Friday, August 2, 2019 8:14 am
Libya, war, its domino effect and the prediction of the late Muammar Gaddafi came to the fore when President Muhammadu Buhari, on 1 August, received Letters of Credence from three foreign Ambassadors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Those who came were: Ambassador of Venezuela to Nigeria, Davies Nieves Velasquez; Myanmar to the country, Myint Swe and that of Lbya who had just been posted here, Ayad Musbah Faraj-Attayary.
Particularly, Buhari seized the opportunity of hosting the Libyan envoy to comment on the war in that country and the Frankenstein monster such had become everywhere. Thus, the Nigerian President advocated the return of peace to Libya, saying that it would serve the overall interest of Africa.
In his words: “Our efforts should be directed towards the restoration of peace. It is expedient that peace and stability return to Libya as soon as possible; peace in Libya will translate to economic prosperity and development as well as a more secure Africa.”
Peace in Libya, as Buhari reasoned, would translate to stability in the oil industry since that country is a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
There is a sentence used by Buhari that should strike a chord in students of African history, war and strategic studies and those with special interest in the politics of the late President Muammar Gaddafi. That is: “ Peace in Libya will translate to economic prosperity and development as well as a more secure Africa.”
A more secure Africa! The beginning of war in Libya, according to many observers, has been the reason that the countries in the Maghreb and West Africa have been experiencing terrorism, banditry, gun running and other forms of crime. Nigeria too is a victim of that.
Now, the connection this has with Libya is that at the twilight of his life, eight years ago, Gaddafi, as published on musliminc.com, predicted:
“I will not go into exile to any foreign country. I was born here in Libya, and I will die here. This country was a dessert, and I turned it into a forest, where everything can grow. No one Love this land more more than its citizens. If Europe and America tells you that they love you, be careful. They love the wealth of your land. The oil and not the people. They are helping you to fight against me but, it will be more wise for you to fight against them because they are fighting against your future and progress.
“My message to you the people of Libya is, they are helping you to kill me but you will pay the price because you will suffer. And my message to you America and Europe is, you will kill me, but be ready to fight a never ending TERRORISM.
Before you realise your ignorance, terrorists will be hitting you at your doorstep.”
Now, here are 16 unforgettable facts that will make Libya a benchmark for good governance in Africa, facts that may jolt many of the swashbucklers who parade themselves as leaders from their lethargy.
1. There was no electricity bill in Libya, electricity was free for all its citizens.
2. There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya were state-owned and loans given to all its citizens were at a 0% interest by law.
3. Home was considered a human right in Libya. Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home, and he did it
4. All newlyweds in Libya received $60,000 Dinars (US$50,000) from the government to buy their first apartment.
5. Education and medical treatments were free in Libya. Before Gaddafi, only 25% of Libyans were literates. At his death, the figure stood at 83%. Right now it’s below 15% as young people train for war
6. Libyans taking up farming as a career received farm land, a farming house, equipment, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free.
7. If Libyans could not find the education or medical facilities they needed in Libya, the government funded them to go abroad for it.
8. In Gaddafi’s Libya, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya was $0. 14 per liter.
10. Libya had no external debt and its reserves amounted to $150 billion –.
11. If a Libyan was unable to get employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she was employed until employment was found.
12. A portion of Libyan oil sale was credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gave birth to a child under Gaddafi, received US $5,000 as child benefit upfront.
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya was sold at $ 0.15
15. 25% of Libyans had a university degrees
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man- Made River Project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.