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Vol 44 No 9

Published 2nd May 2003


Generals on the hill

The Abuja-Minna axis still works for old comrades in arms

Two former military leaders, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, look out from their hilltop mansions in Minna, central Nigeria, unperturbed by the furore over the elections elsewhere. 'I'm happy that elections in Minna have been peaceful,' Babangida told Africa Confidential just after he had voted on 19 April. He dismissed parallels with 1983, when flawed elections organised by a civilian government prompted a military coup led by Babangida and other senior officers, including this year's presidential challenger, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari: 'The situations are completely different... The military have to come to terms with the fact that coups d'état aren't acceptable'.

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