HISTORY BOOK: Pressure forced Abacha to release 142 people | Boko Haram’s deadly attack killed scores.

A deadly attack by Boko Haram claimed several lives in Nigeria. Following an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on May 7, 2013, over 100 prisoners from a nearby jail were released, and 55 lives tragically lost. Bama is located in northeastern Nigeria. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>

About 200 heavily armed Boko Haram insurgents arrived in buses and trucks, executing a coordinated attack that targeted the army barracks, police station, and eventually the town’s prison. Military spokesperson Sagir Musa said that casualties included 22 police officers, 14 prison staff, two soldiers, and four civilians, with an additional 13 attackers losing their lives. This attack stood as one of the group’s deadliest since its inception in 2009.

During the nearly five-hour raid commencing at 5 AM, gunmen dressed in army attire freed 105 prisoners. Several buildings, including the police station, army barracks, and government offices, were set ablaze.

Eyewitness accounts, such as Amina Usman’s narration, depict a scene of terror as the assault began during the morning call to prayer, prompting residents to flee for safety. Tragically, one woman was burned to death because she was unable to run the flames.

Pressures Made Abacha Free 142 People

Also on this day in 1998, the Nigerian government under the military ruler, General Sani Abacha announced the release of 142 prisoners. Among those freed were four journalists and a few other political detainees.

Since assuming power in 1993, Abacha’s government faced condemnation from foreign entities, human rights organizations, and the U.N. Human Rights Commission for imprisoning politicians, journalists, and advocates for democracy.

Earlier, Abacha pledged amnesty to detainees held without trial “whose release would pose no further threat to the peace and security of our nation.” Interior Minister Bashir Dalhatu later disclosed the names of 142 individuals released in fulfillment of that promise. Some of the freed journalists included Muhammad Amadu and Soji Omotunde from African Concord, Babafemi Ojudu from The News, and Onome Osifo-Whiskey from Tell magazine. They were apprehended between July and November of the previous year following critical articles about Abacha published in their respective publications. Ogaga Ifowodo from the Civil Liberties Organization, a Nigerian human rights group, was also released.

Abacha drew international human rights criticisms shortly after assuming power, particularly for the arrest of businessman Moshood Abiola in 1994, who had declared himself Nigeria’s legitimate ruler. Abiola had ostensibly won the 1993 presidential election, which was annulled by the military government of Abacha’s predecessor, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.

In 1995, Abacha allowed the execution of nine environmental and political activists, including writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, following their conviction for murder by a military tribunal whose proceedings were widely criticized as unjust. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>

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