Nigeria marks 20 years since Abacha died

Today marks 20 years since the death of Gen Sani Abacha, considered one of Nigeria’s most brutal leaders.

His regime was marked by human rights abuses, attacks on the press and the jailing of political opponents, including Moshood Abiola who is believed to have won the annulled 1993 election.

The hanging in 1995 of nine prominent environment activists – famously known as the Ogoni Nine – caused international outrage and as a result Nigeria was suspended from the Commonwealth.

Gen Abacha promised to return Nigeria to democracy and held parliamentary elections in 1998 in which he was the sole candidate. He died months later.

Reaction to his death was divided, with some celebrating and other mourning, and he remains a controversial figure among Nigerians.

President Muhammadu Buhari was heavily criticised recently for his comments on Abacha’s contribution to infrastructural projects.

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International estimates that during his five-year rule between 1993-1998, he stole between $2-5bn.

Source: BBC

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