In light of the seeming moral wilderness that is Africa, it, therefore, follows that Africans need benevolent but draconian
leadership, to socialize them into caring for each other, and obeying laws.
One of the quickest ways to get young persons to
develop the habit of law obedience is to put them through compulsory military
service. It is the military that disciplined European and American savages, and
made them law abiding persons. It is, therefore, critical for most African men
to be compelled to serve a period (three years minimum) in the military, to
discipline them to obeying the laws of the land. And additionally, Africans need to learn to
die for their national interests, and live for causes greater than their small
It is heroic to die in the service of public good.
As a matter of fact, the best-lived life is one devoted to the public good and
dying for it, if necessary.
Africa could use its soldiers to perform public services, such as build
roads from one end of the continent to the other.
The soldiers could be used to fight just wars, that
unify Africa, and if many of them die fighting just wars a
group of African heroes would emerge, people future generation of Africans
would celebrate as role models. You cannot make omelet without breaking eggs,
so if thousands, even millions die in just wars to unify Africa, so be it. It is sentimental to think that anything worthwhile can be
achieved without spilling blood. What matters is that we make sure that wars
are just wars, but wars there must be. (This essay is not written for an
academic seminar. We are talking the
real world here. In the real world it
takes power to accomplish any change. It will take sustained wars to unify Africa, not mere talking in safe Ivory Tower. Political leadership is not
for the squeamish. Leadership is for men who are not deterred from pursuing
their country’s objectives even if millions of persons lay dying.)
The present nation states of Africa are artificial and phony and will necessarily collapse and wither
away. They were put together by Europeans to serve European interests. See the 1884 Berlin conference that fixed Africa’s current boundaries, to serve European colonial interests, not
Africans’. They cannot serve Africa’s interests. Africa must be reconfigured to serve African interests.
There are about five hundred tribes in Africa. By tribe I mean a group with a distinct language, not one that
merely speaks a dialect of a language. For example, Ibo has more than a hundred
dialects, and some count these as different languages; well, they are not. I
have counted African tribes and know that they are not the one thousand tribes
anthropologists bandy about. Nigeria, for example, is often said to have hundreds of
tribes, but when you actually count them, you obtain about twenty tribes, with
a few others, each of whom have a few speakers.
In a different paper, I listed all known African
tribes. The most populous ones are
Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, Oromo, Amhara, Fulani, Kanuri, Efik, Edo, Uhrobo, Ijaw, Tiv, Ishikiri, Ashanti, Fante, Ewe, Wolof, Mandigo, Dogon, Congo, Luba, Angola, Ovambo, Heroro, Zulu, Ndebele, Xhoza, Swazi,
Soto, Pando, Ganda, Lua, Kukiyi, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Tutsi, Hutu, and so on. Each of these 500 tribes should be made a state,
and, subsequently, fitted into a larger federation.
The states would perform provincial functions,
whereas a central government performs the duties that affect the entire
federation. The government at the center, as well as at the peripheries, should
be divided into a legislative, executive and judicial areas, each elected to
serve five year terms in office, with set term limits, say two terms for the
president, six terms for legislators and four terms for Supreme Court Justices. The same structure is replicated at the
district and town settings.
In books on Nigeria, it is often stated that the country has over two
hundred tribes. One attempted to count
them. What one counted are: Hausa,
Yoruba, Ibo, Edo, Efik, Ijaw, Urobo, Tiv, Bornu, Kanuri, Nupe.
The Fulani are from outside Nigeria and live among other tribes, therefore not a
legitimate tribe of Nigeria. There are
a host of small tribes, some of whom are only a few thousand persons in
population. There are not more than twenty self-sustainable tribes in Nigeria. If the
political structure based on each tribe becoming a state were accepted, Nigeria would have about twenty states. The small tribes can be bunched together into
a few states, with each tribe having an autonomous country/district/local
government area within their states.
The present thirty- six states of Nigeria are not economically viable. Some of them lack the resources to operate
governments, and have to depend on the federal government to support them. Because the federal government maintains
them, they cannot have autonomy from it, and it would be pretentious for them
to think that they can. Only the
economically self-sustaining can afford to be independent of others control.
