Days after news surfaced about the death of Moammar Gadhafi at the hands of Libyan rebels, and as many in Libya and the West hail the event as the dawn of a new democratic era for the country, people in other parts of Africa are mourning the slain leader and lamenting his death.
Among many sub-Saharan African nations, Gadhafi was known for his generosity and dedication to African unity, financing projects in several countries, such as a hotel and medical clinics in Burkina Faso, and his financial support of the African Union.
In Nigeria, a senator told a local newspaper that although Gadhafi overstayed his welcome as leader of Libya, he “was one of the finest African leaders we have.”
Also, a Nigerian ex-militia leader, who said he was given a scholarship to study in Libya and provided with additional funds, said that the former Libyan leader’s death would spark retaliatory violence among those loyal to him.
"Gadhafi spilled his blood as a martyr to rekindle the fire of revolution all over the world," Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, head of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, told AFP. "Those who murdered him will not go scot-free."
Senegalese religious leader and long-time Gadhafi political adviser Ahmed Khalifa Niasse says that he laments Gadhafi’s death because he believes it came as the result of outside influence.
“I think his death was in a very honorable condition, fighting with his gun the foreigners attacking him from the sky in his country where he was born,” Niasse told Voice of America. “Sarkozy, Cameron, and later on Berlusconi, they asked him to step down. Nothing was started by Libyans. Everything starts somewhere between Paris, Rome, and London. There is no popular revolution in Libya.”
Still, others with fewer connections to the slain leader may also have negative feelings about his passing because of the way his body was handled after his death, said Nigerian human rights activist Shehu Sani, according to Voice of America.
“No matter the crime he has committed, seeing a former president of a country being shot and dragged on the ground didn't go down well with people from this part of Africa,” he said.
(Photo: REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal)