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19 years without Abacha

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June 8, 2017 made it exactly 19 years since Nigeria’s military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha left the world. It would be recalled that June 8, 1998 was welcomed with mixed reactions when the news of the death of the ruler and dictator of the most populous black country broke. It was gathered that while a part of the country was thrown into mourning, other parts were simply jubilating the end of a terrible dictator’s regime. One could not ascertain the actual cause of his death as he was buried same day he died.
However, speculations that he may have been poisoned by two Indian prostitutes he spent the night with filled the air. The government speculated that he had a sudden heart attack, but his then CSO, Hamza Al-Mustapha, after his release from prison few years back said his boss neither died of heart attack nor poisoning. Rather, his death and Abiola’s are connected.
Report has it that before his death, he had promised to conduct a general election in August same year and hand over power to the civilian government in October. But, alas, that day never came as he
died barely two months before the promised date.
One would have wondered how a ruler’s death was not investigated, but when approached, Abacha’s personal physician said this in an interview “I still try to take some samples of blood and urine and hair and things like that, just thinking for the future chemical tests”. He couldn’t do all the necessary things as the former head of state had to be buried same day according to his religion. Prof. Wali continued,
“It’s very difficult to say (whether he died of natural causes). What I can see, the blood test we did, has shown some cardiac enzymes (proteins that are released into the blood by a dying heart muscles).That’s why we thought maybe it was cardiac attack.”
On the assumption that he was poisoned by some Indian prostitutes, he said, “When I entered (Abacha’s premises), there were no ladies. It might be true but I did not see them. Concerning the poison, as I said, no post-mortem has been done, so I couldn’t assure whether he was poisoned or it was a heart attack.”
Late Gen. Sani Abacha was born in Kano on September 20, 1943, but he’s a Kanuri, from Borno state. He married Maryam Abacha in 1965 and had 10 children (7 boys and 3 girls). He reigned between November 17, 1993 and June 8, 1998. He was the 10th head of state. His government was accused of human rights abuses and violations, especially when he ordered the hanging of Ogoni activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, jailed winner of June 12 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola and former president Olusegun Obasanjo for treason.
He also charged erstwhile professor and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka with treason in absentia. He and his family allegedly stole £5 billion from the country’s coffers. In 2004, he was listed 4th most corrupt leader in the world.

  • KAREEM AZEEZAT

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