Moreover, because these impoverished states depend
on federal handouts, they give the central government more power than it
deserves to have, hence no longer a federal government. And because the central government needs to
get the money to give out to unviable states, it is obliged to take resources
from those who have them, such as have total control of oil revenue. This practice has created resentment from
those states that produce oil. Pure
reason dictates that oil-producing states ought to control their resources,
and, perhaps, give the central government twenty-five percent of revenue from
Nigeria should have about twenty states based on
tribes, a Hausa state, a Yoruba state, an Ibo state, an Edo state, an Efik
State, an Ijaw state, a Tivi state etc.
This would give the country a natural political structure instead of its
present unnatural structure. What we currently have, is the structure put
together by Europeans, to serve their interests. We have railed against this Europeans superimposition
long enough, and it is now time to correct it, to make Nigeria and all African countries, realistic
If Nigeria were to restructure itself into its
natural twenty states, have a federal government composed of an elected
president (five years and not to exceed two terms), a legislature (elected
every five years and not to exceed six terms) and a judiciary appointed on the
basis of merit for a life time but not to exceed twenty years of public
service), then it would become a viable country.
One can visualize a strong Nigeria, enabling its neighbors to do what it did:
restructure themselves into the pattern enunciated here. And should these
countries refuse to do so, compelled to do so by force of arms. A strong Nigeria ought to use force to transform all of West Africa into one federation, with each tribe a state in
it. Strong regional powers, elsewhere in
Africa ought to do the same: east, south and central Africa. As noted, by the end of the
century, all Africa must form one federation, peacefully or by force).
The current African countries are simply not viable
nation-states and cannot stand for long. They are not economically sustainable.
Moreover, they are politically, that is, in terms of power politics,
irrelevant. It is obvious that historical forces will rearrange these sham
countries and transform them into real countries. They will have to be
rearranged into larger federations, and, ultimately, into one African
federation. We expect that by the mid twenty-first century, four federations
will emerge in Africa: East, West, Central and South, and by the end of
the twenty-first century the consolidation of these four into one African
Sooner or later, men of iron determination will
emerge in Africa and use unflinching military force to do what has
to be done, to transform the present rabble comprador states into real African
states. There is no use defending irrelevant banana republics, and those who
insist on doing so, ought to be mercilessly destroyed. If Africa is to play a meaningful role in world power politics, it simply has
to be restructured into viable political entities. We addressed these
structural issues in a different paper, and they need not detain us here.
As we pointed out in a different paper, a
regulated, mixed capitalist economy seems the most productive economy. However,
education at all levels must be supported with public funding, and made
compulsory for all school age children. Education must emphasize science and
technology. Two years of preschool (ages 4-6), six years of elementary
education (ages 6-12), six years of secondary school education (ages12-18),
these must be free and compulsory for all children. Subsequently, the top
twenty five percent of secondary school graduates proceed to four-year
universities (ages 18-22), and the rest go to four-year technical schools based
on the German model, with two years on campus instruction and two years on the
job training, cumulating in a bachelor of technical studies. Graduate school is
for the top ten percent of university graduates (ages 22-26…two years for
masters, and the top students spending another two years to take the doctoral
examination, and then kicked out of school, and submit their dissertations when
they are done, and in the meantime go work and support themselves). Whereas
education must be free, “professional students” who malinger on campuses past
the allowed age, must pay for their studies or go to private schools. Upon
leaving school, young men (latest age 30), proceed to the military for their
compulsory military service, to give back to a society that gave so much to
Private schools, colleges and universities must be
encouraged, if only to provide competition for state schools, and in the
process improve their quality. Education is to be provided by states, although
the central government should give it direction and focus. The central
government provides the testing that graduates students from each level of
The public must provide health insurance for all
Africans. Health insurance is to be provided by state governments, with some
subsidy from the central government.
