The End Of A Dictatorship

Whichever way one views it, the death of the man who abhorred being referred to as a president yet was a dictator who was sheepishly obeyed and feared in Libya, is one fraught with many lessons for all despots the world over, especially in Africa. It was a needless death which could be obviated when the signs were too glaring on the wall to be ignored. Unfortunately, dictators at the peak of their dictatorship rarely see such writings, especially as they are doomed to go the way of other dictators before them. With the wind of democracy sweeping across the African continent, especially the Arab world, it was bound to happen; yet, as it unfolded under his nose, Gaddafi lived in total denial, preferring to address his adversaries as rats and cockroaches. The tree of democracy, we have learnt over time, is watered by the blood of martyrs, some of them unknown and in some instances that of dictators such as Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. With the spilled blood, painful as it has been though, the tree of democracy will be sustained for generations yet unborn as historians write chapters on how once upon a time Libya was ruled by a dictator. For future generations, it would read like a distant subject about an imaginary country, yet it happened during the lifetime of their forebears, some of them dying in the dungeons created by Muammar Gaddafi. The story is a replication of Saddam Hussein�s, yet, the latest despot to go the way of the late Iraqi leader did not find anything worth learning from what befell the former strongman of Baghdad. Those who are destined to die by the sword they used against others lose their sense of hearing and of sight. In fact, they play God, fooling themselves that they are unlike others before them until the reality dawns on them. Like all deaths, it is solemn�laying bare the reality about the undeniable fact that all things being ephemeral shall pass away one day by all means, as ordained by God the Creator, the Omniscient and Omnipotent, whose mercies and power shall endure forever. Many African leaders, the despots, especially the benefactors of the largesse of the slain man from Sirte, who sought to become King of Africa, would shed tears for him. Although he doled out money to his fellow despots, some of whom ascended political leadership through the coups he sponsored, he did so not out of the spirit of humanity but to prop his cause of holding sway eventually over the whole continent. We would rather such despots draw the bitter, yet important lessons about the uselessness of dictatorships which are nurtured by skewed elections, among others, in their individual countries. Laurent Gbagbo missed the way Gaddafi went by the whiskers. As for Blaise Campaore of Burkina Faso, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, perhaps lessons from the Gaddafi module are available gratis for their consideration. Otherwise, they too would go down tragically, offering an opportunity for writers to make fresh entries in the compendium of dictatorship in Africa.