-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:
JUST as everything in life that has a beginning must come to an end, President Idriss Deby of Chad has met his Waterloo at the very frontline where he courageously went to visit his fighting troops.
Late President Deby whose election results was already announced, coasted home to victory, having won 75 percent of the total votes cast, in his bid for a 6th tenure. He could have become the longest serving Head of government in Africa.
But death is a leveler, bringing all mortals to its supreme whims and caprice without resistance. Idriss Deby, the fearsome military tactician, warlord and coupist is no more.
The sudden expiration of Idriss Deby brings to mind the inclusivity and selfishness associated with Power and those who wield such absolute powers in Africa.
Despite the late President’s affinity and popularity with the West, especially France, he was a known dictator fearfully respected among his 13 million people. His love for his Zaghawa ethnic group, made him an unrepentant ethnic bigot as he appoints his cronies and family members into government positions at will.
For a country that ranked 187th out of 189 in the United Nations development index , the economic wellbeing of the citizens was never on the front burner as President Deby fights from one corner of the country to another, confronting real or imagined enemies all the time.
Just as it is common with Africa seat-tight rulers, Idriss Deby’s crackdown on opposition and incessant severing of the social media networks speaks volumes of his perchance for undermining basic human rights.
However, he was honoured and eulogized by the west as a dependable ally in the fight against terrorism within the embattled Sahel region. He practically fought with and supported the French troops in Northern Mali as well as other war torn areas. He had a well trained Army, supported and equipped by France of course. His fiery fights against the Nigeria based Boko Haram from his end endeared him to many terrorists infested territories including Nigeria.
Idriss Deby ruled the oil rich nation of Chad for 30 long years; but I truly doubt if his name will be remembered for good in another three decades to come. This is the ugly path we tread in Africa all the time such that absolute power is deployed not for the general good but for vain personal glory.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online