MAJOR POLITICAL CRISES IN NIGERIA – ACTION GROUP CRISIS OF 1962

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MAJOR POLITICAL CRISES IN NIGERIA – ACTION GROUP CRISIS OF 1962

lesson note on government Major Political Crises in Nigeria Action Group Crisis of 1960

ACTION GROUP CRISIS OF 1962

The crisis started as rivalry between Chief ObafemiAwolowo, the leader of AG which was also the main opposition party and his deputy, Chief S. L. Akintola who doubled as the Premier of the Western region. Highlight of the causes of the crises are as follows.

CAUSES OF ACTION GROUP CRISIS OF 1962

1. Personality clash between the two leaders. Awolowo accused Akintola of insubordination and trying to take over his position.
2. Power struggle. Awolowo was alleged to have desired to be consulted on every any important policy decision was to be taken in the western region. Akintola and his supporters considered this as effort to usurp power.
3. Clash of ideology. Ideological difference arose when a section of the Action Group came up with an opinion to pursue democratic socialism and the other faction disagreed with them.
4. Split into factions. The Action Group could not agree on whether to join NPC in forming national government or to team up with NCNC to wrestle power from the ruling party. So, two factions – Akintola’s group supported NPC while Awolowo’s group formed a progressive alliance with NCNC.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE CRISIS

1. Dismissal of Chief S. L Akintola as Deputy Leader of AG and subsequently as the Premier of western Region. This led to anarchy on the floor of the regional House of Assembly. The governor, Sir AdesojiAderemi was advised to remove Akintola and replace him with Alh. D. S. Adegbenro. There were a lot of tension, unrest and arson between the supporters of the two gladiators.
2. Chief S. L. Akintola after his dismissal formed another party named United Progressive Party (UPP).
3. A state of emergency was declared. This means that Western region House of Assembly was dissolved and a temporary administration headed by Dr. M. A. Majekodunmi, the federal minister of health was constituted.
4. After six months that the state of emengency lasted, S. L. Akintola was reinstalled as the Premier but Awolowo was and some of his supporters like Anthony Enahoro were accused of plotting to overthrow the government. He and was charged with conspiracy and treasonable felony and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
5. The crisis led to the formation of two coalition parties. That is NNA and UPGA to contest in the 1964 election.
6. The Action Group crisis was also one of the remote causes of the outbreak of violence in Western Region in 1965.

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