Tag Archives: history

What Really Happend to Abacha and Abiola?


The Death of MKO Abiola: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02w68yg

The Death of General Abacha: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02vyxqq

How quickly we forget. Almost exactly 17 years ago, the political situation was as follows:

  • Nigeria was being ruled by a ruthless and reclusive military dictator called General Sani Abacha.
  • General Olusegun Obasanjo was in prison, along with over 50 other army officers were in jail (some awaiting execution) on charges of coup plotting.
  • Nigeria had become a pariah nation after being expelled from the Commonwealth for executing Ken Saro-Wiwa and other activists who were campaigning for a fairer share of Nigerian oil revenues and against the environmental damage caused to their lands by the drilling and spills of big oil companies.
  • Lt-General Oladipo Diya, Major-Generals Abdulkareem Adisa and Tajudeen Olanrewaju, and several other officers were on death row awaiting execution for their role in another coup plot.
  • The winner of the acclaimed June 12 1993 election Chief MKO Abiola had been in jail for 4 years, kept incommunicado from the outside world.
  • General Abacha was on the verge of transforming himself from a military ruler to civilian President having strong armed all the 5 political parties (“five fingers of the same leprous hand”) into adopting him as their presidential candidate.
  • Genuine democracy seemed far, far away.

abacha3.jpg

Plus a lot of the “pro democracy” activists shamelessly abandoned Abiola to join Abacha (Olu Onagoruwa, Baba Gana Kingibe). Even ministers in Abacha’s regime were not safe. The Guardian Newspapers (owned by Abacha’s minister Ibru) was proscribed by a newspaper proscription Decree and shut down after it criticised the government. It was the paper’s continual criticism of Abacha’s regime that led to the near fatal assassination attempt on Ibru.

The Abacha -v- Abiola power struggle was holding the entire country hostage (Abacha’s desire to remain in power and Abiola’s unrealised mandate). Even if Abacha was removed, what would the country do about Abiola who won a credible election five years earlier?

Then the following cataclysmic events happened in the space of 30 days:

  • On June 8 1998 Abacha dies of a heart attack and is hurriedly buried without an autopsy by the time the news filters through to most Nigerians. Nigerians publicly celebrate the death of a reviled leader with wild jubilation. General Abdulsalam Abubakar quickly replaces Abacha and announces that Abiola will be released but that he had to realise that his mandate had expired. A lot of chicanery was used to get Abiola to renounce but he refused. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is sent to talk to him and explain that his “term of office” had expired since 5 years had passed since the June 12 1993 election. All to no avail.
  • Exactly one month after the death of Abacha, Abiola suddenly dies of a heart attack on July 7 1998.
  • With Abacha, Abiola and the June 12 issue out of the way, General Abubakar announces a swift 10 month programme for a return to civilian democratic rule. Just 10 months after Nigeria seemed doomed to perpetual military rule under General Abacha, the military steps down and a new democratic government is elected under President Obasanjo.
  • The speed with which Abacha’s infrastructure was dismantled just seemed too contrived. With Abacha alive and Abiola incarcerated, most people thought democracy was years away in Nigeria. Just 10 months after his death everything he did was undone: his killer squad was dismantled, coup convicts and pro democracy activists released, Nigeria back in the Commonwealth, democracy restored, and the army back in the barracks. Note that a lot of Abacha’s supporters survived in office and resurfaced in subsequent dispensations (Sarki Mukhtar – NSA, Jerry Gana etc).

Somehow exactly 30 days apart, both men die of heart attacks. Abacha is prevented from becoming a civilian ruler, from executing the condemned men like Diya, Adisa and Olanrewaju, and a recalcitrant Abiola (who refuses to renounce his mandate) also dies. Problem gone, debate over, fresh start. All rather convenient isn’t it?…. How easily we forget….

How Well Do you Know #Nigeria? (Part 2)


I am restarting a feature I began (and wisely discontinued) a few years ago:

https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/how-well-do-you-know-africa/

https://maxsiollun.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/how-well-do-you-know-nigeria/

Do you think you know lots about Nigeria? Well, here is a chance to show off how much you really know about that country.  Take the 10 question quiz below. Answers to the questions will be posted here in due course.

NO CHEATING, no use of Wikipedia or Google (or other web search engines!). ;-)

NIGERIAN QUIZ

1)    Who coined the name Nigeria?

2)    In what year was Nigeria’s current national anthem adopted?

3)   Nigeria’s first Prime Minister was Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. What does ‘Tafawa Balewa’ mean in English?

4) What was the last military post held by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari before he became head of state on December 1, 1984?

5)  What was former president General Obasanjo’s career before he joined the army?

