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FLASHBACK: I Regret Advising Azikiwe Not To Join Forces With Awolowo – Former Eastern Premier, Michael Okpara Decries Nigeria’s Faulty Federalism

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An outdated newspaper printed in November 1980, has resurfaced displaying former Premier of the Jap Nigeria Area, late Dr Michael Okpara, saying he regretted the recommendation he supplied the primary President of Nigeria, late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, to not kind an alliance with the previous Premier of Western Area, late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.



The archived newspaper, The New Nation, obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday, confirmed how the late Okpara expressed regrets for advising Azikiwe to not be a part of forces with Awolowo.

Okpara had developed an curiosity within the Zikist Motion (named after Nnamdi Azikiwe), a militant wing of the Nationwide Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC).

After the granting of inner self-rule in 1952, he was elected into the Jap Nigerian Home of Meeting on the NCNC platform.

Between 1952 and 1959 he held numerous Cupboard positions in Jap Nigeria, starting from Minister of Well being to Minister of Agriculture and Manufacturing.

He was the chief of the NCNC and a Premier of Jap Nigeria throughout the First Republic from 1959 to 1966.

Though he was one of many politicians detained quickly after the navy coup of January, 1966, he survived the military revolt, wherein the opposite two premiers have been killed.

The newspaper had requested him, “Given the very nature of your militant place within the Nigerian politics of the First Republic, one may safely imagine that you simply have been a type of custodians of the nation’s political barometer on the time. By your sincere calculation, what induced the failure of the First Republic?”

Okpara had answered, “I imagine the Republic failed due to quite a lot of elements. Firstly, the primary Republic violated probably the most fundamental construction of federalism. Nobody state needs to be bigger than the remainder of the states mixed.

“In different phrases, no state needs to be bigger than the remainder of the nation. This was violated from the start and each effort made to safeguard it failed….And I shall remorse to my dying day, having taken half to advise Zik to not kind the alliance with Chief Awolowo.”

The defunct Jap and Western Areas of Nigeria are believed to share related political ideologies totally different from the Northern Area, which have mutated into the present-day agitations for federalism, restructuring and self-determination rocking the nation beneath President Muhammadu Buhari.

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