“The truth that makes men free is for the most part, the truth which men prefer not to hear”. Herbert Agar
About ten years ago, Colonel Muammar Al-Ghaddafi, the lion of Libya and the pan-African scourge of the West, went the final way of all mortals. He was killed, we were told by forces loyal to the National Transitional Council (NTC) that was formed in the wake of the protests that was organised to bring the over four decades of Ghaddafis rule to an end.
From the media frenzy, the wild jubilations across the world and the several press conferences world leaders like Barack Obama called to celebrate the sordid exit of the Beast of the Arab Nation and the Great Butcher of the Libyan Desert, it was clear that Ghaddafis death was a joyful event. And it is to the West and all their lackeys masquerading as African leaders.
But to old mother Africa and the real pan-Africanists, Ghaddafis death was an unmitigated disaster the kind that befell the Indian sub-continent upon the death of the immortal Mahatma Gandhi. Africa has just lost one of her best men and lots of empty minds thought that it was time for celebrations.
It is easy to see that the majority of the people (Libyans inclusive) who hailed his death as a victory for democracy and the wishes of the people, do not have a good grasp of the issues at stake. Yes Barack Obama (surprisingly Africas Obama) and his Western collaborators would rejoice at Ghaddafis demise and for a good measure too, – he was the last and only stumbling block to their re-colonisation of Africa.
To the leaders of the NTC, it was a dream come true as they have been able to justify the trust reposed in them by the West. Call them pawns if you like, they have acted their script to the obvious satisfaction of all involved. They too, should be happy they are the new little gods in Libya now.
If some of the people who popped Champagnes and clicked glasses over Ghaddafis death, had their interests and reasons to do so as we have seen, what was your reason for doing so? Wait o! Is this guy going gaga? Which planet is he coming from?
Ghaddafi was a dictator, a butcher, an undemocratic mind and a well pronounced devil’s advocate whose pastime was to kill his people at will to maintain his position.
This is exactly the point of this write-up. How much of Ghaddafi did you know?
Except for new television stations like the troublesome and over meddlesome Press TV, and AlJazeera, much of what most of us know of the outside world and even of ourselves was what the West wanted us to know using avenues like the BBC, CNN, IMF and the World Bank. And we desire to make no effort at re-checking some of these pieces of information before swallowing them hook, line and sinker.
Years ago, the devil himself, Adolf Hitler said, “By the clever and persevering use of propaganda, even heaven can be represented as hell to the people and conversely, the most wretched life as paradise”.
So following from this culture of ‘clever and persevering use of propaganda’, people like Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and of course, Muammar Ghaddafi were depicted as rogues.
And worst of all we took the whole propaganda in and have continued till today after their demise, to see them in that mold.
If you do care to know, then what is history’s version?
We shall soon see.
Soon after attaining Independence, the President of Congo Kinshasa, Mr Patrice Lumumba faced a rebellion organised by Moishe Tshombe in the Copper-rich region of Katanga. He was later caught under the direction of some foreign powers and handed over to the rebels in whose hands he met his untimely death.
Again faced with the urgent need to reclaim the economic sovereignty of his people, President Sylvanus Olympio of Togo decided to withdraw from the CFA (the common currency of all the former French colonies). This did not go down well with France and Gnassingbe Eyadema who fought with the French in Algeria, was empowered to do away with Olympio.
That was how the first president of Togo was toppled and later murdered.
Also in Ghana, President Kwame Nkrumahs book, Africa Must Unite and his constant call for African Unity showed that he knew and was talking too much. He had to be taught a lesson.
Sooner than you would expect, a Gen. Ankrah had stepped forward to do the yeoman’s job.
Yes Nkrumah the undisputed father of modern Africa was removed in a coup detat in 1966 in complete fulfillment of the demands from some foreign capitals.
While all these were happening, one King Idris was calling the shot in Libya as her leader.
Under his supervision, Libya’s generous natural resources were birthday gifts to Western leaders and their allies.
At about the same time also, an impressionable young army officer called Muammar Ghaddafi and people like him all over Africa were silently taking notes of what was going on. When he could take the nonsense no more, he in conjunction with others ousted the Libyan King.
Ghaddafi instantly became an enemy of the West who as it were, was not allowed to exchange their hand over notes before he struck.
As if to worsen the matter, this young leader of about 27 years set in motion the process that led to the first increase in recent years then in the international price of oil. Here again, he took the world by storm and the West who felt the adverse effect of that action the most, never forgave him.
He also swore to make them pay for all the African blood they shed. And he meant it.
You must have heard of Lockerbie and other acts of terror that allegedly arose from that ‘mad dog’.
Now in the eyes of the West, what were Ghaddafi’s sins?
He was a dictator and undemocratic first, and he equally deployed excessive force in silencing the voices of dissidents.
Here again, both past and recent world events have shown that America, Britain and France and their allies (who have no business defining issues for anybody) are simply hypocrites.
They are solely motivated by the economic gains of every venture and would not hesitate to waste the lives of millions of Africans (the only continent still fully in their clutches) in their quest to achieve these gains.
