Is Muammar Gaddafi A True African Hero?

Muammar Gaddafi was a Libyan revolutionary and politician who governed Libya as its primary leader from 1969 to 2011. He was deposed and killed in 2011.

The past Libyan leader was indeed one of the very powerful figures in Africa. However one thing he never was, was a saint. Side by side to his controversial nature, the once bullied Gaddafi became a staunch Pan-African and Pan-Arabic advocate.

Muammar Gaddafi was a revolutionary turned dictator who ruled Libya for 42 years. His death in 2011 revealed he was worth $200 Billion in cash and several assets.

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As much as some Africans today frown at the western intervention in the depose of the late Libyan leader, it is crystal clear that Gaddafi was indeed a controversial dictator accused of many pathetic crimes.

It is almost a common problem with most self- acclaimed pan-African leaders. They start off as revolutionaries, and before anyone knows it, they become the unopposed lord and master of all.

This raises the question, Why are Africa’s supposed pan-African presidents dictatorial? Are these leaders truly pan-African or simply using it as a guise to have their way with the leadership of the people? Are they fighting a personal war at the expense of the entire nation?

Many have accused Muammar Gaddafi of perpetuating many hideous crimes as a dictatorial leader under the pan-Africanism cover. Testimonies of the people who worked the closest to him reveals that more than the “United States of Africa” vision, Gaddafi simply wanted to be ruler of the entire continent.

The accusation links up with the title conferred on him before his death. It is largely believed that through his lavish gifts (with strings attached) which comes in various forms, he lobbied his way into the hearts of top African traditional leaders who unanimously conferred on him the “King of Kings of Africa“.


At first, Gaddafi tried to establish his power and authority in the Middle East. He developed and promoted his own variant Arab ideologies/movement known as the Third International theory. His ambition failed and then he turned to Africa.

It is also claimed that the African Union initiative co-founded and funded by him was in line with his quest to be the Lord of Africa.

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Perhaps many African leaders knew this; and that is why no African nation coughed over his defeat and attack. Perhaps he was more racist than pan-African. According to Gaddafi’s former chief of Protocol Nuri Al Mismari,

“Imagine Gaddafi used to say to me. Bring me that black slave in reference to the president of an African state who was preparing to visit him.”

“And when the president would leave, he would say: The slave is gone. Give him something.”

When asked if Gaddafi despised Africans, the former Chief of Protocol replied thus:

“Yes he did. Even those whose compliments pleased him. He described them as idiots.”

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs(US State Department), Jendayi Frazer revealed that several African leaders confided in her that Gaddafi tried to kill them. Another reason why there was no African leader to his rescue when he needed it.