Dictatorship, an absolute authority in any sphere, is beautiful. It is sweet, very sweet. Sweeter than honey. Sweeter than money. Sweeter than the pleasures which a woman can give a man. After all, with absolute power one can acquire any form of pleasure one desires. Dictatorship is synonymous with power. Absolute power. If you have power and cannot exercise it with maximum authority, then it is no power at all! Don’t mind that infinite nonsense about ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely! Who would not, after tasting the sweetness of power, like or wish to be corrupted by the sweetness of absolute power? Ask my mentor and good friend Donald Trump!
Picture that father who decisively and strongly controls his, wife or wives, children, and workers! No one falls out of line. There is order. The fear of being disinherited from his wealth while he is alive and after he dies is the beginning of survival wisdom! Once he says there should be no ‘peem’, there will be no ‘peem’, else you will see ‘wee! Some domestic dictators even go the extra mile of flogging the wife in the presence of the kids if she as much as tinkers with the husband’s orders or rules or misrules! An excellent husband, I’d say, if you asked me. Some wives sure need canning and beating for them to have common sense. For, as we know, common sense is not common even with dictators!
Dictatorship is sweet for the dictator, the man who enjoys the ultimate power of absolute power. His word is law. The law is his word. His frown is a sufficient silencer to contrary views. His silence is pregnant, often. His body movements are studied by his aides so they may tell him what he wants to hear. His minions and surrogates help to enforce the powers of dictatorship. They too become power brokers, power holders. Except they respect and obey the nods of the dictator they themselves end up in the belly of the tiger! The citizens are whipped into line in dictatorships.
As we know, citizens tend to misbehave a lot. Who does not know that followers can be foolish sometimes? Little wonder Shakespeare in his eponymous play Julius Caesar, described them in such glowing terms as ‘you blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things, you hard hearts! If you tell them ‘half of you are stupid’ and they frown, you could tell them ‘that half of you are not stupid’. They will applaud you and kiss your dirty feet. And eat the dictator’s mess too! The people! They behave like geese that must be tutored on the basics of life. They sometimes behave like cows. It is for this reason that cowherders usually hold a whip or a stick to whip the cows into line.
Any nation that wishes to develop must entertain some dictators at a point in history. For example, our years under military dictatorship turned Nigeria into a First World country, respected in hell and in heaven. Respected by the UN. Food was in abundance. There was discipline. With immediate effect was indeed the catchphrase. With immediate effect, corruption disappeared. With immediate effect decrees were churned out that jailed people for telling truths that embarrassed government officials. All institutions worked. We did away with constituent parts of the federation deciding their own destinies. We unified poverty. Unified inefficiency. Unified progress. Those were the halcyon days of Nigeria as a superpower!
Democracy! What nonsense when we consider the endless beauty and sweetness of a dictatorship! Long debates and foolish talk over one small matter! See hoe long it has taken us to decide whether we should liberalise the downstream sector. See how long it has taken us to decide what to do with murderous herdsmen who seize farmlands in the south or destroy crops of farmers in the north. A dictator would simply outlaw them. Or recognise them and that would be it. We would have nothing to gnash but infant gums! A dictator gives the order, and a bridge is built. He does not need to consult anybody. He is a consultant, thinker, builder, visionary and implementer of decisions. Things move very fast. He can decide to build all the bridges meant for the country in his village or clan or region or state. of course, this is for the ultimate good of the people.
Some citizens push their luck too far. They organise protest over everything. Some even try to challenge the power of elected officials by going to court or writing rubbish in the media in the name of freedom of expression. I am not surprised that the great Idi Amin Dada, one-time Life-President of Uganda opined that he could guarantee freedom of speech before the speech is made; but not after!
These thoughts on the beauty of dictatorships cruised into my mind recently after the EndSARS protests, after CBN got a court order to freeze accounts of protests’ sponsors, after Donald Trump lost the presidential election, after DJ Switch fled to Canada to seek and secure political asylum from democratic governance in Nigeria, and after Trump refused to accept defeat. If Trump were not hampered by the nonsense of democracy, he would lock up Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Bernie Saunders, and Hilary Clinton for approving gay marriage and trying to turn America into a socialist country. I have sent a letter of invitation to Donald Trump to come to Africa and learn the tricks of dictatorship.
What is he waiting for before seizing Biden’s passport or freezing his accounts or locking up Hunter Biden? Why has he not deported Kamala Harris, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the ‘shithole’ countries they come from? Can anybody try that democratic nonsense with Vladimir Putin of Russia, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, or Paul Biya of Cameroun? Why has he not used his aides to sue the loudmouthed Don Lemon to ICC? Why has he not fined or proscribed CNN, The Washington Post, and other channels for declaring election results or broadcasting videos uploaded by riffraff on the streets of New York? What is America’s equivalent of Nigeria Broadcasting Commission waiting for before slamming those rabidly anti-Trump faggots with huge, debilitating fines? Why has he not sent FBI against Republican State Governors who are saying that the elections were not rigged in their states despite Trump’s loud declarations to the contrary?
It was the Greek dramatist Sophocles who observed through one of his characters, Creon, that ‘he who the state appoints must be obeyed in all things, right or wrong! State officials are there for the common good. Even if they fill their pockets with our monies, it is on our behalf till it is our turn to eat the national cake! Our own Wole Soyinka also said something through one of his characters in Jero’s Metamorphosis (I think) that we ‘must bury our hatchet in the head of a common enemy’. If the people of Nigeria have decided to become enemy to the government, we know where the hatchet should go!
This is therefore a call on all Nigerians, living or dead, young or old, gay or straight, Christian or Moslem, to respect all the laws and declarations, known and unknown, of the federal government. Outlawing social media is good. Fining media houses which report embarrassing stories is excellent. Seizing international passports, like dictatorship, is sweet and beautiful. That way our leader in our own White House, anointed by Almighty Peoples’ Concubines (APC), would be an excellent king in a desert island!
Professor Eghagha writes from Unilag