November 28, 2011


"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." --Thomas Jefferson

uammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, an erratic rugged coward leader with multiple personalities, once a strongman, the untouchable, was captured at the City of Sirte, his home town. His body was transferred for a show in a meat locker at Misrata.

He was 27 years old when he took over in a bloodless coup and ruled Libya for 42 years. At the age of 69 years he ended his own life the way he ended thousands of life in his home country, Libya.

Gaddafi constructed a heavy metal-wall between himself and the outside world. His own thinking was the only and the best thoughts of any human being in his country, and beyond. He wrongly listened to the caprice of those that he considered his friends and they happily pushed him to the conduit.

His 'kitchen cabinet' knew the thinking of the outside world and they continued to lie to him as to what he wanted to hear, possibly out of fear for their life and jobs, or protecting their livelihood and the their families. Successes entered into Gaddafi's knuckle head and got lost in the desert of no return.

Gaddafi might have been gone before he died for the fact that he underestimated the Western power and too trusting of human beings. Definitely absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Gaddafi died cowardly, just like his class of tyrants. Gaddafi's final refuge was a concrete drainage pipe, about 20 meters long and no more than a metre across, running under a dual carriageway on the outskirts of Sirte. Sand, rocks and discarded water bottles lined the inside of the pipe, which opened next to a clutch of empty sheep pens. Three guns were found with him including his Golden Gun, possibly he was shot with that into his chest and head.

His Captors treated him like a 'Mad Dog'. You would pity him when he wiped his own blood off his face to declare so many things from his ejective volcanic mouth, "Don't shoot me", 'This is not right', 'It is Un-Islamic', 'What is going on', 'Haraam', 'Haraam', "What are you doing? It's Haraam [forbidden]. "It's not allowed in Islamic law. Haraam. What you are doing is forbidden in Islam!"

Gaddafi must had done some devilish atrocities while building himself up to be a despot, by his confession to the Lockheed Plane bombing, before he finally gave up on that on his 2003 visit to USA gave up on Lockheed, he did well for his people. Unfortunately he thought he had his people in his pocket through being a tyrant. He forgot to realize that it would end one day. The way he experienced his last day on earth was terrible that he could NEVER imagined with all that he did for his people?

Humans are not only prone to being corrupted by power; they can be intoxicated by it as well, as religion serves as the 'opium of the people'. Gadaffi had an opportunity to restore Libya, in a democratic footing, and became a respected statesman among his people, what Babangida failed to do as well in Nigeria. Gaddafi overstayed his 'beauty' pageant. Russell's intoxicants of power led him to think he was an indestructible, ubiquitous Libya leader. His blind ambition of becoming a Dynasty pushed him to his befitting ignominious end. I hope there is a lesson here for the other African despots who particularly never learn from history.

Libya enjoys large natural resources, which Gaddafi utilized to help develop the country. During his reign Libya's literacy rate rose from 10% to 90%; life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 years; equal rights were established for women and black people; employment opportunities were established for migrant workers; and welfare systems were introduced that allowed access to free education, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing. The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of Libya. In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs. The country was developed without taking any foreign loans.

As a result, Libya was debt-free under Gaddafi's regime. That would look like a pass mark for an average leader any where in the world. Unfortunately, his despotic corrupted leadership style messed up his accomplishments.

Gaddafi's welfare state provided what other advanced countries like the United States of America provides such as education, housing, sustenance, healthcare, pensions, unemployment insurance, sick leave or time off due to injury, supplemental income in some cases, and equal wages through price and wage controls. Welfare program also provides for public transportation, childcare, social amenities such as public parks and libraries, as well as many other goods and services as found in advanced countries. Some of these items are paid for via government insurance programs while others are paid for by taxes as done in Libya.

Between 2000 and 2011, Libya recorded favorable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP in 2010, the highest of any state in Africa. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite Television.

When the rising international oil prices began to raise Gaddafi's revenues in the 1970s, ironically, Gaddafi spent much of the revenues on arms purchases and on sponsoring his political projects abroad. Gaddafi's relatives adopted lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars.

Gaddafi was frequently portrayed as erratic, conceited, and mercurial in nature. He was speculated to have suffered from manic depression, schizophrenia, and megalomania. Reagan dubbed him the "mad dog of the Middle East"; While Anwar Sadat called him "unbalanced and immature" and "a vicious criminal."

Gaddafi was an unabashed proponent of Islam, often with blatant disregard for religious tolerance, as he proposed the division of Nigeria along religious line. History will reveal his role in the Boko Haram strife in Nigeria.

It was Gaddafi's Libya that offered Africa its first revolution in modern times. He connected the entire continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching through his sponsorship. Gaddafi cleansed the African Continent from the humiliation of Apartheid.

For most Africans, Gaddafi was a generous man, a humanist, known for his unselfish support for the struggle against the racist regime in South Africa. Mandela did not mince his words when the former US President, Bill Clinton, said his visit to Libya was an 'unwelcome' one; "No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do. Those that yesterday were friends of our enemies have the gall today to tell me not to visit my brother Gaddafi, they are advising us to be ungrateful and forget our friends of the past."

Gaddafi supported any militant organizations that held anti-Western sympathies (Boko Haram) around the world. His support frequently went to leaders recognized by the United Nations as dictators and warlords. In his quest for the United States of Africa, as he was chosen as the Chairman of the African Union from 2009 to 2010, he stated that "I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa."

Gaddafi's strong military support and finances gained him several allies across Africa. He ran the World Revolutionary Center near Benghazi where notable number of its graduates has seized power. Among them are Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso and Idriss Déby of Chad who were graduates of this school, and are currently in power in their respective countries.

