When General Sanni Abacha died 18 years ago, many Nigerians celebrated the death of the military dictator known for ruling Africa’s most populous country with iron hands.
The late Abacha was Nigeria’s military head of state from November 17, 1993, to June 8, 1998, but his five year regime was very controversial with lots of human rights abuses.
He hanged the Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, jailed Moshood Abiola and Olusegun Obasanjo, while Wole Soyinka was charged with treason in absentia.
Abacha and his family are also accused of looting a total of £5 billion from the country’s coffers, an allegation that has been dismissed by those loyal to him.
READ ALSO: 18 years on, Abacha's daughter remembers him
Abacha's death is shrouded in mystery, the most popular version is that he died in the midst of Indian prostitutes flown in from Dubai but the official version is that he died of heart attack. A more likely story is that he was “eliminated” to end the political crisis in Nigeria.
Though the act of celebrating the death of an individual is considered improper in African context, some Nigerians have however, taken to social media to celebrate the demise of the once feared General who died on June 8, 1998.
See reactions below:
Meanwhile, former chief security officer (CSO) to the late head of state, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, has defended his late boss, General Sani Abacha, insisting that the late head of state did not loot the nation’s treasury as being reported.
Speaking with the media in Lagos on Monday, May 30, Al-Mustapha said that most of the funds recovered in different parts of the world were kept there by the Abacha government in anticipation of sanctions likely to be imposed on the country by the international community.