On this day: in history (1967), General Gowon decreed the creation of twelve new states to replace the four regions in anticipation of Eastern region secession.
Gowon’s decision was made to weaken the support base of the Eastern region. Six of these states contained minority groups that had demanded state creation since the 1950s. Gowon calculated that the eastern minorities would not actively support the Igbos, given the prospect of having their own states if the secession effort were defeated. Many of the federal troops who fought in the Nigerian Civil War, also known as Biafran War, to bring the Eastern Region back to the federation, were members of minority groups.
Gowon’s decision to create more states was in direct contradiction with the agreement reached at the Aburi Accord . The federal government totally reneged on the agreement and unilaterally declared the creation of several new states including some that gerrymandered the Igbos in Biafra.
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Created by Okey Obiabunmo