6)    Abuja succeeded Lagos as Nigeria’s capital city. Which city was the capital before Lagos?

7) Which school counts among its alumni, four different Nigerian heads of state?

8)   Who is the longest reigning head of state in Nigeria’s history? (single uninterrupted reign)

9)   Who is the only Nigerian to have commanded the air force of two different countries?

10) What was the first political post held by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari?

Video: Former President Obasanjo Speaks About His Book: “My Watch”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llT7eOtod2I&feature=youtu.be&a

Readers with Their Copy of Soldiers of Fortune: Number 30 (Oge – @pinklettuce)


https://twitter.com/pinklettuce_/status/559302983545278464/photo/1

Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for buying and reading the book.

The 30th shout out goes to Oge 

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can now be downloaded to Amazon Kindle from the Amazon website:

It can also be bought online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

other buying locations: –

  • Glendora, Awolowo Road, South-West Ikoyi, Lagos
  • Patabah Bookstore, Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall, Surulere, Lagos
  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Terrakulture, Plot 1379, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos

Full list of locations here: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/where-to-buy/

Reviews: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/in-the-news/

Readers with their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune – Gboyega (Number 29)


https://twitter.com/GeeBeeSho/status/547720962712412160/photo/1

Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for buying and reading the book.

The 29th shout out goes to Gboyega

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can now be downloaded to Amazon Kindle from the Amazon website:

It can also be bought online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

other buying locations: –

  • Glendora, Awolowo Road, South-West Ikoyi, Lagos
  • Patabah Bookstore, Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall, Surulere, Lagos
  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Terrakulture, Plot 1379, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos

Full list of locations here: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/where-to-buy/

Reviews: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/in-the-news/

#Nigeria’s History of Forgetting its History


http://www.bellanaija.com/2013/06/12/ofilispeaks-our-history-of-forgetting-history/

http://risenetworks.org/2014/01/08/arent-nigerians-taught-to-forget-their-history/

The Assassination of Dele Giwa: #Nigeria’s First Act of Terrorism?


https://player.fm/series/witness/witness-the-death-of-dele-giwa

This broadcast is about the the letter bomb assassination of famous Newswatch Dele Giwa in 1986. Giwa was the ex-husband of Florence Ita-Giwa, the Senator for Cross River South. Many regard Giwa’s murder as Nigeria’s first act of terrorism. This broadcast includes an interview with Giwa’s colleague Kayode Soyinka, who was with Giwa when he was killed.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028n6c6

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028n6c6/broadcasts

Readers with Their Copy of Soldiers of Fortune (Now Available on Kindle) – Number 27


Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for buying and reading the book.

The 27th shout out goes to Chukwuemeka Okonkwo

Chukwuemeka was so determined to get a copy that he had a copy routed to him via the UK all the way to Nigeria!  Thanks Chukwuemeka. :-)

https://scontent-1.2914.fna.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/s720x720/1512443_10152686418006919_4711398285834722163_n.jpg?oh=5e9b7f2023a41d957792da3bb48d89bc&oe=550AE2B6

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can now be downloaded to Amazon Kindle from the Amazon website:

It can also be bought online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

other buying locations: –

  • Glendora, Awolowo Road, South-West Ikoyi, Lagos
  • Patabah Bookstore, Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall, Surulere, Lagos
  • Jazzhole in Lagos, at 168 Awolowo Road, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Terrakulture, Plot 1379, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos

Full list of locations here: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/where-to-buy/

Reviews: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/in-the-news/

Readers with Soldiers of Fortune: Philip Effiong (Number 24) #maxsiollun


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Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for buying and reading the book.

The 24th shout out goes to Philip Effiong who bought his copy in Nairobi, Kenya!  Philip is of course the son of the late Lt-Colonel (Biafran Major-General) Philip Effiong who was second-in-command to Ojukwu during the Nigeria/Biafra civil war.

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can be bought from:

Online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

Full list of locations here: http://www.fortunesoldiers.com/where-to-buy/

 

 

Readers with Their Copy of #SoldiersofFortune: Number 22 – Sakina Kabir “Awestruck Reader”!


 

 

pic.twitter.com/UbHUGvQxe3

 

BuOoh5tIYAEYPmL.jpg

 Many of you have been posting images of yourselves with your copy of my book Soldiers of Fortune. To say thanks to you, I have been posting “shout outs” to say thanks to you for  buying and reading the book.

The 22nd shout out goes to Sakina Kabir – an “awestruck reader” in her own words!  Sakina says the book “might as well be” a movie, since “so many unwritten movie scripts are contained in our history”! Quite an endorsement.

Copies of Soldiers of Fortune can be bought from:

Online from Buyam and Cassava Republic who can deliver directly to your front door:

 

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