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|“||There is no other God than Macías Nguema.||„|
|~ The national motto of Equatorial Guinea during Nguema's rule.|
Francisco Macías Nguema (born Mez-m Ngueme; Africanised to Masie Nguema Biyogo Ñegue Ndong; 1 January 1924 – 29 September 1979) was the first President of Equatorial Guinea, from 1968 until his overthrow and subsequent execution in 1979 at the hands of his own nephew, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has remained president of Equatorial Guinea to present day.
Born as Mez-m Ngueme to parents from Gabon, Macías Nguema was the son of a witch doctor who allegedly killed his younger brother. He belonged to the country's majority Fang ethnic group. As a boy of 9, Nguema saw his father punched to death by a Spanish colonial administrator when he tried to use his title of chief to negotiate for better wages for his people. Nguema was orphaned a week later when his mother committed suicide, leaving the boy and 10 siblings to fend for themselves.
Macías Nguema failed the civil service exam three times. However, he eventually rose to the position of mayor of Mongomo under the Spanish colonial government, and later served as a member of the territorial parliament. In 1964, he was named deputy prime minister of the autonomous transition government. He ran for president of the soon-to-be independent country against Prime Minister Bonifacio Ondó Edu on a strongly nationalist platform in 1968. In what has been the only free election held in the country to date, he defeated Ondó Edu in the runoff and was sworn in as president on 12 October. Ondó Edu briefly went into exile in Gabon and was officially reported to have committed suicide on 5 March 1969, although it is reported that Edu was actually executed soon after his return on trumped-up charges of having been planning a coup.
On 7 May 1971, Macías Nguema issued Decree 415, which repealed parts of the 1968 Constitution and granted him "all direct powers of Government and Institutions", including powers formerly held by the legislative and judiciary branches, as well as the cabinet of ministers. On 18 October 1971, Law 1 imposed the death penalty as punishment for threatening the President or the government. Insulting or offending the President or his cabinet was punishable by 30 years in prison. On 14 July 1972, a presidential decree merged all existing political parties into the United National Party (later the United National Workers' Party), with Macías Nguema as President for Life of both the nation and the party. During his presidency, Equatorial Guinea became infamously known as "the Dauchau of Africa" due to the amount of people who were killed and by the time of his overthrow, his government had garnered condemnations from the United Nations and European Commission.
Depending on the source, during his government, anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 of the 300,000 to 400,000 people living in the country at the time were killed. According to Pennsylvania State University professor Randall Fegley, this was proportionally worse than the Nazis' rampage through Europe.
Among the torture methods used during his dictatorship were "The swinging" (tying the prisoner by the feet and keeping him hanging while being beaten), "The splints" (wooden splints were placed on both sides of the calves, the ankles and the soles of the prisoner's foot, tightening them together using ropes), "Los grillentes" (closed metal rings on the prisoner's wrists) and "El rombo" (pressing the detainee's elbows onto his back until they are joined, and then tying them in that position). Given the brutality of these methods, many prisoners died while suffering from them. Prisoners were taken out of their cells and forced to sing a song of praise to Macias as they danced non-stop around a campfire. of fire.
Macías himself is said to have frequently visited the prison and, with the conviction that prisoners were being treated "too well", executions were on the rise, this was confirmed at his trial.
Macías Nguema was the centre of an extreme cult of personality, and assigned himself titles such as the "Unique Miracle" and "Grand Master of Education, Science, and Culture". The island of Fernando Pó had its name Africanised after him to Masie Ngueme Biyogo Island; upon his overthrow in 1979, its name was again changed to Bioko. The capital, Santa Isabel, had its name changed to Malabo. In 1978, he changed the national motto to "There is no other God than Macías Nguema"In 1979, after its overthrow and the raid of its palace, it was discovered that it consumed bread, food forbidden to the population.288 It also consumed wine, hams, cheeses and Spanish olives, since all Spanish products were prohibited to the population.
He has been compared to Pol Pot because of the violent, unpredictable, and anti-intellectual nature of his government.
Some observers have posited that Macías Nguema may have been a psychopath, a disorder potentially enabled, in part, by reported childhood psychological trauma, and that his behaviour could have been affected by other possible mental illnesses, as well as his reported periodic use of the psychoactive plant Iboga and large quantities of cannabis.