72WRV7
    Media URN:
    VLVAEC5CMUL56M1BHYQBVRN72WRV7
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    15/03/1967
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:32:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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