Afenifere, others criticise President Buhari over Abacha comment

Afenifere, others criticise President Buhari over Abacha comment

- Some top politicians have condemned President Buhari for praising late General Sani Abacha

- The president had earlier said, he does not care about people's opinion of Abacha as he as he contributed to infrastructural development during his tenure

- Some criticised the president's anti-corruption fight as selective, saying Abacha’s corruption is legendary

President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment about late General Sani Abacha has been criticised by top political chieftains who have described it as praise from the president to the late dictator.

President Buhari on Tuesday, May 22, was quoted as saying he did not care what people feel about Abacha.

He said: “I don’t care the opinion you have about Abacha, but I agreed to work with him and we constructed roads from Abuja to Port Harcourt, Benin to Onitsha and so on.”

The Punch reports that Dr. Abiola. Akiyode-Afolabi who is the chairperson of the Transition Monitoring Group said: “How can anyone laud Abacha for anything? A looter, a dictator, a killer? The President missed it! Whatever the context, that statement is unwarranted. It’s a distraction, Mr. President should respect Nigerians. We all know what Abacha did. Buhari cannot rewrite history.”

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A chieftain of the Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, also berated the president for his comment.

He said: “Buhari worked under Abacha and why are you surprised about his support for Abacha? Here is a President who has lost his credibility and some Nigerians are still taking him seriously. I have always spoken about the anti-democratic ideals of Buhari but his supporters at that time told me that Buhari had changed to a democrat.

“From the beginning, President Buhari has always insisted that Abacha did not steal. He said these things repeatedly during his campaigns, but his government has been recovering money looted by Abacha so I am not surprised with Buhari’s comments."

Also, Dr. John Akperashi who is the president of the National Council of Tiv Youths said the statement credited to the president showed the bias in his anti-corruption war.

He said: “Abacha’s corruption is legendary. Till today, the nation is recovering his looted funds stashed away in various banks overseas in hard currencies.” had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari praised the administration of former late dictator, General Sani Abacha over his contribution to the infrastructural development of the nation. Abacha ruled Nigeria as military head of state between 1993 and 1998 when he died in office.

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His regime was reportedly characterised by abuse of power, wanton corruption, victimisation of pro-democracy activists and killings of notable figures in democratic struggles.

Premium Times reports that President Buhari while meeting with a delegation of Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, May 22, said the late Abacha built roads, hospitals and other notable developmental projects when he served as head of state.

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