The Gowon Regime
Gowon's influence depended upon his position as
the Supreme Military Council, which had come into
March 1967. The council included top-ranking staff
service and police heads, state military governors, and
civilian administrator of the East Central State. Gowon
chaired the Federal Executive Council, the cabinet of
composed of military officers and civilian technocrats.
regime ruled by decree, although the concurrence of state
military governors was sought before decrees were issued.
In October 1970, Gowon announced his intention to stay
power until 1976, which was set as the target year for
of the military's political program and the return to an
civilian government. Gowon outlined a nine-point program
would enable the military to relinquish control. Included
package were reorganization of the armed forces;
of a national economic development plan, including
of war damaged areas, eradication of corruption;
more states; adoption of a new constitution; introduction
formula for allocating revenue; completion of a national
organization of national political parties; and elections
federal and state levels. Criticism of the six-year plan
widespread because the agenda was so broad. Many Nigerians
that the military planned to retain power indefinitely.
reaction of civilian politicians was particularly
Muslim traditionalists also expressed concerns that
rule, with its modernizing tendencies, would erode the
of the emirates.
Data as of June 1991