By Chinonso, Igwebuike Mbah
      Ugochinyere Onyechere [Editor]

The news that Colonel Ojukwu was in Aburi Ghana with other military governors on the 4th of January 1967 in order to find a peaceful solution to the current disturbances in the country came as an encouraging surprise to the Biafra people and many other senior military officers in Biafra region. At the end of the two days conference, some important decisions were reached. Among which were:

(1)The immediate resumption of the Ad Hoc committee to work out a constitutional future for       Nigeria. 
(2)The payment of salaries to 31st of March 1967 of all staff and employee of the government and statutory corporation and any others who were forced to leave their posts as a result of the disturbances. 
(3)The setting up in the meantime of a committee to look into the problem of rehabilitation of displaced persons and the recovery of their properties. 
(4)The exclusion of the use of force as a means o settling any differences within the country. 
(5)The repealing of all decrees which tended to over centralize power at the expense of regional. 

This would be followed by the enactment of a decree before the 21th of January 1967 to restore the regions to their political position prior to January 15 1966,on the advice of some federal senior civil servants most of these decision particularly those pertaining to the payment of displaced persons and reconvening of the Ad Hoc constitutional conference, as a follow-up Gowon enacted no8 which gave him the power to declare a state of emergency in any region irrespective of the wish of the governor of that region, later Gowon published these as the official outcome of Aburi conference. The above measures were a clear indication that Gowon was no longer giving much consideration to the possibility of a peaceful solution rather he was rapidly preparing the ground for the use offeree. 

The Eastern Nigerian government then absolutely helpless passed a couple of edicts to protect the interest of its people and avoid a total economic collapse of the region. These edicts were meant to serve as a temporary relief while a more permanent solution was being sought, foremost among these edicts were the registration of companies edict, the revenue collection edict and the court of appeal edict.
As a punishment for these measures taken by the eastern Nigeria government, the Lagos government imposed economic sanctions on the Eastern region.

As a result of the deteriorating situation Colonel Ojukwu convened a meeting of the advisory committee of chief's and elders at Enugu on the 26th of May 1967 to acquaint them with the latest development and seek their decision, he gave the committee three alternative solutions to the crisis.
1 To accept the terms of the north and Gowon and thereby submitting to domination by north or.
2 To continue the present statement and drift or.
3 Ensure the survival of the people by asserting their autonomy,
On the 27th of May 1967, the consultative Assembly mandated Colonel Ojukwu to declare at the earliest practicable date Eastern Nigeria a free sovereign and independent state b the name and title of the republic of Biafra. Gowon at once announced a new constitution for Nigeria based upon the division of the existing four regions into twelve States, by this arrangement the Eastern region was unilaterally split into three States, Rivers, East central and south eastern States, 

when the head of state of Biafra told the nation that no country in black African could defeat Biafra by land, air or see the nation went wild with joy and thought that any further delay on their part in launching an attack against Nigeria is senseless, even the announcement by Head of state that if Biafrans were attacked the grass would fight for them was taken literally by many who were beginning to ask for nothing but war.

In an attempt to demonstrate the strength of the Biafran army colonel Ojukwu took some of the civilians to the firing range of the first battalion at Enugu, there some newly acquired machine guns and automatic rifles were displayed and later fired, the noise produced was impressive and sufficiently indicative of strength.

With the people's minds thus prepared for war demonstrations were organized and held all over the Biafra land demanding immediate action against Nigeria. Everywhere the cry on everybody's lips was "Ojukwu Nyeanyi egbe" meaning Ojukwu give us weapons.

Finally, on the 30th of May 1967, the Head of state declared Eastern Nigeria an independent and sovereign of Biafra.

In doing this he was merely acting in accordance with the mandate given to him earlier by the people, the mandate had authorized him to do so at the earliest practicable date.

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