d. The information media blame
Lt.-Col. Gowon: On the Government Information Media, I think all the Government Information Media in the country have done terribly bad. Emeka would say the New Nigerian has been very unkind to the East.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: And the Post which I pay for.
Lt.-Col. Gowon: Sometime I feel my problem is not with anyone but the Outlook.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: All the other information media have done a lot. When the Information Media in a country completely closed their eyes to what was happening, I think it is a dangerous thing.
Major Johnson: Let us agree it is the situation.
Lt.-Col. Ejoor: All of them have committed one crime or the other.
Lt.-Col. Hassan: The Outlook is the worst of them.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: The Outlook is not the worst, the Post which we all in fact pay for is the worst followed closely by the New Nigerian.
Mr. T. Omo-Bare: Let us make a general statement on all of them, no distinction.
Lt.-Col. Gowon: I think we agreed that all Government Information Media should desist from making inflammatory publications that would worsen the situation in the country.
e. The administrative arrangements for the future
Lt.-Col. Gowon: I personally think Decree 34 is worth looking into. I agree that the Supreme Military Council should sit on this, I think even in one of my addresses I said I would do away with any Decree that certainly tended to go towards too much centralisation and if you feel strongly about this, very good, they can be looked into. I think we will resurrect this one when we go back home and take decisions on them.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: We will not discuss the details but I am anxious that we find solutions. Whatever we do here we set a time for because there has been so much going on. What I am bringing up at this meeting are the things which generate the sort of suspicion we are trying very hard to avoid. If we can set a time limit I would be agreeable that all the parts of Decrees and Decrees that assume overcentralisation will be repealed.
Commodore Wey: Will be looked into, supposing it is a good one?
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: Centralisation is a word that stinks in Nigeria to-day. For that 10,000 people have been killed….
Lt.-Col. Hassan: We are not going back on the question of Government. I think we better make it clear what form of Government because up till now Emeka has been saying he does not recognise the Federal Government of Nigeria. This is the main point. Let us make it clear, is the East agreeing to the present Federal Government? If not what is the East thinking should be the form of Federal Government?
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: I have said that a Government by a Council run perhaps the same as we have to-day with a Chairman with limited powers and we limit the powers here….
Col. Adebayo: I do not think we should flog this thing too much. I think quite rightly a lot of powers of the Regions have been taken from them by centralising most of them, this was by some of the Decrees made by Lagos before 29th July. I think this must be looked into, the Decrees repealed and the powers must go back to the Regions.
Mr. T. Omo-Bare: Why not use the word, reviewed. We can hold a meeting when we get back home and review these Decrees.
Col. Adebayo: Can we then say that all our Solicitors-General get together and discuss these Decrees?
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: Let us go through the points we know, we know we had a Federation before 15th January, the powers go back to the Regions and from there we try to put things right. All this talk about review, review and for the next six months they will not be reviewed.
Commodore Wey: As far as I am concerned this Government is known as the Military Government and all the Decrees produced so far were produced by the Army, therefore, let us not blame ourselves, let us look into the Decrees and find the ones we can send back. You were in the Council when we made these Decrees.
AlhajiKamSelem: I think the point he made is good but it is not a matter for us to decide. We have to look into these things. Let the Solicitors-General meet, bring their lists and put up recommendations.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: The ‘legal boys’ have looked into it and said ‘repeal’. If some ‘legal boys’ in some regions refuse to work it is not my fault. These are the things that cause a lot of trouble.
Col. Adebayo: Let us give them a date when they should meet….
Mr. T. Omo-Bare: The Governors should go back and tell their men to meet at Benin on a certain date.
Lt.-Col. Hassan: The Ministry of Justice in Lagos.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: He will give the instruction in Lagos and I will give the instruction in Enugu.
Lt.-Col. Hassan: Lagos is the one to say let us meet at such and such a date.
Col. Adebayo: We are giving them instruction from this meeting.
Lt.-Col. Ojukwu: It is not Lagos. This is the crucial point about this Government.
Lt.-Col. Hassan: Let us take this question honestly, the East has not recognised the Federal Government, I think you better secede and let the three of us join together.
Lt.-Gen. Ankrah: There is no question of secession when you come here.
Col. Adebayo: What he is saying is that let this meeting decide on the date they are meeting somewhere and when we get back home we will tell our Solicitors-General that they are meeting at such and such a date.