Local governments should provide the functions
generally associated with local governments: public works, roads, water,
utilities, police, fire service and so on.
All these idealistic, though in the long run
realistic projects are costly and must be paid for by someone. Where is the
money to come from? Good question. For a start, Africans would be made to pay
taxes. A twenty percent flat income tax must be collected from every adult. The
money should be distributed as follows: five percent for the central
government, five percent for the state in which the individual lives, five
percent for the district/county and five percent for the town.
Other sources of revenues include corporate tax
(twenty percent), sales taxes (not to exceed ten percent), property taxes
(based on property values, say a dollar per each one thousand dollar value of
the land/house/car), royalties from minerals, licenses and fees, street parking
fees, traffic tickets for violation of traffic laws, and so on. For once
Africans will be made to pay for the services they receive from the state,
rather than expect free services. There
are no free lunches in life. Adults must pay for their governments and hold
them responsible for how they spend public funds. Strict accounting must be
adhered to, and the loss of a penny is sufficient reason for heads to be
The most miserable life is one devoted to the
individual’s self interests alone. The
narcissist who exists for his belly only, and tries to feel special and draws
attention to himself without giving others attention, exploiting others to make
his ego seem special, is the most miserable human being on earth. The
narcissist is a living dead person. (Most
African leaders are either narcissistic or antisocial personalities, with a
flavoring of paranoia. See the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic
and Statistical Manuel, Forth edition, 1998, section on personality disorders).
The state should not get into the business of
religion. Separation of Church and state is a wise philosophy; since no one
knows for sure which religion is truly ideal for leading people back to their
creator. But given the fact that religion is a means of engendering moral
behavior in people, and we need that in Africa, the state ought to encourage people to belong to the various
universal religions. All people should belong to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism,
Humanism and so on. That way we
ascertain that they are being socialized into law-abiding persons by these
For those who are intellectually incapable of
accepting organized religion, they can always become secular humanists. In which case it would be ideal if they, like
religious persons, attended weekly lectures on social responsibility and become
caring for their fellow people.
Without any kind of religion or rational,
humanistic philosophy, people being egotistical, can imagine themselves as gods
and oppress other people. Given that people are weak whoever wants to oppress
them can get away with doing so. People are egotistical, hence fearful, and, as
such, any determined thug can intimidate them by killing a few of them, to
strike fear of death into their minds, and that way get them to do as he wants
them to do. We will always have terrorist individuals, terrorist organizations
and terrorist states. This is precisely what Hitler was. Hitler saw himself as
god, and felt justified in using people to serve his self interests, and
killing them when they were no longer useful to him. Man can be a dangerous predator if his ego is
not shrunk, therefore, we must encourage religions and rational humanism in
society, if we desire to make man humane.
Africans are like all human beings; they are self-centered.
But the social forces that tended to socialize people into law-abiding
citizens, have not existed in Africa long enough to have done their job of socializing
Africans into law abiding persons.
Additionally, Africans’ indigenous societies have
fallen apart. These societies
encountered Western societies and cultural diffusion necessarily took place.
Usually when different cultures meet
they all change. The less developed ones take on the attributes of the
developed ones. This is inevitable and
there is nothing any one can do about it. You cannot go back to the past, no
matter how nostalgic the past seems. Realism dictates that history moves only
in one direction, forward, not backward.
Change is the only thing that we can say with
certainty about life. Those societies,
like the Masai, Bushmen, Pigmies and Dinka who refuse to change, may die off,
and that is all there is to it. For a
while, they are museum pieces for westerners to come and gawk at, and take
pictures about primitive man. The fact is that they will die off unless they
adapt to modern realities.
The Ibos were exposed to western
civilization about the same time as the Dinkas, but the latter are still
running around naked. For their refusal to adapt to reality, the North Sudanese
“Arabs”…actually arabized Africans… see them as animals, hunt them down like
one, and enslave them. See Francis Bok,
Escape From Slavery.
Traditional African societies were scientifically
and technologically backward, and had to fall apart for new societies to
emerge, one that stresses scientific culture, not superstition. This change is
inevitable, and is evolutionally good. In the meantime, however, a lot of
social disruption must be passed through, including the present period of
lawlessness in Africa. This makes it even more necessary to have
draconian laws to punish those Africans who are tempted to engage in antisocial
behaviors, as a result of the break down of the old traditional societies. We
must have a law and ordered society, if we are to engage in sustained economic
activities that lift us out of our present poverty. Africa must be modernized and made to take its place among developed
As a result of Africans not having been put through
organized civil society, military, religious, and other forces, that ameliorate
self-centeredness in human beings, Africans self-centeredness has not been
reduced. Thus we see them behaving like wild animals. Standing on a street
corner at Lagos and watching grown up adults, demanding and taking bribes from
each other before they rendered any kind of public services, makes you ask what
has happened to these people’s characters?
Are these people apes or what?
No, they are not beasts. They are human beings all right. The problem is that the forces that civilize
people are either too recent in Africa or are
Religion, like it or not, is one of the forces that gets people to
respect one another, and abide by the rule of law. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and
the other universal religions were responsible for teaching their adherents to
care for one another and to rise above their self-centeredness. It is
Christianity that civilized Europeans, and Islam that civilized Arabs. Without a universal religion, human beings
tend to be amoral.
Consider what Christianity did for Europe. Historical records indicate
that Germanic and Celtic Europe…what we now call Western Europeans…were a very
barbaric people before they encountered Christianity. The Europeans were self-centered
and were always at war conquering each other and taking slaves. As a matter of fact, the Vikings (modern
Scandinavians) were still marauding all over Europe through the tenth century,
burning villages and looting property, kidnapping women and children, and
selling them into slavery, particularly to Arab sheiks as sex slaves. The Slavs
of Eastern Europe also fought each other and sold each other. (Russia did not
abolish serfdom, a fancy name for slavery, until 1862).
The savages of Europe were exposed to Christianity, and gradually learned to respect human
life. By about 1000 AD Europeans had
become Christianized, and began to respect human life as their Jewish savior,
Jesus Christ told them to do. That is to say that, it took almost one thousand
years for Christianity to civilize Europeans.
doubtful that Europeans can be called civilized. Their natural sport was going to war with
each other and taking pride in killing each other. If it were not because the discovery of
nuclear weapons has made the cost of war too costly, Europeans probably would
have had many wars since the end of the Second World War?
Generally, it takes over five hundred years for a
universal religion to totally change a culture, and raise it to a more civilized
status. Unfortunately, Christianity is less than a century old in black Africa. There are exceptions to this general rule. Christianity had come to Africa in the past, but did not really take hold. King Alfonso of the Congo, for example, converted to Catholicism in the
sixteenth century, but soon relapsed to barbarism. The Ethiopians have been
Coptic Christians since the forth century of our common era. Christianity has not been long enough in Africa to alter the people’s culture and psyche, and transform them from a
totally self-centered people, to a socially centered people.
It should be noted that, those parts of Africa with a longer history of islamization tend to be less prone to the
evil of corruption. The Hausas of
Nigeria, for example, in varying degrees, have been acquainted with Islam for
over three hundred years. Generally, the Hausas are the least corrupt of the
Nigerian tribes. As a matter of fact, of
all the Nigerian tribes, it is the Hausas who truly understand the function of
government as an instrument for social control and for suppressing human
The Ibos did not have centralized governments until
the 1950s, and for all practical purposes, do not know what government is
for. Governments exist to instill the sense
of law and order into the people, by establishing laws and punishing
lawbreakers. Instead, the Ibos tend to see position in government as from which
they feel prestigious and important. Ibos seem to seek public office to gratify
their primitive narcissistic desire for special ness, not because they want to
do something substantial for their people.
They are too recently acquainted with centralized bureaucratic
organizations to understand their real function: get human beings who are wild
by nature, to obey the laws of society so that they can live together in
peace. (If you are interested in Ibo
social organization, there are excellent books on that subject. Also see this writer’s doctoral dissertation
for the University of California).
Government is organized violence; government is
violence used to suppress the untoward aspect of human beings. Government is
not a theater that merely gives rulers a sense of being very important persons,
while they do nothing to generate law and order for the people.
Governments, along with religion and military, are
means of disciplining people to respect each other’s rights. An adult
conservative government assumes that people are self-centered by nature, trains
them to be relatively social centered, and punishes those who insist on being
A realistic government in Nigeria, for example, can apprehend the psychopaths that
run around everywhere in Nigeria, and imprison them. As Machiavelli realistically observed, you
must make a few examples of the people, kill some people to instill the fear of
death in future criminals.
Coddling criminals cannot prevent them from being
antisocial and endangering peoples lives.
Criminals understand only one language, force. The sociopath has no
conscience, no sense of remorse, no guilt feeling from doing wrong, no
compassion for other people, and as a matter of fact, enjoys hurting and using
other people. The only thing that prevents these animals
from stealing from others, and killing people, is credible use of coercion to
deter them. Mercilessly arrest criminals, put them in long-term jails (and make
them work for their up keep while there), and execute the more violent ones.
Arrest the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats of Nigeria, and publicly execute them. Make their killing a sport for the public to
come and watch, as Romans used to go watch criminals fight with tigers or with
each other until they expired. Punish these animals in the most severe manner.
Their lives are worthless, and there should be no sentimental feeling towards
them. They are contributing nothing to human evolution. Their passage through
space and time is useless so they might as well be eliminated. Gather at least
a hundred crooks every weekend, at most cities and towns, and shoot them. Better
still; set them up as targets for those who enjoy target shooting, to practice
on them. Do this for a couple of years, and we would instill the fear of the
law into the people’s minds, and begin to have a society of laws, not the
present wild societies of Africa.
Criminals are generally cowards. Kill them
mercilessly, and the human garbage would begin to appreciate the need for the
rule of law in organized society. They are cowards because it takes a coward to
approach a person from behind and rob him. It takes a coward to go into an
empty house and rob it. Courage requires one to approach others frontally, and
if they are not armed, to give them arms, and challenge them to a duel where
the best wins. The corrupt Nigerian politician and bureaucrat is a coward. Indeed, fire a gun into the air, and these
miserable creatures would panic, pee in their pants and beg for mercy. A few
thousand well-armed and disciplined persons, who are not afraid to die for what
they believe to be right, public good, can take over the government of Nigeria
as the current cowards ruling it flee for their lives and beg for their lives.
Only the courageous stays and fights, and, if necessary, dies for what he
If all these propositions sound hash, and cruel to
you, well, then, you do not know anything about governing human beings. Human
beings are self-centered predators, and need iron hands to prevent them from
harming each other. This is the lesson
mature rulers sooner or latter learn. Sentimentalism has no place in
governance. If human beings were inherently, socially centered by nature, love
and care for one another, were perfect we would not have any need for
governments. We have governments because
people are imperfect, egotistical creatures that need force and the hangman, to
make them respect each other’s lives.
observation indicates that all human beings are self-centered. Each of them possesses a sense of I, an ego
that feels separated from other persons. Their primary motivation is to look
after their personal self-interests.
They will do any and everything to survive on the individual level, and
only secondarily help other persons survive, but seldom do they put others
interests ahead of theirs. When push
comes to a shove, the true colors of man come out, selfish. The average person
will do what it takes for him to survive even if it is at the expense of other
persons. If food is scarce and the option is for a few to eat and survive, and
others to starve and die, the average human being would struggle to be among
the few who would survive at the expense of others. This writer witnessed this
phenomenon at work in Biafra, when the adults around him preferred to eat while
the children starved.
of their self-centeredness, human beings tend to have conflicted social
relationships. As John Dewey
observed, individual behavior has social consequences. What one does in pursuit
of his interests, affects other people, for good or bad. Social life, from the
dawn of history to the present, is characterized by conflict and war. Peace is a rare phenomenon in human life.
Egotism leads to social conflicts, so rational
societies seek ways to reduce it in their members. The ego cannot be
eliminated; if it were possible to eliminate the ego, human beings would no
longer be human beings, as we know them, and certainly would not be in this
If you eliminated separated selves, you would have
unified selves. Only the non-material
can unify. That is, only spirit, if
spirit exists, can unify. Human beings,
living in bodies cannot completely unify with each other. They are condemned to
seeing space and time between them, and to perceiving different interests
What all this adds up to, is that, conflict is
inevitable for as long as people live in bodies, and are on planet earth.
Because they are bound to have conflicts, there is always a need for on-going
political structures to deal with their conflicts. Politics, as Harold Lasswell
and Robert Dahl pointed out,
determines who gets what, when and why. Generally, power decides how many
resources the individual and his group get in the human polity.
Social forces seek ways to expand the individual’s
ego, so that it identifies with other egos.
Religion, education, and history of shared experiences tend to get
people to perceive themselves as having common interests.
First, the human being expands his ego, to see
himself as having common interests with members of his immediate family, his
spouse and children. Later, his ego
expands to include members of his clan, then tribe and much latter,
nation. Ultimately, human beings will
identity with the collective human beings, worldwide.
Somehow Africans have not been long exposed to
those social and political forces that expand the human ego, beyond the
immediate self, family and clan. Their
self-concepts are, at best, at tribal level.
The Ibos, for example, did not begin to see themselves as Ibos until the
twentieth century, when the British
Empire exposed them to
living with members of other African tribes.
Their contact with other African tribes, led them to draw the conclusion
that, they are different. Moreover, the
persecution they experienced in the hands of other tribes, helped to give them
a sense of tribal unity, what there is of it.
The Ibos nascent sense of tribal identity, however,
is only skin deep. Whereas when they are
with non-Ibos, they call themselves Ibos, when they are among themselves, they
identify with their clans: Onitsha,
Owerri, Ekwerre, Wawa, Ohafia, Ngwa, Orlu, and so on.
If Ibos have low tribal identification, they have
even lower national feeling. To say
that, they are Nigerians, is only so in name. Even worse, they seldom identify
with Africa. It is a
few, generally those who live in racist America where all blacks are treated
alike that begin to see themselves as African, and fight for Pan-African
issues, rather than clan issues. The Ibos greatest leader, Nnamdi Azikiwe did
not transcend tribe, hence, is not relevant in the world of leadership.
Nkrumah and Marcus gravy were more pan Africanist leaders than any leader Nigeria has produced.
What holds true for Ibos holds for other tribes in Africa. Simply stated, Africans have not expanded their egos to include all
Africans…what’s more, all human beings.
As a result of their low level identification with groups other than
theirs, Africans tend to work hard mostly for their families, and perhaps
clans, but seldom for their nations and continent. They are, as it were, stuck at a lower level
of ego development. This situation
largely accounts for their tendency to see government as a means for personal
enrichment, rather than as an instrument for working for national improvement.
If truth were said, this writer has not seen an
African who is completely self-transcended. (Please do not tell yourself that
he is ashamed of his African ness, or that he has low self-esteem, or that he
hates himself. Let us not go there; good self-esteem does not mean, not being
objective with yourself and seeing your faults as they are. By the way,
everything said in this paper applies to the writer too. He is African and
suffers from Africans’ shortcoming. He is not denying what he sees in himself,
projecting it to others, and so on. He is merely sharing what he sees in
himself, and his fellow Africans and is seeking ways to overcome them. What he
sees in Africans he also sees in Non-Africans too, for all the so-called races
of mankind are the same. It just so happens that some social factors have
ameliorated self-centeredness in non-Africans, more than they have done for
Because the forces that make for ego expansion had
not had time to expand Africans egos, Africans have to do so consciously. The various African governments must
consciously use the universal religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc.),
the military, schools and other cultural instruments, for developing national
identity in their population. Above all,
they must establish the rule of law in their societies, and vigorously apprehend
lawbreakers, and punish them in the most severe manner.
The human ego is cowardly. It wants to survive as a separated and
individuated self and fears harm and death. The ego so fears harm and death
that, if you shoot a few persons the rest of them would fall in line, and like
the little cowards they are, do the right thing, because of fear of harm and
The reason why in most human polities a handful of
gangsters hijack the government, and rule the people, is because the majority
of the people are prone to fear. Fire a
gun into the air, better still, kill a few persons, and people obey you. Terrorists know this aspect of man. In fact,
that is why White American racists, who are really terrorists, used the gun to
intimidate black persons, into obeying their predatory determination to use
them as slaves. If black persons were not prone to animal fear no one would
have used them as slaves. In Africa itself, criminals calling themselves government
officials, know and manipulate this fact too. Thus these bandits jail and kill
a few, and the rest of the people obey their self-centered wishes. As John
Stuart Mill observed in On Liberty, until a man is ready to fight for his
liberty and, if necessary, die for it, he is not ready for it. Thomas Payne got
it right: give me freedom or give me death is the existential motto of freemen.
An argument can be made that; all
extant governments are terrorist, in that they use force and coercion, to
intimidate the people into obeying their wishes. The American white controlled government
essentially uses force to get black Americans to obey laws that serve white
interests, while ignoring black persons interests. Indeed, not long ago these
laws required escaping slaves to be returned to their slave masters. Apish American
judges used to rule it legal to return slaves to their masters, because they
assumed that slavery was the law. Yes most governments are terrorists, but
there is such a thing as positive terrorism, and negative one. If government
uses terror to get people to obey laws that serve public good, in our opinion
that is the best we can do, in a situation where human beings always need force
to get them to do the right thing.
It should be noted that, the antisocial criminal is
seldom a courageous person. The persons
currently governing Africa if you actually threaten them with force would
panic and run. A handful of determined
persons, who are not afraid to kill or die, would take over any African
government and country because the rulers are cowardly criminals. Persons committed to higher courses, they
perceive as more important than their individual lives, are not deterred by the
threat of force, for they have already sacrificed their lives to their courses.
Until a person is willing to die for a course he is
not really living fully. His life is meaningless and purposeless, and for all
practical purposes useless.
The developed person does the right thing because
he knows that it is right to do so. As Spinoza said,
virtue is its own reward. But only a few
human beings are illuminated to their unified nature, hence need to share
everything and work for common interests. The average person is self-centered
and needs external factors like law, religion, military, history, and mass
education to instill in him a sense of caring for other persons.
Africans must begin to cultivate social interest,
in their people, on a consistent basis, if they want to eradicate the high
level of corruption in their polities.
It is naïve to expect to transform all human beings
into angels. There always will be
corrupt people in society, but a rational society can reduce the number of its
psychopaths to manageable proportion.
The establishment of the rule of law and the
systematic punishment of lawbreakers is the greatest challenge facing African
Until this is accomplished, Africa will not embark on economic development and
succeed. We want to modernize Africa, to participate in the world of science
and technology, but for us to do so, we must become a people of law and order;
Africa must become a place where people feel secure in the knowledge that their
government protects them and looks after their public interests, and that,
those who disobey the laws of the land are punished in a dispassionate manner.
Africans must feel that their leaders are leaders
in the true sense of the word, that is, people who identify with the public,
understand its problems, and come up with ideas on how to solve them. Leaders are men and women who have visions of
what is good for the people, and go about mobilizing human and material
resources in realizing their vision. Leaders are people who have an inner sense
of efficacy, a sense of can-do-ness, a sense of power, and go about empowering
the masses, and enabling them solve their existential problems.
Some observers, like Albert Memmi and Franz Fanon,
argue that colonialism and racism engendered self-doubt in Africans, and eroded
their sense of efficacy and power. If that is true, conscious efforts ought to
be made to socialize Africans who internalize a high degree of self-confidence,
and are able to work for common interests. Leaders are people who care for
themselves and for the public, and do what is good for the public, not just
their self-centered interests. Africa must develop public serving and law-abiding