Sani Abacha stadium in Kano, Nigeria was one of the venues of
the U-17 World Cup.
Why would you name a stadium after a military dictator notorious for the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists in 1995 for protesting the exploitation of their land by multinational oil companies? These oil companies also enriched Sani Abacha’s coffers.
Abacha is said to have looted about $5 billion and he and his family members including son Mohammed, transferred this money to Swiss and Gulf state banks. Some of it has been recovered after years of negotiating with the Swiss government. Abacha usurped power from Moshood Abiola, Nigeria’s duly elected President imprisoning for four years when he refused to cede his electoral mandate.
Nigeria is now beginning to establish democratic roots, transparency, and accountability. By all accounts it enjoys a free and vibrant press which was not always the case. The Abacha dictatorship is a throwback to a darker era. So why celebrate him? He and his family are now well known in the world as names used commonly in the 419 scams.