Nigeria: Inside the Dismal TunnelPublic Deposited
More than taking Nigeria back into the “dismal tunnel” of military rule, after seizing power in November 1993, Sani Abacha raced through the playbook he knew as a senior member of Babangida’s junta. Like Babangida, he pushed back the announced date for the return to civilian rule, launched an exercise to restructure the federation, and freely used the state treasury to amass a large fortune and suborn military elites and politicians. The extreme level of repression led to Nigeria being declared a place of “growing cruelty”, a rogue state, and the target of international sanctions for human rights abuses. Abacha’s deliberate construction of a life-presidency, in the guise of a democratic transition, was terminated when his endangered military cohorts opted for his physical liquidation.