Albert Bernard Omar Bongo Ondimba, former Gabonese dictator, was but a symbol of rot, greed, shame, myopia, hypocrisy and controversy.
“I’m glad to be honest with you. I know that you don’t really rejoice from someone’s death”. One anonymous teacher was quoted as saying when the news of the death of the tyrant surfaced. This tells all regarding how a common man in the street views dictators who pretend to be loved whilst the opposite is true.
Though this can be wrongly seen as preaching recusancy and ridiculing the dead, the truth is, dictators have no good legacy but rot and hatred. How can people love their tormentors and exploiters?
Like Gnassigbe Eyadema ( Togo ), Joseph Desire Mobutu (DRC), Sani Abacha (Nigeria) and Felix Hauphet Boigny ( Ivory Coast ), Bongo did nothing for his country but to rob it and bring shame to it. To him Gabon was but his private estate he used he deemed fit. Some will say he built roads even schools and what not. But looking at how much he stole and how much people deserve, all end up being nothing comparably.
Like other living African dictators, Bongo did nary bother about tomorrow. To him, death was an illusion. And this is why even when he was dead, his stooges denied this reality! He’s now confirmed dead. He died in Spain where he was receiving treatments. But what folly! The nation was told he was in Spain for just a check up and holiday… not sick!
Swahili sage has it that: “he who hides illness, death will shame him.” Or, “he who hides fire, smoke will shame him”, as it happened in the death of this despot that plundered his country for a good forty two years.
Bongo, a short put like North Korean Kim Jong Il, that used high heel shoes to conceal his dwarfism, goes down as an illiterate that was used by France to rob his country, not to mention killing his opponents when it was impossible to purchase them.
Good news is that Africa has been relieved of another dictator after Eyadema. This is a stalk warning for living dictators who think not about tomorrow. Yesterday we got rid of Eyadema; today Bongo, maybe, tomorrow God will intervene and claim another. Who knows? We can fear or being corrupted by them, but not God.
After raping his country, Bongo had nothing left for him to be proud of but the presidency he hijacked. Rooted on tribalism and nepotism, his rule was shaped by a few thieves from his family and tribe. His daughter Pascaline was his chief of staff just like Natasha Kainerugaba Museveni Karugira who’s her father’s private secretary. Whilst his son Ali Ben-Bongo is minister for defence, like Muhoozi, that has much power in Ugandan military ranks. Bongo’s stooge, the leader of the senate Rose Francine Rogombe, is now constitutionally an interim president paving the way for Bongo Jr. to take his father’s throne! What does this mean? Shall Gabonese not watch Bongo will go on ruling them posthumously just like Eyadema! Ben-Bongo is touted, like Faure Eyadema, to take the helm after transition period.
One thing I have learnt about dictators is: they like intermarriage and nepotism. Bongo was married to the daughter of Congo ’s dictator, Denis Sassou Ngweso, Edith Lucie who died in March. This is why I have singled Museveni’s family out to show this trait. Muhoozi is married to the daughter of his father’s stooge Sam Kutesa.
Till his death, Bongo was the longest African ruler that ruled for 42. Thereafter comes Muamar Gadaffi, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, Paul Biya, Hosni Mubarak, Robert Mugabe, Denis Sassou Ngwesso, Yoweri Museveni, Isayaas Afowerki, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Omar Bashir,Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Yahaya Jammeh and Mswati III.
Nonetheless, above potentates behave exactly the same as Bongo. They need to take a page from the book of reality. Life is subject to death and one day they’ll face it.
When Bongo died some wisecracks surfaced from the PM, Jean Eyeghe Ndong. He flatly denied the death of his boss when the news broke quoting Le Monde. Sick dictators and their cronies lack self pity. Within the same day of denial the same sheep like stooge admitted the tyrant was no more!
And this is the main character of all draconian regimes. They live in the state of denial when it comes to the state of the nation. Recently, there were many questions in Uganda with regard to why Ugandan Tyrant Museveni was recently using left hand to greet people whilst the right one is bandaged. As of now, no reasonable answer has ever been advanced with regard to this anomaly!
What’s more, reports regarding the cause of death of Bongo say it is cancer. But Gabonese public was told it is heat attack! Behind the curtains cronies are caught up in the eddy of protocol confusion, not to mention manipulation. The tyrant left many things unmet, importantly being the successor. Internet was cut off in order to avoid information reaching the people.
And this has always been the shape of Bongo’s thievish regime. Looking at the population of 1.4 million and the income Gabon gets from oil, one would think of having a rich population. But nay! All the moneys from oil, like Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Angola have gone to the ruling cabal of thieves and west countries that keep them in power as opposed to the will of a great unwashed.
This is the main reason Africa is always poor. Many African potentates offer their resources to west countries so as to illegally remain in power. And sadly, western countries do not want to address this anomaly. And this is why we’d stress that stealing from public coffers must be categorized as a crime against humanity.
More on Bongo, differently from other dangerously stinking tyrant, he was smart at one thing he goes down with. Being Mr. Moneybags, he’d buy loyalty from any bunch of self absorbed goons, power hooch and whiners at any cost. This is why he’s able to survive in power for over four decades without felling many opponents. So, buying loyalty does not end up home only. It goes as far as to the so-called international community. This is why Pakistan former dictator Parvez Musharaff was able to sit on nukes whilst the other one in North Korea is always given a heck.
Though he castrated his opponents, the magnitude and number is not as big as other dictators history knows.
In a nutshell, this is the fallen tyrant that was the longest African ruler.