How Gowon Abolished Regionalism And Introduced Unitary Rule- Pictures

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In January of 1966, General Ironsi siezed power after putting down a coup. Nigeria had 4 semi-autonomous Regions:- Northern Region, Western Region, Eastern Region and Midwest Region. Each Region controlled whatever resources was within its domain, paid an agreed tax to the federal government and progressed at its own pace. Thats how things remained throughout the 6 months Ironsi was head of state. Things changed after Ironsi was killed, and Lt Colonel Gowon took over. In the tumultuous times after Gowon took over, there was a meeting between Gowon and Ojukwu in Aburi, Ghana. One of the things agreed in Aburi was that if Gowon wanted to take any far reaching decision, such as to change the Regional structure of Nigeria, he could only do so if the 4 Military Governors of the 4 Regions agreed with him. On the 27th of May 1967, Gowon enacted Decree 14(States Creation And Transitional Provision Decree). I laugh when people talk about Ironsi's Decree 34 that only unified the civil service. Gowons Decree 14 abolished all 4 Regions, created 12 new unitary states to replace the Regions, took away resource control and placed it in the hands of the Federal government, and introduced full blown unitary rule. Gowons Decree 14 caused all the problems we have in Nigeria today. That Decree is why Ojukwu declared Biafra because it violated what was agreed in Aburi. The Decree was the end of Regionalism and resource control, and also the start of useless state creation.

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