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Wednesday, June 10, 1998 Published at 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK


World: Africa

Mixed press on Abacha's death

General Abacha's death has drawn a mixed response

Nigerian newspapers have reported a mixed response to the death of General Sani Abacha.

A state radio review of the daily papers quoted the Post Express newspaper as saying that scores of Nigerians celebrated in streets across the country at the news of the leader's death.

The radio press round-up said the headline on the lead story was: "Mixed Feelings Trail Abacha's Death."

The radio quoted the body of the report saying: "In some parts of Lagos, as well as in several parts of the country, there was jubilation in the streets by scores of people, who said that General Abacha's death was a stroke of fate to free the nation from military dictatorship.

"In some other places and among some other individuals, shock and sorrow were the dominant reactions amongst those who felt a genuine sense of loss at the sudden death of a leader who had, despite all odds, piloted the affairs of the nation well in the past four and a half years," the radio's press review went on.

The Post Express also ran a story under the headline "Death of an Ambition", the radio said.

"It says, two months ago, all the five political parties scrambled for him as their messiah to run the August 1 presidential election for each of them. But just four days to the fifth anniversary of the annulled 12 June 1993 presidential polls ... the five political parties have become widowed."



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