Much ado have been made
in the commentator and foreign policy circles in recent weeks about
the speed of the ultimate ouster of the mad man of Tripoli, Colonel
Ghadaffi. While many tears have been shed in the elite minded circles
of his friends, admirers and benefactors, no one among the common
people who suffered the sheer arrogance of his power and despotic
rule for 42 years seem to be shedding any; neither am I.
Ghadaffi was a
personification of everything wrong with African leadership that has
seen the continent retrogress in 40 years. A combination of greed,
arrogance of power, brutality and megalomaniac policy making; he was
Mobutu, Idi-Amin, Bokassa and Mugabe all rolled into one! His
insistence on clinging to power longer than he was welcome ensured
his countrymen suffered immense economic damages to which he showed
While power escaped from
his grasp, he could not come to terms with it and killed his people
needlessly. As usual, to this ruler (not leader), his hold to power
was more important than his lip service love for his country and her
people! And as power escaped him by the sheer will of Libyans backed
by the firepower of Ghadaffi’s perennial enemies in the West, the
man of Tripoli only became madder!
Some have risen in
condemnation of NATO’s intervention. Indeed, it is now the single
most fashionable stance by African dictators to hug nationalism and
African independence to perpetrate evil against their own.
Fortunately, the world is not buying it. For far too long, Africa has
been raped by her rulers acting like kids in the candy store without
any control. And in so far as these rulers continue to act like
children (and that is being uncharitable to kids), then intervention
to check their excesses is only appropriate.
Definitely, the ouster of
Ghadaffi was good for good governance, as many African leaders are
now on notice following the Spring Uprising in North Africa that the
days of reckoning is nigh; and that unlike before when they could put
these uprising down- justice may as well be coming from outside.
Aside from NATO, one will expect the International Criminal Court to
start looking into Ghadaffi’s atrocities soon.
It is true that many
Pan-African minded folks detest this interference, but I believe
strongly that this is the best outcome in light of the sheer
wickedness of African rulers in the past four decades. The mundane
justification of slaughtering your own on the altar of independence,
especially when you lack legitimacy is long gone. Welcome to the 21st
century: despots! Of course, Obasanjo and Mbeki are unlikely to like
this trend, they are men of yesterday. Today is for the youths, and
in our eyes freedom from the real neo-colonialists is freedom from
their locust generation of internal colonizers called rulers.
Is it true that Western
powers did this for oil? Or for some kind of economic advantage?
Perhaps! But would you care if someone invented a cure for cancer
because of money, to cure a dying sibling or just good plain old
luck? The end I believe justifies the means of Ghadaffi’s ouster.
Here is a man that was not only clearly incompetent, but one
incapable of reading the clear writing on the wall that his time was
up. His retinue of enemies: both domestic and foreign, ensure that
his fall will be swift and definite!
Some have condemned the
support Nigeria have given to the transitional government; I believe
it is appropriate. This was paying Ghadaffi back in his own coin.
Here was a man that had the audacity to advice the breakup of Nigeria
just last year, and routinely feels no compunction to interfere in
the internal affairs of his neighbors with the numerous rebel
movements under his sponsorship across Africa. More than anyone, he
has been responsible for more civil wars and proxy warfare in Africa;
he was a sponsor of many of the mineral fueled conflicts in West
Africa. Why should anyone shed for a man who lived by the sword and
was felled by it?
Others have pointed out
to the rest of the world how Libya was somewhat a model of self
sustenance which flourished with milk and honey under Ghadaffi. I say
they are sorely mistaken. The key parameter of human prosperity is
our ability to seek happiness free from the control of another mere
mortal. Fact is, under despots some measure of prosperity can always
be guaranteed to a compliant few but those tales of good life was not
the case for the dissident tribes and people of Libya under Ghadaffi.
Those were carrots akin to Hitler’s economic revival program, with
the hopes for perpetual domination. Hitler’s economic turnaround
for Germany does not absolve him from his crime on humanity.
For those giddy about
this idea that Ghadaffi was some defender of the African cause or
some form of renaissance; I ask them to consider few facts. Ghadaffi
in fact had no problems in doing business with the West provided they
allowed him to continue looting and kill Libyans. It
is easy for us to sit in our comfy nice cushy zone and talk
neo-colonialists if we don’t realize these so called African
“leaders” only discover their nationalism when they get in
trouble with their foreign buddies?
think ordinary Libyans were the ones getting the nice contracts that
gave Ghadaffi his fair share of Libyan loot? No!
It was Oxy, Eni and other foreign companies that did with the full
connivance of the strong man of Tripoli. Same is true of Mugabe,
whose later day conversion to land reallocation contrasts sharply
with the accommodating stance of his administration in the first
twenty years of independence when Zimbabwe prospered and he was the
good boy of Western powers until they asked him to abandon his one
party state hegemony. Who cares if
Mugabe, Abacha or Biya gets kicked out by a foreigner, alien from
space or poisoned apple?
think it is misplaced priority as an African to be concerned about
the double standards of the foreign policy of Western Powers (well
who wouldn’t?) when we have a bigger fish to fry: in the freedom
of my people and liberation from the big devils (sorry, big men) of
Africa. I am vehemently anti-African rulers (they are not worth to be
called leaders) and pro-African people…if that makes any sense. In
any case, may be when we start having leaders, we too can start
shaping foreign policy that is in our best interest instead of being
back sit drivers, and enjoying the benefits of Western freedoms while
let this not be read as a statement of support for the rebels. For
the rebel of today is the oppressor of tomorrow when they go astray
sans Robert Mugabe. They will be better served if they turn their
attention to the hard work of nation building instead of the hollow
search for revenge; ensuring the prosperity
of Libya is more evenly distributed among their countrymen. For
Ghadaffi, a man that sponsored rebellions across Africa’s
heartland, there is no more fitting tribute than his dismissal by