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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Columnist: Akyeampong, Prince

Libya: Ghana Joins Nigeria and Does Obeisance To NATO

After what recently happened in Libya, one is apt to wonder what democracy
really stands for. If democracy is the keyword used to justify the
destruction of human lives and property, then God help us all! Yes, the
NATO-aided NTC rebels have apparently managed to do away with Muammar
Gaddafi, and Ghana, among other African countries has, after a little
hesitation, decided to do obeisance to the western powers by recognizing
these anti-Gaddafi miscreants.

The question now remains: does a post-Gaddafi Libya hope to become a land of
milk and honey? Believe me, that would be a very tall order because
actually, whether you like Gaddafi or not, Libya, by all appreciable
standards, had the highest standard of living in Africa, under Gaddafi. If
western-style democracy was a yardstick for determining developmental
success, Ghana, Nigeria and other countries in Africa would not be in their
present predicaments. Let's take a look at some of the comforts and benefits
Libyans enjoyed under Gaddafi and draw our own conclusions.

When Gaddafi took over, Libyans had an average annual income of about $60.
His government brought Libya from poverty and debt to prosperity and
debt-free status

Education from the kindergarten stage through college was free. Health care
was free as well.

Under Gaddafi's oil-revenue-sharing program, each Libyan had $500 (five
hundred US dollars) deposited into his or her bank account each month.

After marriage, each couple was given as much as $60,000 (sixty thousand US
dollars) to spend.

Libya gave free land and seeds to anyone who wanted to take up farming as an

Water and electricity were free in Libya.

Petrol/fuel was sold at 75 cents a gallon under Gaddafi.

There was virtually no homelessness as everyone was given a home.

Undernourishment in Libya under Gaddafi was as low as 2% - a figure lower
than that of the world center of "democracy," the USA.

For any medical care or health treatments that were unavailable in Libya,
the Libyan citizen's full expenses for travel, treatment and accommodation
to wherever was required for treatment were borne by the Libyan government.

Before Gaddafi, literacy in Libya was only 10%. Under Gaddafi's leadership,
literacy has risen to over 80%.

Unlike some Arab states, women in Libya under Gaddafi had equal rights; not
only as a philosophy, but in practice.

Libyans had a direct participatory democracy based on people's conferences.

The Gaddafi regime invested billions to bring freshwater from southern
Libya's desert to coastal areas like Tripoli and Benghazi. This man-made
river is a worldwide acclaimed achievement that stands as a testimony to
Gaddafi's huge contribution to the economic development of Libya. Folks,
note that this project which cost Libya about $35 billion (US dollars) was
exclusively financed by Libya's Central Bank without borrowing a cent from

So, if these eye-popping achievements are not enough, then what exactly is
the NATO agenda? What are they bringing to Libya that is better than what
Gaddafi achieved? I sympathize with Libyans - and why not? In the name of
western-style "democracy," a hitherto affluent African nation has decided to
take a dangerous u-turn and thus join the large group of third world
countries in Africa.

The western propaganda machine is so deadly that they pick-and-choose what
to report to the outside world with regards to the situation in Libya.
Whatever event goes against their interests and machinations is not
reported. How can NATO bomb roads, ports, buildings and oil fields'
equipment and yet claim to be assisting in a just cause? It's about
democracy, they contend; and some of us have ignorantly bought into that
nonsense! If this maze of confusion and corruption in Ghana is what
democracy is about, I'd rather take a Gaddafi-type system any day.
Ultimately, life is about the search for the best means of achieving
improved and quality lifestyles. Did Gaddafi fail Libyans in that regard?

For NATO, it's been a job "well executed." They have managed once again to
bring a strong and thriving economy to its knees. Even as these ignorant
rebels chant and wave flags, they are yet to come to grips with reality;
they do not realize that they are now in the full clutches of the west -
they have now become YES-MEN; and would listen to and obey their NATO

As Ghanaians and Africans, we must honestly ask ourselves whether our
so-called leaders have what it takes to stand up to the west when it comes
to issues that are not in our interest. The usual "uncle Tom" attitude
exhibited by our leaders does not bode well for the African continent. What
is the essence of the AU if our leaders cannot take an emphatic stand and
come to the aid of one of their own in times of need? A bunch of "uncle
Toms," that's what they are!

Ghanaian and African leaders had better wake up and get their acts
together! If the Libyan situation has nor served as an eye-opener to our
recalcitrant and NATO-serving leaders, I don't know what will. God bless
mother Ghana!

Prince Akyeampong, Washington D.C.