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Gaddafi s bow of infamy, Africa s Lame duck leadership and the need for a new social order by Ledi

Frank

According to Matthew Ashimolowo, frontline televangelist and vocal head pastor of the KICC International Ministry; Africa is in urgent need of leadership, one that will stand for the good of the growing vast African population, leaders with the right values and the vision to articulate the endowments real or imaginary of the nation states. Leadership with character, that will give voice needed to articulate Africa s position in the grand scheme of things. At no time in Africa s riveting History has this need been more apt giving the realistic situation on African soil than now...granted, events in about the last decade tested the resolve of world leaders on virtually every front (which situation we still have very much around), fuelling pessimistic theories of the dawn of apocalypse, it would seem that the floodgate of global calamities experienced at the beginning of the new millennium gave the pessimists the day: it largely began with the 9/11 twin tower bombing of the world trade centre at Manhattan New York city USA sparking a decade of the war on terror, then followed by Global Economic meltdown. Alarmists would roundly concluded that while political leaders in the United States virtually tore at each other on the wisdom or otherwise of going into a senseless war in the name of fighting terrorism in far flung places such as Afghanistan and Iraq, corporate America went on a corruption binge that resulted in non-performance credits. The resultant effect was that some of the biggest financial institutions in the world, namely: Lenard went bankrupt, but when America sneezes the rest of the world catches cold according to clich, so what became a global economic woe was not long in following America s financial misadventure. Interestingly, while America and the rest of the western world has the benefit of overtly resorting to decisive socio-economic cum political manoeuvrings and manipulations, by the instrumentality of stimulus packages, covert quasiprotectionism and functional institutions which they deftly deploy for the benefit of their country and people, more so giving that the political landscape

in the western world witnessed a virtual revolution ideally speaking due to the election of near razor-sharp yuppy leaders in the mould of Barak Hussein Obama son of an African immigrant who got elected as President of the United States, the French President, a virtual show boy Nicolas Sarkozi married to the typical Italian femme-fatal, Carla Bruni and David Cameron who got elected as British Prime Minister. Africa s rather frustrating leadership left the continent reeling in the worst economic crisis in recent history, clearly lacking in political will and an untenable balancing act, Africa became the weeping boy following the west s unethical financial conduct. If Africa s clumsy leadership style has been frustrating current political events as experienced on a global scale further lends credence to innumerable calls by international and domestic pundits that African leaders must rise up to the challenge of leadership in the 21st century, knowing that they are the ones with opportunity and responsibility to galvanize and gravitate the populace towards a definitive development direction and pathway of progress on a sustained and sustainable basis. Above, below and beyond all these, it is indeed a sad commentary that in the grand scheme of things, Africa seems to be sleeping and more often than not wakes up to a rude shock, always taking the wrong turn. When Ben Ali former president of Tunisia bowed to people power on allegations of corruption, Afro-Arab nations knowing the rather cohesive nature of their socio- cultural values should have called for and implemented far reaching socio- political reforms, even if it means a peaceful and civilised relinquish of their hold on power, but that was not to be. The leaders buoyed by a flat-footed African Union only decided to dig in,...by so doing making a most costly political miscalculation, whose real cost will deal a devastating blow on the continent for some time in the imaginable future, while African leaders refused to move, the wind of change found a willing sail in the regions volatile, vociferous and bellicose youthful population, so Egypt came tumbling after Tunisia and the strong man of Egypt politics Hosni Mubarak his lovey dovey relationship with the west not withstanding went down in a matter of days, in a blaze of infamy , as the uprising turned full circle in Egypt and Mubarak got toppled the American president (a man given to uncommon oratory) had this to say the wheel of history has turned at a blinding pace and

