The Supreme Military Council of Nigeria resumed its meeting in Ghana on the 5th of January and continued and concluded discussion of the remaining subjects on the Agenda. The Council reached agreement on all the items. On the powers and functions of the Federal Military Government the Council reaffirmed its belief in the workability of the existing institutions subject to necessary safequards. Other matters on which agreements were reached included the
- Re-organization, administration and control of the Army Appointments and promotions to the senior ranks in the Armed Forces, the Police, Diplomatic and Consular Services as well as appointments to super-scale posts in the Federal Civil Service and the equivalent posts in the Federal Statutory Corporations.
- On the question of displaced persons the Supreme Military Council agreed to set up a committee to look into the problems of rehabilitation and recovery of property. In this connection the Military Governor of the East assured the Council that the order that non-Easterners should leave the Eastern Region would be reviewed with a view to its being lifted as soon as practicable.
- Agreement was also reached that the staff and employees of Governments and Statutory Corporations who have had to leave their poses as a result of recent disturbances in the country should continue to be paid their full salaries up to the end of 31st March, 1967, provided they have not found alternative employment.
- The Council agreed that the Ad Hoc Committee on the constitutional future of the country should be resumed as soon as practicable and that the unanimous recommendations of the committee in September 1966, will be considered by the Supreme Military Council at a later meeting.
- The Council unanimously agreed that future meetings of the Council should be held in Nigeria at a venue to be announced later.
- The entire members of the Supreme Military Council express profound regret for the bloodshed which has engulfed the country in the past year and avow to do all in their power to ensure there is no recurrence of the unhappy situation.
- The members of the Supreme Military Council place on record their profound appreciation and gratitude for the constructive initiative and assistance rendered by the Chairman of the National Liberation Council, the Government and people of Ghana.
Statement by the Supreme Council on the Reorganization of the Army, and the Approval of Senior Appointments, and its Declaration on the use of force
The Supreme Military Council now meeting in Ghana has agreed on the following reorganization of the Army: The Army is to be governed by the Supreme Military Council the Chairman of which will be known as Commander-in-Chief and Head of the Federal Military Government.
There will be a Military Headquarters on which the Regions will be equally represented and which will be headed by a Chief of Staff. In each Region there shall be an Area Command under the charge of an Area Commander and corresponding with the existing Regions. All matters of policy including appointments and promotions of persons in executive posts in the Armed Forces and Police shall be dealt with by the Supreme Military Council. During the period of the Military Government, Military Governors will have control over their Area Commands in matters of internal security.
The following appointments must be approved by the Supreme Military Council:
- Diplomatic and Consular posts.
- Senior posts in the Armed Forces and the Police.
- Super-scale Federal Civil Service and Federal Corporation posts.
- Any decision affecting the whole country must be determined by the Supreme Military Council. Where a meeting is not possible such a matter must be referred to Military Governors for comment and concurrence.
We the members of the Supreme Military Council of Nigeria meeting at Accra on 4th day of January, 1967, hereby solemnly and
unequivocably: DECLARE that we renounce the use of force as a means of settling the present crisis in Nigeria, and hold ourselves in honor bound by this declaration. REAFFIRM our faith in discussions and negotiation as the only peaceful way of resolving the Nigerian crisis. AGREE to exchange information on the quantity of arms and ammunition in each unit of the Army in each Region, and also on the quantity of new arms and ammunition in stock.
(Signatures of the nine leaders).