ACTION GROUP CRISES
The Action Group crises as recorded in 1962, it was crises that threatened the existence and unity of Nigeria. The major cause of the action group crises were;
- Personal clash between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief S.L Akintola: Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the party leader and Chief S.L Akintola was the deputy leader. However, Chief Obafemi Awolowo saw Chief S.L Akintola as over ambitious and egocentric individual that wanted to overthrow him as the party leader, this made Chief Obafemi Awolowo view S.L Akintola as a traitor who must be remove from the party
- 2. Introduction of new party ideology: Action Group introduced a new party ideology called Democratic Socialism that encourage mixed economy which combine element of public and private enterprises. Some members of the party with commercial and business interest rejected the ideology because they believe it won’t favor them.
- Decision to join the ruling party: Action Group was divided into two faction, one led by Chief S.L Akintola and the other faction headed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Chief S.L Akintola group supported cooperation and alliance with the ruling party Northern People Congress (NPC), while Chief Obafemi Awolowo group were not interested in joining an alliance with NPC rather they preferred to join alliance with National Council of Nigerian and Cameroon (NCNC) in order to root out NPC from power.
- Interference with functions of the premier of western region: Chief S.L Akintola was the deputy leader of Action Group at the same time the premier of western region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo wanted S.L Akintola to consult him before taking decisions and important policies as the premier of western region. However Chief S.L Akintola and other members of western region were against it.
- Scrapping of the post of deputy leader: In February 1962, Action Group held an annual congress and a decision was reached to abolish the post of deputy leader and party secretary. Chief S.L Akintola who was the deputy leader was removed on charges of anti-party activities, mal-administration, disloyalty, and indiscipline. Ayo Rosiji was also removed as the party secretary. This decision by Action Group caused great disorder, crises and confusion. Thereby making the federal government to declare a six (6) month state of emergency in the western region. However S.L Akintola was reinstated after the state of emergency.
- Obafemi Awolowo sentence and imprisonment: Chief Obafemi Awolowo and thirty others were charged with treason, felony and plotting to overthrow the federal government. In November, 1962 they were sentence to 10 years imprisonment.
Implication of Action Group crises
- Action Group crises led to the carving out of mid-western region from western region which Action Group had constantly oppose S.L Akintola and his supporters formed a new political party, United Progressive Party (UPP)