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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Gaddafi's dead .. shot in both legs .. died of his wounds.

Muammar Gaddafi, former leader of Libya for 41 years is reported to have been captured and killed by the Libyan rebel forces. A civil war has been raging  in Libya since street protests began against Gaddafi's regime in February this year.

Now, I hear the arguments that Gaddafi ran the country well and spent Libya's oil money on Libya. In 2010, Libya had the highest GDP, education index, and human development index in Africa. However, isn't the wealth of a country meant to be spent on a country anyway? Other African countries would be doing just as well if their leaders were not corrupt. Not being overly corrupt does NOT make Gaddafi great - just a normal sized leader in a continent of corrupt Pygmy leaders.

Many Africans believe the West 'killed' Gaddafi, hunted down a courageous leader who stood up to the West, took them on and won. Others point to his achievements in Libya and give him credit for not 'stealing' Libya's oil money.

This is bunkum! Our expectations of our leaders is so low, we praise lavishly any leadership that does the barest minimum, and laud them as if they are doing something special. What totally ticks me off is that Gadaffi was in power for 41 years! 41 years!

I don't give a toss if Gaddafi was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Unless a country has agreed it is a constitutional monarch, NO leader should be in power for 41 years. Gaddafi swept in via a revolution, he  set his country on the straight and narrow, all well and good. He should THEN have stepped down. Imagine if Gaddafi had set up political parties, established democracy, won elections and led Libya for 8 years - 12 years (two presidential terms of 4 or 6years). He would have been feted and praised, an elderly statesman today, a man whose word would have been respected in his country and abroad.

Instead the young revolutionary became an elderly megalomaniac. His opponents were thrown into jail, ALL dissent was quelled, torture became common-place, no press dared disagree with him, The people of Libya had food in their stomachs but woe betide the man/woman/child who dared criticise 'the great leader'. Arrest by the secret police was an almost certainty for such 'treasonous' words.

Since Gaddafi refused to step down, refused to allow any political parties or any form of fredom of expression, corruption inevitably followed. His friends and family became his closest advisors. No-one is saying Gaddafi himself is/was corrupt but most agree his sons were. Can you blame his sons?

These young men had been brought up to believe leadership of the country was their birthright. Born after Gaddafi's revolution, they were not revolutionaries but spoiled kids who had unlimited access to vast amounts of money and unlimited power. They responded to this heady mix by becoming corrupt tyrants who beat up girlfriends, servants and hotel staff in Western hotels and then claimed diplomatic immunity if Western law tried to deal with them. Gaddafi threatened Switzerland with economic sanctions because the Swiss authorities dared to bring a case against his youngest son, Hannibal, who had brutally beaten up 2 of his servants in a Swiss hotel. On another occasion, Hannibal's bodyguards also beat up French POLICEMEN for daring to stop this spoiled kid when he was speeding down the Champs Elyseees. At what point does being the child of a leader make you immune to the laws of OTHER countries? If his kids were behaving with such arrogance and violence out of Libya, what must they must have been like back in Libya?

Africa needs good leaders. I respectfully say while Gaddafi did well to develop Libya economically, Gaddafi is not the model of leadership we need.  Bread in the stomach is not worth losing all freedom to express our views, to demand political reform, seek a change in government or have a leader's children forced down our throats. Instead of Gaddafi, we need more leaders like Jerry Rawlings, former president of Ghana and Nelson Mandela. Men of integrity who led their countries, did a good job, GAVE UP power and have left a legacy of a robust democracy for their countries.

The Arab Spring has toppled another leader. This has seen ordinary men and women rise up, tired of the old guard, tired of corruption and fed-up of despotic leaders who cling desperately power. It is easy to blame the West for interference but if you set your own house on fire, don't be surprised if it gives your neighbours a chance to rush into your home in the guise of helping you out!

This should be a wake-up call to the corrupt leadership we have in Nigeria. Change and lead the country well, spend Nigeria's money on Nigeria, STOP rigging elections, put aside tribalism and nepotism and put Nigeria's interest's first. Otherwise, one day change WILL come - and it might NOT be very pretty especially for the leaders, their families and their cronies!


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