Examine the factors which contributed to the Action Group crises of 1962

1.   In 1959, the leader of
the Action Group (AG) Obafemi Awolowo, resigned his
post as the premier of the Western Region in order to contest the 1959 general elections. His hope was that   the AG would win the majority of seats in
the elections so that he could become the Prime Minister of Nigeria.
2.  The deputy leader of the AG, Samuel Ladoke
Akintola was chosen by the party to replace Awolowo as
the Premier of the west.
3.     In the 1959 general
election, none of the three parties, namely the AG, the NCNC and the NPC won
the majority of seats in the  
legislature. The NPC and NCNC came together to form a coaiition government while the AG because the opposition party. Tafawa Balewa was
appointed Prime Minister while Obafemi  Awolowo
became the opposition leader.
4.     Not quite long, Akintola complained that
Awolowo was interfering with the governance of the Western Region.
5.     In reaction, Awolowo was
of the view that as the party leader, he should be
consulted before any important decision was taken in the
6.     Another area of
disagreement between Akintola and Awolowo concerned the
issue of what should be the role and position of the party
in the future politics of the country. While Awolowo believed that
the party should seek co-operation with other progressive forces in order to gain control of government in future
elections, Akintola wanted the party to maintain its control in the west
and to cooperate with the NPC / NCNC federal government in any way possible so that the Western Region would receive
its fair share of the nation’s resources.
7.     As time went on, the
relationship between Awolowo and Akintofa
worsened. All attempts by eminent personalities to settle the   rift were unsuccessful.
8.     In February 1962, the Action Group (AG) held
its national conference in Jos. At the conference the leader of the party, Chief Obafemi Awolowo admitted that there was
a serious crisis within the party. He openly
accused Akintola of planning secretly to remove him as the party
leader and to assume leadership of the party. He also accused him of anti – part activities. A decision was taken and
Akintola was expelled from the party.
9.     A majority of the members
of the Action Group in the Western Region House of Assembly wrote a petition to the Governor of the western
Region, Adesoji Aderemi asking him to remove Akintola from
office and to replace him with Adegbenro. Since Akintola had
no majority support in the House.
10.  The Governor removed
Akintola and appointed Adegbenro as the new
Premier. Akintola refused to leave office. He also claimed to have removed Aderemi
from office and appointed Odeleye Fadahunsi as the new Governor.
11.  The House of Assembly was
summoned to approve all decisions the party had taken
against Akintoia. It was at this meeting that the mace was broken.
Consequently, a fight between the supporters of Akintola
and that of Adegbenro broke out.
12.  The Police was called in
to restore order. The federal government
imposed a state of emergency in the Western Region and
Suspended the government of the west. Dr. Majekodunmi who was then the Federal Minister of Health was appointed as the Administrator
for the Western Region
The Action Group challenged the
decision of the federal government at the Supreme Court
but lost the case. The party appeal to the judicial committee
of the privy council in London. The Privy Council ruled in
favour of the Action Group. However, the federal government did not
obey the decision of Privy Council. Akintola had been recalled by the government to resume as the premier of the west, six months after
the state of emergency.

Akintoia had earlier on formed
his own party which he called United Peoples Party (UPP). This party later merged
with the NCNC in the West to form the Nigerian
National Democratic Party. (NNPP).

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