Hilary Ugwu
Africa

African Dictatorial Megalomaniacs: These Too Shall Come To Pass

Specialists in mental health cases understand that there are lots of people in the world who in the judgment of common folks would appear normal. But yet subjected to critical psychiatric evaluations might reveal deep seated insanities. Mental illness is categorized into diverse levels.
Certain cases of mental illness might not blossom into such episodes as we often witness on the streets and market places. There are seemingly normal people with deep psychological problems such as paranoid personality disorder (erratic suspicion that others are against one), narcissistic personality disorder (extreme self centeredness), Sociopath (disregards for social norms, values and the law). For instance, sociopaths pose great dangers in any given social matrix. They might be serial killers, serial rapists. The question then arises: what happens when some folks that in the proper evaluation would clinically be declared dangerous begin to work themselves up the echelon of political power? Certainly, they would begin to exhibit bizarre tendencies of inhumanities culminating in absolute despotism.

This then brings us to the focal point of this article. Are African dictators (as we have observed down through the history) megalomaniacs? First of all, what is megalomania? Clinically, it is a mental disorder characterized by exaggerated sense of self; a pathological medical condition preponderated by excessive sense of greatness, power, authority, wealth, control, majesty, grandiosity and obsession with total hegemony. Victims of this mental illness exhibit some sense of invincibility and omnipotence. To a bizarre extent, this condition is tantamount to self deification. Consequently, they tend to have a total subjugation of the others around.

Megalomania, if manifested in political power might betray the following: high level of manipulation, callousness, victimization, remorseless (flat affect), impulsive killing, contemptuous  characters, authoritarianism, aloofness, tyrannism, intolerability, intimidation of others, lack of human empathy, disregard for life, extremely ambitious etcetera. A typical example of a political megalomaniac is Adulf Hitler. With his exceptional shrewd power of oration, he incited a pseudo sense of German patriotic nationalism that culminated in the defunct Nazi ideology. To materialize this exaggerated sense of German hegemony of the entire universe, he remorselessly incited a holocaust. His conscience is different from the normal human being. He does not respect the divinity of God or the sacredness of life. He wanted to control the entire human race mechanically as the cogs and gears of a working machine. What he does is what pops up in his head which is usually supercilious. There are a school of experts whose analysis of Hitler depicts that he had a severe mental illness.

To take a little voyage into the history of African leadership, one could not but see traces of terrible inhumanities and dictatorialness. These were prevalently practiced during the military epochs. Although, some of these dictators still disguise themselves as civilians in order to retain their hold on power. So many of our African despots might be megalomania in their systems of unsound reasoning; they forget that life is short and that good name is better than egoistic accumulation of material fortunes. First in our list is a notorious Ugandan.

Idi Amin Dada of Uganda
Amin was a ferocious power monger. If one listens to his old clips, he sounds empty, arrogant, delusional and unreasonable. There were massive governmental corruption, torture and killings of people when he was in power. He was a typical example of brute against reason. His head was void of political meanings. And his hands were full of torturous weapons.

Mobutu Sese Seko of Belgian Congo
He was a very intelligent man who had a close tie with the CIA. He was a dictator. He stole billions from the common treasury and dragged his country into a historic ditch. In the usual fashion of dictators, he maintained a one party system of government.

Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe
He has been in power since the eighties. He a known dictator. Apart from driving out white settlers (farmers), he also represses political opponent using his all powerful government. He had dragged the economy of his country to shame and lots of the people of Zimbabwe are fleeing to the neighboring South Africa where they face Xenophobia.

Al Bashir of Sudan
Presently, the international community is pointing the finger of genocidal crime against Al Bashir. With government sponsored militia, he had cast Sudan into the pit of international sympathy. He is highly repressive.

Sani Abacha of Nigeria
General Sani Abacha was a known Nigerian military dictator. There were massive accusations of using secretive agents as murderous tools against political opponents. During his regime, Nigeria was suspended from commonwealth as a result of the hanging of the nine Ogoni civil right activists. He was greedy, power-hungry, and ruthless. And like every despot before him, fear drove him to kill.

Charles Tailor of Liberia
Charles tailor was ones an escapee from the United State on the ground of unlawful conduct. Back in Liberia, his callous guerrilla schemes started. As a leader he turned his country into a state of lawlessness. His regime was characterized by rapes, child soldier, slavery, embezzlement, mutilation of innocent people, war crimes etc.

Theonoste Bagosora of Rwanda
He was a military officer (rtd) internationally known for his diabolical role in one of the talked about genocide in modern history. In the year 1994 the entire world witnessed the most gruesome genocide in Rwanda that was engineered towards ethnic cleansings. What drove a human being to undertake such evil remains a matter of mental cogitation to the entire world.

Nguema Teodoro of Equatorial Guinea
He was known for the repression of political opponents. Some are being tortured and some go into exile. He had been in power for such a long time.

Mengistu Haile of Ethiopia
Over a million people were murdered in genocide during his reign. His callous and corrupt ideologies were instrumental in making Ethiopia a very wretched place in the history of the modern world.

Habre Hissene of Chad
In what seemed like ethic cleansing, there were facts about genocide by Hissene. Like every tyrant, he repressed his opponents with tourtures, prisons and death.

Muammar Gaddafi of Libya
An Islamic revolutionist, it seems the whole of Libya belongs to him as opposition against him could be brutally dangerous. He was friend to Idi Amin of Uganda. He supplied him with troops during the Ugandan clash with Tanzania. Birds of the same feather flock together.

Samuel Doe of Liberia
He was a very corrupt. His clench to political power was the sole reason for his execution by the counter-rebellious movement of Charles Taylor.

Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida of Nigeria
Babandida is notoriously referred to as the ‘Maradona’ due to his dictatorial prowess. He is also referred to as the ‘evil-genus’ by many Nigerians. There were accusations of brutality, embezzlement and also that he orchestrated the murder of the founder of Newswatch magazine, Dele Giwa.

Some of the dictators had either died or ousted out of power, but majority are still on the loose. They still parade themselves as the political lords in the African historic scene. Every effort by any man and woman of conscience is to continue to campaign against injustice, inhumanity, corruption and poor government policies in Africa. By so doing, we are not only rooting Africa of evil weeds but held in shaping the better future for the progeny.

The voice of moral reason would tell anyone that good society is built by good people. Eventually, Africa would be purged of bad leaders with their megalomania-sort of approach to politics and power. A new dawn will come. One mistake which we often make is to begin a comparism of Africa with the west. Has any African nation practices democracy for one hundred years? Some of these countries in the west had practice the democratic system of government as far back as history could remember.

I believe that a time would surely come when Africa would look back to history and smile at what she had gone through. No nation is built in one single day. Yet the goal of every believer in the new emerging Africa is to fight dictatorial megalomaniacs in the political terrain. A typical example is Robert Mugage and Al Bashir (their cases are still looming). All these too shall come to pass and Africa will write about it in history’s books.
CSN: 53831-2008-04-33

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