Jean Bedel Bokassa, one of the fiercest name and dictator to have existed whose story is not being narrated by many but The address is going to tell the untold, uncovered, and hidden mysteries of Jean Bedel Bokassa.
Bokassa hailed in the Central African Republic (CAR) which is located right in the middle of Africa as the name suggests. Bokassa came into power in 1966 after he used the military to over throw the then President David Dacko. Without wasting any time as the leader of CAR he declared himself as President for life in 1972 and the Marshall of the republic in 1974. Bokassa’s idol was Napoleon Bonaparte whom he praised so much and would even go to an extent of doing similar things like the Napoleon for instance when he changed the French Revolutionary Republic to the French empire in 1804, Bokassa converted Central African Republic (CAR) to Central African Empire.
According to Bokassa, forming a monarchial government would elevate his country’s global influence and so to celebrate such an event making history, Bokassa contacted the French President then and asked him to fund his coronation that costed $30 Million which is ¼ of CAR’s annual budget. The French President didn’t want to participate in Bokassa’s celebration but he later on agreed to fund the event so as to protect their interest in CAR which included uranium and diamond mining and also the fear of Bokassa teaming up with Libya’s Muamar Gaddafi.
Bokassa’s coronation took place on 4th of December in 1977. The country was brought to a standstill as Bokassa’s coronation was happening. Bangui the capital city was well cleaned as all buildings were re- painted. A French sculptor was commissioned to design Bokassa’s Gold plated imperial throne which costed 2.5 million dollars. Bokassa’s coronation gown alone was reportedly to have costed $72, 400, his jewelries alone were estimated to have costed $5 million, and to ensure that his guests were driven in Bangui in a world class comfort, 60 Mercedes Benz were imported to CAR via Cameroon.
Bokassa invited almost all world leaders including emperor’s, President’s, and Prime Ministers who majority never turned up for the most expensive coronation ever witnessed in the world. 13 Years later, the very man who sponsored Bokassa’s coronation betrayed him as he was ousted from power by a military coup with David Dacko being reinstated as the country’s leader and President.
CC: New Africa