November 22, 1967

On this day, four of the six African heads of state assigned to consult with the Nigerian leader, Major-General Yakubu Gowon, on the Nigeria crisis flew into Lagos. The six-nation mission was appointed by the previous OAU conference in Congo (Kinshasa). The four heads of state who arrived on this day were: Emperor Halie Selassie of Ethiopia, Lt. General Joseph Ankrah of Ghana, President Ahmadou Ahidjo of the Cameroun and president Hamani Dior of Niger.

General Joseph Mobutu of the Congo and president William Tubman of Liberia, who were also members of the Committee did not come because of urgent state matters in their respective countries.

Stiff security measures were mounted in Lagos on this day for the arrival of the African leaders. General Gowon came in at sandwiched by armoured trucks and tanks behind a colourful motorcade to await the visitors. At 11.40am, a UTA plane from Douala, Cameroun, touched down, bringing in the first arrival – President Ahmadou Ahidjo.

The visiting president was then introduced to members of the Federal Executive Council by General Gowon, and later to the heads of diplomatic missions in Nigeria.

Twenty-six minutes later, Lt. General Joseph Ankrah of Ghana flew in in a Ghana Air Force jet. He received the same welcome as the Cameroun president. Next came an Ethiopian Airlines jet bearing the leader of the OAU mission, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, dressed in his usual uniform of Commander of the Royal Ethiopian Armed Forces.

The OAU Secretary-General, Mr. Dialo Telli, also arrived in Lagos on this day for the heads of state talks. He and his Nigerian assistant, Mr. M. Sannu, were in the same plane with Emperor Haile Selassie.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: