By Idowu Abdullahi,
Former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, who held sway as the number one man in the country for almost three decades, has died at the age of 91, weeks after undergoing surgery.
The late president, who stepped down as Egyptian leader following a popular revolution in 2011, served as Egypt’s fourth president starting in 1981 until he was ousted during what was termed as the Arab Spring revolution, after which he had been jailed for for several years till he regained freedom in 2017 after being acquitted of most charges.
Confirming the ex-president’s death, his brother-in-law, General Mounir Thabet, said that the deceased had passed away at Cairo’s Galaa military hospital, and expressed hope that he would be remembered for the love he had for his country.
Speaking to newsmen, on Tuesday, in the country, Thabet described the deceased as patriotic, and stated that Mubarak had served Egypt to the best of his abillities.
He explained that, Mubarak, throughout his rule, was a stalwart US ally, a bullwark against armed groups, and guardian of Egypt’s peace with Israel, who had been misunderstood by the thousands of young Egyptians who had carried out an unprecedented 18-day protest in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square and elsewhere in 2011.
“Mubarak was a relic, a latter-day pharaoh who gave his all for the furtherance of the good of Egypt. He would have given his life’s blood if needed for growth in the country. He was largely misunderstood, but still remained humble, unoffended and happy at the milestones achieved by Egypt during his lifetime”.
Mubarak was born in a rural village in the Nile Delta in 1928 and had left behind a complicated legacy as his rule was partly characterised by corruption, police brutality, political repression, and entrenched economic problems.
He joined the Egyptian air force in 1949, graduating as a pilot the following year, and rose through the ranks to become the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian air force in 1972.
Mubarak became a national hero the following year, with reports that the Egyptian air force dealt a substantial blow to Israeli forces in Sinai during the Yom Kippur War.
Mubarak is survived by his wife, Suzanne, and his sons, Gamal and Alaa.