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Vol 38 No 14

Published 4th July 1997


Nigeria

The general's labyrinth

Failures at home and abroad are bad news for General Abacha's plans to run in presidential elections

All the ingredients are there: political uncertainty (about General Sani Abacha's candidacy in next year's elections), economic collapse (fuel shortages and worse poverty than 25 years ago), armed political rivalries (Niger Delta war) and regional crisis (Sierra Leonean coup-makers who have humiliated Abacha, AC Vol 38 No 12). However, there is no effective opposition able to make political capital out of Abacha's travails; for him, the most threatening opposition still consists of serving and retired army officers. As things get worse, such officers believe, their chances of succeeding in a bid for power improve.

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