Late General Sani Abacha, the only Nigerian soldier that attained the rank of a full military general without skipping a single rank.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

The only Nigerian soldier that attained the rank of a full military general without skipping a single rank.

– 1963 Second Lieutenant
– 1966 Lieutenant
– 1967 Captain
– 1969 Major
– 1972 Lieutenant Colonel
– 1975 Colonel
– 1980 Brigadier General
– 1983 Major General
– 1987 Lieutenant General
– 1993 General.

Sani Abacha GCFR Born 20th September 1943 and Died on 8th June 1998, was a Nigerian military officer and politician who ruled as the military head of state of Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998. He seized power on 17 November 1993 in the last successful coup d’etat in the military history of Nigeria.

He was also Chief of Army Staff between 1985 to 1990; Chief of Defence Staff between 1990 to 1993; and Minister of Defence. In 1993, Abacha became the first Nigerian soldier to attain the rank of a full military general without skipping a single rank.

He was commissioned in 1963 after he had attended the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England. Before then, he had attended the Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna.

In 1969, he fought on the Nigerian side during the bloody Biafra – Nigerian Civil War as a platoon and battalion commander. And later became commander of the 2nd Infantry Division in 1975.

In 1983, Abacha was general officer commanding of the 2nd Mechanised Division and was appointed a member of the Supreme Military Council.

His administration oversaw an increase in the country’s foreign exchange reserves from $494 million in 1993 to $9.6 billion by the middle of 1997 and reduced the external debt of Nigeria from $36 billion in 1993 to $27 billion by 1997.

Abacha also constructed between 25–100 km of urban road in major cities such as Kano, Gusau, Benin, Funtua, Zaria, Enugu, Kaduna, Aba, Lagos, Lokoja, and Port Harcourt.

Abacha brought the privatization programs of the Ibrahim Babangida administration to a halt, reduced an inflation rate of 54% inherited from Ernest Shonekan to 8.5% between 1993 and 1998, all while the nation’s primary commodity, oil was at an average of $15 per barrel.

GDP growth, despite being estimated to be higher than the 2.2% growth in 1995, was largely limited to the petroleum sector.

His popular quote

“Africa is not just a place, it’s indeed a feeling. Africa is the heart of the world, and there are only a few of us who have been touched by her. Africa defines our souls and people can feel it, people just know”. ~~ Late Gen. Sani Abacha

R.I.P

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