OPINION: Why do tyrants choose to die in humiliation?

old manLet us recall President Barack Obama’s not too long Ghana outing, an appropriate time and context, where he chose to reiterate that “Africa does not need strong men but strong institutions.” Truly, not strong men who choose to die in humiliation, but critical and enduring leadership institutions and economic structures that will ensure peace, concrete human and material advancement in the continent.

History shows that tyrants choose to die clinging to power, intoxicated, held captive by greed for money and wealth, consumed by karma consequent upon waste of innocent blood.

Our history of the life and times of African tyrants and despots is rich with sufficient proof that acute stress and penchant for power lead to mental retardation and derangement in the last days of blood-tasty tyrants who have ended up suffering mental breakdown, they had always turned wild, killed and maimed more. In all, they had always expressed the will to die.

From the horror episodes of the World Wars, Adolf Hitler of Germany lost his head, became practically insane – wishing to conquer the world. Idi Amin of Uganda turned occasional cannibal and killed perhaps 300,000 during his reign. Gaddafi of Libya ran amok, was probably the worst humiliated in death. Sani Abacha of Nigeria systematically developed into a monster, killed mercilessly in his last days. In all, there was a glaring and an uncomfortable trend that culminated to a fatal end!

What is this trend and how do we observe situations and people in it – the situation playing out and the players? It is observable that the aforementioned tyrants all followed the same trend, their last days as much horrifying as for the people they ruled.

Questions are, What are the lessons from the life and times of these “strong men” of Africa’s bitter history? On the home front, are we (Nigerians) forgetful? If so, do we suffer short memory? Nigerians must begin to make lessons out of bitter history instead of adding bitter lessons to history – and crying Wolf on every new era.

If Nigerians have the habit of engaging brains everywhere and in everything, it will be clear that the likes of Muhammad Buhari approaches his last days, and is following the same trend of past African tyrants – playing out the last humiliating days of the tyrant and the will to die clinging unto power!

A vote for Buhari, whether richly clad in military uniform, Agbada, or priestly robes, is a return to the attending horrors in the caves of the tyrant. The real Dracula Buhari is yet to manifest after February elections!

– By Vincent Joseph.



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