Tribute To A Fallen Hero

Nuhu Yar’wa

Opinion will continue to differ on who Col. Muammar Ghadaffi, the fallen herro of the Jamahiriya Peoples’ Arab Democratic Republic was while alive. His death at 69 recently, near Sirte, his home town in the hands of his enemies truly epitomises the time-tested dictum that “every mortal lives but once”, then the judgement of God. Ghadaffi, no doubt, was a hero of his time who avoided cowardice and hated double-speak. He owned up to his responsibilities as a child would own up to a toy. Only heroes abide by this principle, and they are very few amongst current leaders of our world.

Ghadaffi remains, unarguably, the national symbol of what Libya stood for at least in the last half-a-century. Ghadaffi was Libya as Libya was Ghadaffi. His nationalistic zeal was obvious. His African-ness in spirit and idealism was sacrosanct as his inspiration for a new world order outside European ‘decivilisation’ was crystal. Everyone, principally the Western European nations such as Britain, Italy, U.S, Canada, France, Germany, etc. knew his stance on contemporary issues, much as the Asians and Africans conjured up his dreams.

Ghadaffi was very unambiguous in putting Africa first in all his posturing. Arabism, the race of his mould was even second.

Little wonder that Ghadaffi whose name evokes sentiments in political quarters and diplomatic chambers of the world has about half-a-dozen alphabetical spelling arrangements of his name in separate ways between Europeans and Arabs; amongst the Semites, Tuaregs, Jews and Chinese: Ghadaffi, Qardafi, Al Ghadaffi, Kaddafi, Ghadaffi, Khad’afi. What a man of letters and patents!

The activities surrounding Ghadaffi’s fall from power through NATO or western conspiracy-his traditional arch enemies especially in the last six months of 2011 in the short run, but since 1990 in the long run, opens some critical but colourful chapters in political discourse. Divergent opinions on the personality of late Muammar Ghadaffi and his populist activism may be obvious, but all opinion of enlightened men and good spirited women are one with respect to the fact that he was truly a great man.

A great fellow with great ambition at strengthening happiness and hope through statecraft for a large number of people possible. Africa was the center-piece of his humour and honour.

Indeed, South Africa under the African National Congress’ (ANC’s) four decades of liberation activities against the notorious apartheid regime; Nigeria, in many fronts and fora including the manufacture and lunch of its satellite in 2006; Chad, in freeing her from the misrule of NATO agents; Ghana, in its struggle to redeem the wasted era of the 1970s, Algeria’s great strides at maintaining internal order; Egypt’s grand participatory role in co-ordinating Palestinian statehood; Niger, Liberia, Zimbabwe and the Sudan’s scamping for peace and wellbeing as well as the horn of Africa; Ethiopia’s fight against malnutrition occasioned by famine-all received Ghadaffi’s brotherly African quantum of economic assistance both in cash and materials. The spirit was veto-inclined. It was a consistent inward-search for survival, some home-grown solution rather than going abeging with cap in hand at the doorstep of the IMF and the World Bank. Africa owes him tremendous gratitude in the political, military, economic and administrative spheres. The Arab League too will feel his painful demise whatever their internal disagreement on ways and means at stamping their foot on the world’s political and economic map.

To this writer, Col. Ghadaffi died a hero of Africa, a friend of the Middle East, a darling of Asia and the Caribbean. He was like a mosquito’s cry and sting to many political elements in Europe and America; he was a man of many parts. Dying at Sirte, his birth place in Libya, rather than choosing to live like a chicken overbeaten by torrential rains in another country is truly courageous, depicting a thorough-bred desert Arab dweller. A character of the typical Arab civilisation that is immune to fear.

Those who threw his corpse from one angle of the mortuary to the other, as if it were a football, have spiritually rendered disservice to their own souls and conscience, Africa’s heritage and human sanctity. The world waits to see how soon the same ‘good boys’ of NATO today will tomorrow ball the bowl of the National Transitional Council (NTC) and NATO-associates within. Genesis and nemesis are equal and proportionate. In physics, it is said that “action and reaction are equal and opposite”. Libya, a desert of beautiful oases is now in a limbo. Tripoli is trampled; Sirte is salienced; Misrata is a mystery and Abu Walid will for long remain an abandoned watershed. The colourful chapters of history books will paint the rest of them in their deserving colours.

May the soul of Mummar Ghadaffi rest in peace.