Egypt will never be the same again . Granted, the fall of Mubarak has significant political implications for Egypt; the activities of members of the Muslim Brotherhood was effectively checked in the course of the Mubarak regime an educated analysis will reveal that the like of Mubarak s unholy hold onto power will always spur the activities of extremist elements, a salient point that rates participatory democracy far ahead of any dictatorship no matter how benevolent. Mubarak out of power demoralised and dishevelled is currently standing trial on corruption charges and crimes against humanity. Enter the Great Socialist People s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Growing up as a secondary school boy in junior grade I was close to a cousin of mine who was no doubt brilliant and knowledgeable, being around him my quest for knowledge and interest in contemporary issues around the continent of Africa increased thus giving me an edge among my peers; he it was who first told me that Muamar Gaddafi at age 27 led a revolution in 1969 to overthrow the Libyan government of the day, headed by King Idriss he told me stories about men like Goukoni Wadeye and Hissen Habre of Chad, Flt. Lt Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, Capt. Thomas Sankara of Boukina Fasso (then Upper Volta), Emperor Haile Slessie and Mingesthu Haile Miriam of Ethiopia, King Hassan of Morrocco, Houphet Boigny of Cote de Ivoire (then Ivory Coast) (my cousin told me about the Basilica he built in his homestead of Yamasoukrou), Field Marshall Idi Amin Dada, Tito Okelo and Milton Obote all hench men of Uganda...African henchmen, but those days are gone, the Hench men all fell down like toy soldiers. My cousin told me back in the days that about every average family in Libya owned a car, one can only imagine my consternation; in the years gone by, not knowing a thing about governance and politics young Africans used to regard African leaders with awe. Interestingly while the continent and her beleaguered population have been responding to the tempting tenets of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, most African leaders are still pretty much in a state of political amnesia; Gaddafi and his afro- Arabian co travellers are the worst culprits in this respect. In their folly they squandered the goodwill of the people and paid a damning price for being so wayward as to take the will of the people for granted. In all fairness though Libya was good to Gaddafi and his family, affording and allowing him the pleasure of dwelling in Bedouin tents, Gaddafi did not suffer the misfortune of culture shock, yet he had the world at his feet. His palace at Bab Al-Aziziya was

a realistic conjecture of what can only be an imagined wonder land; when Gaddafi slept in the comfort of his tent he dreamt and when he dreamt, he dreamt big, in one of such dreams, he gathered African monarchs in Sirte (his birth place) and the Monarchs crowned him king, making him a primus-interpares (Gaddafi has become a king of kings), but a king must have a kingdom, so he went back to sleep and had another dream of a United states of Africa (USA) over which he was to rule,...Africa would be his kingdom. At the twilight of the Mubarak regime an obvious uneasy political firmament languidly draped itself over Libya, seeming tension simmered in the horizon, key figures of the Gaddafi regime who were part of the 1969 revolution, men like Mustafa Abdel Jalil who until his defection to the side of the revolution was the Justice minister and Moussa Koussa who served as Foreign minister to mention a few have grown weary of the strong man s unwieldy life style, his strong-arm rhetoric, diplomatic brinkmanship and the looming presence of his overbearing son Saif Al-Islam el-Gaddafi in whom the prima Gaddafi was well pleased. In all my educated assessment of the experiences before the revolution, during the struggle and after the fall of Gaddafi, considering the facts of piece meal, though thought provoking intelligence details stumbled upon and revealed by the media one could only reach the conclusion that Gaddafi evidently became demented or extremely paranoid and conceited; perhaps Gaddafi may have become too comfortable to be bothered by the inconvenience of creative thinking needed to midwife socio- political and economic reform; seeing the well paved streets and highways of Libya it is evident, this dictator endeavoured to build infrastructures, but he has overstayed his welcome and became vain glorious and his countrymen only pretentiously cheered him in to his ultimate grave, it is a paradox of life that when a man sees himself as being invincible, sudden destruction comes upon him. Libya no doubt achieved a pariah status chiefly among western democracies and her wealthy allies in the Arab world namely: Qatar, the United Arab Emirate, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, these Arab brothers of Libya have grown incurably weary of Gaddafi s embarrassing posturing, his growing influence among corrupt and sit tight African leaders, and his regimes unruly expansionist tendencies. Thus the Gaddafi regime had no real friends among the comity of nations, save rented voices in the African Union (AU). Western media has been consistent in reporting that the seeming indecision on the part of the AU secretariat

