Day Libyan Youth Threatened Moi After Refusing to Hand Over to Gaddafi

  • President Daniel Moi, Nelson Mandela, Muammar Gaddafi and Burundi’s Pierre Buyoya. Twitter
  • Former President Daniel Moi was once threatened by rowdy Libyan youth after refusing to hand over the chairmanship of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to Muammar Gaddafi.

    The incident occurred in Libyan capital Tripoli in November 1982.

    The hand-over ceremony was to take place from August 5 to 8 but was postponed due to lack of two-thirds quorum.

    Former President Daniel Arap Moi

    Four days to the Tripoli date, there was an attempted military coup by the Kenya Air Force, which made it improbable for Moi to travel out of the country.

    When the November summit finally came, the turnout was even worse.

    According to Sunday Nation, of the 34 member states required for a quorum, only half showed up.

    The Libyan leader went berserk having spent a fortune in putting up a grand new conference centre and imported a fleet of limousines to ferry dignitaries to the continental meeting.

    Gaddafi made the impossible demand that President Moi hand over the OAU chairmanship to him, quorum or not but Moi refused to budge.

     President Moi was leaving the conference hall when rowdy youths showed up chanting slogans in Arabic and charging in his direction.

    Muammar Gaddafi

    “The unruly mob was dangerously moving in our direction screaming and hurling insults at President Moi in Arabic.

    "The President’s safety was threatened and I had to act. I drew my two pistols and stood between the President and the unruly youths, my fingers on the trigger,” recalled former Moi’s bodyguard Leonard Yator.

    "President Gaddafi, who was just next to us chatting up Ethiopian leader Mengistu Haile Mariam, sensed danger and quickly waved his boys away,” the former bodyguard added.

    The late Senior Superintendent of Police Leonard Yator.

    On the plane back home, Moi remarked that he will only hand over the OAU chairmanship to Gaddafi over his dead body.

    Moi was to make history as the only leader to chair the continental body for two consecutive terms, before handing over to the leader of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.