Gaddafi trained and supported Charles Taylor of Liberia, Foday Sankoh, the founder of Revolutionary United Front, and Jean-Bédel Bokassa, the Emperor of the Central African Empire. He supported Idi Amin in the expulsion of Indian-Ugandans; and rescued Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Gaddafi fueled a number of Islamist and communist militant groups in the Philippines and also supported the Iranian Revolution.

As no African leaders ever escaped that stigma of corruption, he carried corruption with him to his grave. Libyan economy was been described as "a kleptocracy in which the al-Gaddafi family or its close political allies has a direct stake in anything worth buying, selling or owning" in Libya. Gaddafi had an Airbus A340 private jet, which he bought from Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia for $120 million in 2003.

As some school would ask, which of the Nigerian leaders in their various establishments deserve the Gaddafi's treatment?

Based on the level of sufferings among Nigerians today (November 2011), an average Nigerian would say all leaders in their respective areas of their public services, without any exception, should be processed through Gaddafi's conduit. Whatever you sow shall you reap, backing the popular Yoruba saying that 'a child destined to sleep on bare floor, if decently placed on the mat will roll to the bare floor'.

Gadaffi demise is a strong message to other tyrants, oppressors all across the world that the atomic bomb is tickling under their seats.

One of the reasons things do not work in Nigeria is the invisible hands of sizeable number of tyrants in the public sector. This group of individual carries connotations of a harsh and cruel ruler placing his or her own interests or the interests of a small cabal above the people.

Tyrants are influential opportunists that came to power by securing the support of different factions obtaining executive power through unconventional means through lobbying, rigging, cohesion and 'do or die' tactics. Unfortunately tyrants came from the growing middle class and from the poor populace, who leave from pay-check to pay-check, with no property, to make them attain their positions.

Whether tyrants are pushy, controlling freaks, bully, or outright tyrants, their goals are always more important than their subjects. They boss you around, acting selfish and self-important, threatening you, making demands, barking orders, and abusing their power. As control freaks, they exercise power in a harsh, cruel, or destructive manner. They are oppressive, harsh, arbitrary people who make life difficult for too many of people. They are annoying, inconsiderate, and demeaning. Anyone who dares expose or challenge their tactics could provoke their anger and result in severe and possibly dangerous retaliation.

In some instances religion has been used as a fishing bait to torture their fellow human beings, being Christianity, Islam, Traditionalists; all use their belief as power source through imposition, hide under the Bible, Quran or any of the objects of belief like Iron. We still remember Max Weber's assertion that 'religion is the opium of the people'.

Whichever name we qualify them, they all practice their tyranny, totalitarianism, absolute rule, and domination on a larger and more destructive scale. They oppress, suppress, sustain humiliation of a group of people, or controlled by unjust use of force or authority. Their low self-esteem personalities drive them to act superior to disguise their inferior feelings.

Controlling others is one manifestation of their need to act superior. They are controlling because only their needs matter. They have a grandiose sense of self-importance. They exaggerate their achievements and expect to be recognized as superior, even when their accomplishments are ordinary. They fantasize attaining unlimited success or power. They believe they are special and require excessive admiration.

They lack empathy and exploit others to achieve their own ends. They often envy others or believe others envy them as demonstrated among some of Nigeria community leaders. They totally disregard the rights of others. They feel little or no remorse for the harm they cause others. They blame the victim and lack empathy. They are deceitful, aggressive, tough minded, glib, superficial, exploitative, irresponsible, and impulsive.

Until we cleanse Nigeria society of these 'termites' among Nigerian leaders in the public sector Nigeria would never be among the best 20 nations in the year 2020.

GADDAFI'S LAST HOME-The tunnel from where Gaddafi was smoked out. Like Saddam Hussein Hole
In his final moments, haven't ruled for over four decades, Colonel Gaddafi a 69-year-old despot was dragged through the street of Sirte. To the jubilations of those at the scene of his capture screamed "God is great! God is great!" Another shouts: "Shut up you dog."

Is this how a leader, who has done so much for his people, should die?

Nigerians despots should be aware that their days of tyrannical styles, shown on the faces of Nigerians, denying them their inalienable rights, are numbered.

At the doom days despots run from one pole to the other, after they have been cornered with their style of leadership regardless their reputation, career-wise. Gaddafi in a bloodless coup at the tender age of 27, with a successful career in the army, Colonel, which he maintained until his death, then ruled for 42 years, REFUSED to stop drumming when the sound was very loud. He refused to change with time.

When Gaddafi refused to change, the change, definitely, transformed him dishonorably with a brutal ending. When his odious attitude and anger could not be controlled, definitely it controlled him, wrapped with catastrophe. When your emotion rules you, it controls your actions without an application of your common sense. The end result is ruinous. Common sense seems to be common; it does not apply under your emotion, anger, or attitude. Meanwhile it sends you to the deplorable end.

Nigerians both at home and abroad are bitterly angry at their leaders in all areas of public service, Security, Welfare, Infrastructure, and still hiding under the mid-night cover, to the regret that nothing seems to work in the country. Ironically most of African, specifically Nigerian leaders are unceremoniously cowards, running for places to hide when problems loom their kingdom.

We hope the born-naked tyrants; in the hide of human skin in Nigeria would learn a lesson from how Gaddafi ended his life. That power entered his brain too deep and comes to conclude that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The end of a flamboyant Tyrant, consumed by the exaggeration of his achievements, corruptly mismanaged

The big question, was Gaddafi wrongly mismanaged? He refused to go when it was time for him to vacate his seat, used his people as fishing bait for the West incursion into Libya.

Professor Femi Ajayi is Head, Political Science and Public Administration Department, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State

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