Talking about being dictatorial and undemocratic, where do we place President Felix Houphouet-Boigny?
Because he was an obedient son of the French Government, his 33 year rule in Ivory Coast was not undemocratic and certainly not dictatorial.
All thanks to him, the French now controls over 90% of all the assets (including the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly house) in Ivory Coast today.
What of G. Eyadema? How did France see his over thirty years of rule in Togo?
Who protected him from the numerous assassination attempts on his life?
In Asia when the Phillipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda, were deposed, where did they run to for cover?
You probably know of Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran.
When he was on the run from Iran, where did he flee to?
Who was Augusto Pinochet’s allies while he was massacring Chileans?
Where did Yakubu Gowon head to when he was on the run from Nigeria?
Who sheltered former President Ben Ali of Tunisia?
Are countries like Britain (where the Queen has the right to dismiss at will the prime minister or any other minister), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Sri Lanka and Nigeria, democracies?
Yes is Nigeria a democracy?
Just because we file out every four years to elect some emotionally unstable, character(less) people, and the people that are addicted to noisy consumerism and who are solely responsible and accountable to their pockets and those of their tiny group of friends and relatives, as leaders, does that make Nigeria a democratic nation?
To the West whom these crop of leaders still serve, yes. But to a real Nigerian whom people like me represent, no.
Nigeria is not yet a democracy and she is not heading in that direction soon.
Democracy as a concept is not an end in itself but a veritable means to an end.
Where are the structures and the institutions of democracy in Nigeria?
Ghaddafi was accused of being dictatorial and high handed and yet under him (until recently) and under the worst global economic sanctions, Libya became the darling of Africa. It had the highest life expectancy and the highest literacy rate in Africa, a solid currency and a stable economy.
Let those who tell us to pay millions for fuel tell you what Ghaddafi sold fuel to Libyans.
In contrast, Nigeria’s brand of democracy which the West approves of, has seen over $20billion thrown into the power sector in recent years and we still cannot boast of regular power supply.
Under a democratic Nigeria, Obasanjo ordered the demolition of Odi and Zaki Biam towns.
Under our own brand of democracy, a siting governor (the Venerable Dr Chris Ngige) was abducted from his office and the kidnappers are still living large and are even enjoying government patronage and security.
Within the Nigerian brand of democracy, we have lost people like Bola Ige, Funsho Williams, Ayo Daramola, A.K.Dikibo, Romak, Eze Emeka Njoku, Decorkote, Ogbonnaya Uche, Chika Agubata, Nze Sunny Orji Ogbu, Harry Marshall, Dipo Dina, Chief, Ezeamama, Ahmed Gulak, Barr. Darlington Omekagu Odumeh, Dr. Chike Akunyili, and numerous other Nigerians to the bullets of some faceless gunmen, and murderous bandits, and marauding herdsmen, whose identities appear to be taking our security agencies a century to unravel.
In which democratic country do elected public officers move around with over 30 siren blaring convoy of cars?
In what manner has President Muhammadu Buhari conducted himself as a Democrat?
Where in the world can one obtain the kind of remuneration office holders in Nigeria enjoy?
If the Nigerian democratic experience which some people still term nascent is all there is to democracy, then is it not better to have a dictator that guarantees the provision of the basic things of life?
Do not forget that the people of Yemen and Bahrain started their own protests before Libya.
Why didn’t the omniscient Western powers go into those areas to stop civilian casualties?
Or did those leaders there not use excessive force?
You have seen what happened to the British and American protesters. So much for democracy, dictatorship and excessive force!
I am not through this write-up calling for the beatification of Ghaddafi, who as we all know had his own weaknesses and made his own fair share of mistakes like everyone else.
I don’t intend also to make you change your view about Ghaddafi’s life on earth because I may not succeed even if I try as the propaganda has stuck for a long time.
I, however, want to present verifiable historical facts to support my claim that long after many African leaders have willingly surrendered their people and all its resources to the Western powers, the man Muammar Ghaddafi, chose to stand firm.
They were equally compelled to join in sabotaging the man at every turn.
Voicing his frustrations at the other African leaders lukewarm attitude towards his call for African Unity, Ghaddafi had this to say at the eve of the 2007 AU Summit in Ghana, “If unity is not achieved, then, Libya will turn its back on Africa and re-orient its foreign policy in other directions, Euro-Mediterranean, or Arab-Mediterranean. This summit must mark a decisive step in the establishment of African unity. Anyone who blocks the unity project is part of a conspiracy to sell Africa to the highest bidder, and Libya will not be party to the betrayal of the continent and will expose whoever is behind it.”
With a disposition and fearlessness like the one exhibited in the statement above, why won’t most of the African leaders be afraid of Ghaddafi?
You ought have asked why he was not presented for trial since he was captured alive.
Certainly nobody can undo what had been done but I know that someday history would absolve Ghaddafi and justify this write-up and strengthen the position of the other people who think like this writer.
Right now words have failed me leaving me with nothing but so many tears for a fallen comrade, Muammar Al-Ghaddafi. Adieu.
UgoGold N. Ofonedu
Chairman, Human Rights Defenders, (HURIDE), Imo Chapter