It has been 18 years since General Sani Abacha passed away. History will always remember him – good or bad.
Here are 10 things every Nigerian should remember about Abacha:
1. General Sani Abacha was born and brought up in Kano state. He was originally from Borno state.
2. Abacha married a Shuwa Arab, Maryam, also from Borno state, in 1965 and they had six boys and three girls. The first child, Ibrahim, died in a plane crash in 1996. His last child was born in Aso Rock in 1994 when Abacha was 50 and his wife 47.
3. Abacha was the first and only military head of state who never skipped a rank to become a full-star general.
4. Abacha announced the coup that brought an end to the government of President Shehu Shagari on December 31, 1983, and brought Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to power.
5. After Buhari was overthrown in a palace on August 27, 1985, it was Abacha that announced the chief of army staff, Major-Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, as the new military president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces in an evening broadcast (the coup speech was read by Brigadier Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro).
6. Abacha came into power in 1993 after head of government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, resigned.
7. Two of the most important recommendations of the 1995 constitutional conference he set up are: 13% derivation for oil-producing areas and six geo-political zones.
8. Abacha was instrumental to the restoration of peace and democracy in Sierra Leone and Liberia after years of civil wars.
9. His supporters describe him as a good economic manager and that he stabilised exchange rate at N22/$1 but the unofficial rate was N80/$1.
10. Abacha’s death is still shrouded in mystery: the most popular version is that he died in the hands of Indian prostitutes but the official version is that he died of heart attack.