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NIGERIA POLICE HUNT TYCOON WHO SAYS HE WON ’93 ELECTION

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Federal police hunted Sunday for the fugitive tycoon who apparently won Nigeria's voided presidential election one year ago and marked its anniversary by declaring himself president.

The streets of Lagos, normally bustling even on weekends, were virtually deserted as the military government tried to locate Moshood K.O. Abiola and charge him with treason. An Abiola supporter reported he was safe in hiding.The military ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, marked the annulment of the June 12, 1993, presidential election with a nationwide television address during which he threatened to punish opponents of his rule.

"Choosing the path of confrontation and subversion at this time of our national history would not be tolerated. Such acts would be sternly punished," Abacha said.

He also promised to return Nigeria to "genuine democracy," but like previous military dictators that have ruled this nation of 90 million people, he gave no timetable.

Abiola was the leading vote-getter in last year's election when then-military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida suddenly voided the ballots. That triggered social and political turmoil and riots that killed an estimated 200 people over three days.

Babangida resigned on Aug. 26, naming a civilian supporter in his stead.