Abacha purges heads of state companies
It is not clear whether they are to be replaced by soldiers, but some observers say the move is part of an expected reorganisation of government. Last week General Abacha sacked the army and navy chiefs who are suspected of being political moderates and who urged a deal with the democracy movement. Some of the leaders of the two oil workers' unions on strike have been detained while others have fled into hiding.
The government said yesterday that striking oil workers who did not turn up for work were sacked. But the threat did not deter the strikers, and less than 10 per cent were reported to be working yesterday.
Yesterday's sackings demonstrate General Abacha's instinct for head-on confrontation which makes his government so different from that of his military predecessor, Ibrahim Babangida. President Babangida, who ruled for eight years, was a skilful manipulator of politicians and the broad desire of Nigerians for a return to civilian rule. General Abacha, on the other hand, is a man of little charm who proclaims on every occasion his intention to return the country to civilian rule but is choosing the path of brute strength and intimidation.
Yesterday, two people were seriously injured when the houses of two prominent democracy activists were attacked by gangs of gunmen. They sprayed bullets and set ablaze a car at the houses of Gani Fawehinmi and Daniel Suleiman, a retired air force general. They hit two unarmed guards at Mr Fawehinmi's house. 'This is state terrorism,' said General Suleiman, a member of the National Democratic Coalition, while Mr Fawehinmi said: 'Who else would attack me but the junta?'
The National Democratic Coalition has widespread backing in the south but it is matched by the Movement for Unity and Progress, a northern-based democratic movement. Support for Moshood Abiola, the man deemed to have won last year's presidential election, is strongest in the south-west, his home base, but the existence of the MUP indicates that the desire for an end to military rule is nation-wide and bridges the perceived gulf between the north and the south.
Next week may prove crucial in the struggle for Nigeria. On Monday, Mr Abiola's trial is due to resume after the judge in Abuja resigned from the case last week, while in Lagos the courts are to rule on whether or not to uphold the government's decree replacing the leaders of the trade unions of oil workers.
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 3 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...
Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...
£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...