A friend, who transitioned from the physical, into the spiritual world, but whose physical body was dumped into the proverbial “six feet under“, long, long ago, five years before I was brought into the physical world, had something rather interesting to say – a thought provoking remark about Africa and its countries; how they are run.
“Although many African countries claim to be Republics, they are, in reality and practice, Republican Monarchies” He remarked, during our conventional spiritual conversation.
Rather surprised by my spiritual friend’s remark, I thought about it and it quickly reminded me of the many, apparently, “bad” things I’ve been told and/or taught about the “Monarchy” system of rule in Africa by, especially those with vested interests in the prevailing and promoted alternatives – Republic being one such alternatives.
“They are run as Monarchies with[in] a Republican structure of governance. They have governments, usually whose heads are and behave – in all manner and form – as “Monarchs”. The long transitioned friend, further said, in our conventional spiritual conversation.
The more I thought about that thought provoking remark by my long transitioned friend, whom I’ve never known nor met in the physical, the more it troubled me but equally, the more I discovered I knew very little than I thought I did about a Republic. As a result, I decided to inform myself, to improve my understanding of a Republic beyond the indoctrination I’ve been fed over the years.
So, to whet but also partially satisfy my curiosity, I quickly made a Wikipedia search on a Republic. A Republic, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic “is a form of government in which the country is considered a “public matter”, not the private concern or property of the rulers.”
“The primary positions of power within a republic are attained, through democracy, oligarchy, autocracy, or a mix thereof, rather than being unalterably occupied. It has become the opposing form of government to a monarchy and has therefore no monarch as head of state.“
But taking a critical examination of what Wikipedia says a Republic is, and in relation to how most African countries are run, it’s not lost on anyone, more so, many observant Africans, that what is supposed to be “public matter” is, indeed, the private concern or property of the rulers of African countries.
That in many African polities, the supposedly “public matter“, that is, the country, its people and affairs of concern, is treated as a private property by/of the few anointed individuals and their enablers and handlers – the people around them, with and through whom they effect commands and run national affairs. They run national affairs as private affairs, using national resources which, in theory, are supposed to be collective national wealth, benefiting all citizens.
How they come to power, that is, into positions of power – may indeed, have all the hallmarks of a Republic – fulfill the definitions of a Republic, according to Wikipedia definition. But these are mere gimmicks, usually well orchestrated national robbery into power – positions of power. Theirs is the systematic usurpation of power and therefore country; and the subsequent privatisation/personalisation of the country and its resources, treating people – citizens – as their subjects, expendable at the slightest whims, for all reasons and excuses.
Most heads of the many African Republics are unaccountable individuals, only accountable to themselves, but to whom everyone else is made to and must be accountable. All these are hallmarks of a true, in fact, absolute Monarchy. Most of these individuals are and behave like absolute Monarchs. They are formally called “Presidents” but in reality and practice; are and behave like Kings. They are “PresiKings“.
Why Kings? This is because African Presidencies are, and have been since “independence“, predominantly the men’s turf. Consequently, they have and have had “First Ladies“. But in the context of a Monarchy, the designation “First Lady” in many quasi Republics in Africa, is in actual sense a Queen. So, many African “First Ladies” are and behave like Queens. Similarly, the designation “First Family” is republic speak for “Royal Family”, complete with Princes and Princesses. They have a whole slew of courtiers, servants, with high sounding servant titles; but they are still servants to these self appointed, self styled “PresiKings” – absolute monarchs – who do their every bidding, good or bad. They often have successions, typically, a son – Prince – taking over from the father, the PresiKing, either as a consequence of death, old age or anything that renders the PresiKing incapable of running national, or rather monarchical affairs.
After my long reflection, armed with or helped greatly by that Wikipedia definition of a Republic, I went back to my long transitioned spiritual friend, I conceded to and agreed greatly with his observation and thus subsequent remark. But I also made it clear to him that his rather honest observation and remark, caused me such distress. I feel depressed for having been lied to all this time about all the “bad” things about/of a Monarchy system of rule. Similarly, I feel disappointed and equally depressed about the lies I have been fed regarding a Republic system of rule in Africa, as the best alternative to the Monarchy system of rule, without telling me, it is, in fact, the people – not the system – that are the problem. That any system of rule or otherwise, can be compromised, corrupted, abused, misused by people irrespective of how well structured it is. The truth is, the people are the system, they make the system. There’s no such thing as a distinct system, separate from people.
“When we speak [talk] about/of a country, nation, an organisation, an institution, a monarchy, government, we are essentially speaking [talking] about people. Without whom, there’s no such thing as- or- a system.” my long transitioned spiritual friend cautioned. “Systems, that is, institutionalised structures, are abused because they are run by people with vested personal interests. Despite the common public pretence, we are primarily driven by personal interests, and all else is secondary. So people will do anything to further their personal interests.” My long transitioned spiritual friend, concluded, rather solemnly