Biography of Sani Abacha (1943-1998)

Politician and Nigerian military, born in the State of Kanu on September 20, 1943 and died on July 8, 1998.

He studied primary and secondary until in 1962 he entered the Military Academy in Kaduna. A year later he moved to a higher military institution and in 1965 completed basic military training in his country. In 1971 he traveled to the United Kingdom to expand knowledge in the infantry Academy in Westminster, and on his return to Nigeria, studied general staff in the town of Jaji. Later, he joined the National Institute of political and strategic studies.

In 1983, lieutenant general Sani Abacha had an outstanding participation in the coup that toppled Alhaji Seshu Sagariand led to power to Mohamed Buhari. When in 1985 Buhari was overthrown by Ibrahim Babangida in a new coup d'etat, Sani Abacha was also a key figure. That same year joined the Board of Directors of the armed forces of Nigeria, which the Government of the country, managed under the chairmanship of general Babangida and assumed the leadership of the army.

In 1993, the military regime annulled the results of presidential elections held on June 12 which had given victory to the Moslem billionaire businessman Moshood Abiola, candidate of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). On August 27 of the same year, Babangida appointed unilaterally to Ernest Shonekan President of the interim Government of national unity, which tried in vain to gain the sympathy of ordinary Nigerians to announce presidential elections for February 19, 1994. In the new Cabinet, Sani Abacha was appointed Minister of Defense.

The serious political and social problems who lived in Nigeria forced the Government of Shonekan to present its resignation on November 17, 1993 and, that same day, lieutenant general Sani Abacha was proclaimed head of the Nigerian state. The new leader of the country also remained at the forefront of the Defense portfolio and assumed the position of Commander in Chief of the Nigerian armed forces.

The substitute of Shonekan, sixth President military of Nigeria since the country became independent from Britain in 1961, dissolved the Parliament and the National Electoral Commission (CEN), outlawed the only two existing political parties, banned all kinds of street demonstrations, appointed military governors in thirty States of the Nigerian Federation who were under civilian command and established a severe military regime that delayed, for several years, the long-awaited political transition of the country towards democratic dictates.

Married since 1965 with Maryam Jidah, former beauty queen Nigerian with whom he had nine children, Abacha suffered a sudden heart attack that ended his life on July 8, 1988.