stemmed from the fact that her activities were being bankrolled by the Gaddafi regime an argument that tends to stand on good authority, it is also on good authority that South Africa is home to a remarkable chunk of Gaddafi s slush funds and questionable investments (?) her position in deferring from the rest of the informed opinion of global political leaders is indicatively informative. South Africa it was who first questioned the rationale for Nigeria s recognition of the National Transition Council (NTC) of Libya as the legitimate authority representing the Libyan people, insisting that in recognizing the NTC at the time Nigeria did, Nigeria and her people jumped the gun . Unfortunately South Africa is one of Africa s leading voices. In the decade of war on terror western intel has come home with a refined opinion of the strategies to be deployed in dealing with despotic regimes perceived to provide haven for terror gangs: identify strong dissenting opinions in the regime and around the country with far reaching goodwill among the people, give them the needed backing that will encourage an uprising on the part of the people, let the people power do the job. The effectiveness of this strategy is on numerous fronts: it is cost effective, it is good for diplomacy and gives the people the impression that they are in charge of their affairs no matter how feeble. That western leaders savour this strategic initiative on the war on terror was echoed in the British Prime Minister David Cameron s informative submission right after co-hosting the friends of Libya parley with French President Nicholas Sarkozi at the Ellysee Palace in Paris 1/09/2011 (a diplomatic move that saw over 60 countries including Russia come to a round table in support of the NTC, by all means an encouraging development for the Libyan revolution), asked if he was convinced that the NTC enjoys the level of acceptance among Libyans needed to stabilize the country in the post Gaddafi era he retorted it is not that there is an army of occupation in Libya, it is the Libyan people that no longer want the Gaddafi regime ...it is the people s revolution. The importation of the foregoing is that in less than one year three sitting governments have been ousted through the sheer manifestation of people power on African soil, the damning political and economic implications of all this for the continent could only be imagined; yet Africans do not seem to be finding a voice strong enough in the cacophony of voices that is shaping

emerging realities. Whether or not the action unseating despotic regimes are legitimate are largely legal questions and should be reserved for legal pundits. Question: can the people be wrong? The country belongs to them, they decide who should rule over them... power belongs to the people, it is premised on this that the flatfooted approach of African leaders will be appreciated and evaluated, the fact that African governments have become the most vulnerable culprits in a fast changing world only buttresses the position of experts that Africa remains an open sore on the conscience of humanity, that pseudo-democratic regimes in Africa could not seize the opportunity offered by this wind of change to take a profound political position that will be at tandem with current global realities and define a more desirable future for Africa s burgeoning and potent youthful population is indeed a sad commentary. The AU s rather timid posture in the grand scheme of things will not fly in the face of hollow arguments for or against issues of political correctness; it is a clear case of unbridled corruption, and disdain for rule of law and ideal democratic principles, it was little wonder that the AU s gutless support for the pay master in Gaddafi is generally laughable and falls short of modern global diplomacy and politics given room for opportunistic emerging players like Qatar to seize the initiative. Africa s continual and frustrating decline seems to have defied all known tricks in the book, granted current events and trends since the turn of the century have tried the soul of men on a global scale, it will be in place for humanity to realise that the call by those who know that a profound spiritual background in the light of the gospel of Christ is key in the emerging social re-engineering is both timely and apt, Africa by all means is urgently in need of this new social order, time has come for African leaders to realise that the days when countries had presidents for life is far gone, that leadership like ideas and other key variables in life are functionally affected by the dynamics of life. Power is eternally ephemeral. GADDAFI S INGLORIOUS END: It will go down in history that of the countries in the Arab Spring that experienced popular uprising in the face of sheer political stagnation, Libya suffered the most. Any first time visitor to the nation of Libya from the late 20th century and into the 21st century will attest to the evidence

of infrastructural development, the good thing about any form of development is the attendant dizzying ripple effect, one that will always leave the people asking for more, it works like an addictive stimulant. Development in one area will be the functional necessity for development in another area. The thesis and antithesis of the revolution by my estimation is the profound missing link between the government and the governed in tyrant regimes and among tyrants the world over, unfortunately the fact that most later day tyrants are charismatic leaders ab initio blinds them to the falling curtain when the time is up and the romance is over between them and their subjects, not knowing that the thesis for a particular revolution is usually the antithesis to end that epoch and set the stage for a new epoch. This methinks was Gaddafi s most enduring undoing, he demonstrated unequivocal confidence in his obsolete revolution, Libya s love for him as demonstrated for the revolution he led in 1969, a glory that was fast fading. Little did he know that the comfort of improved infrastructure while it gave the people some sense of wellbeing also attracted diverse interests and a cross-breeding of idea that spurred the need for openness and redefined the peoples aspiration, so deep was this craving that while Gaddafi sat in the comfort of Bab al-Aziziyah deluding himself of a revolution that has become mere relic of history, Libya and Libyans have completely alienated him as the euphoria of his achievements in whatever shade have been surreptitiously eroded.