Many people today blame Africa’s governance problems partly on democracy. They include notable individuals like professor Omar and professor PLO Lumumba. I’ve had that view before. It’s neither valid nor reliable. The alternative to democracy, monarchy or dictatorship, presupposes at least the first to ruler would be a desirable one. What if he/she is not ?

This leads us to the optional idea that it’s circumstances or society that makes the man and so if, for example, Akuffo Addo were made life president, he would feel so secured he wouldn’t hog. The thing is, if society makes the man, then what society makes a ruler, be they monarch, dictator or term limited, a leader fearful of wrong ?

What do men fear most ? Death, torture, the threat of them. That threat is often simplified into one word, God. But in a multi religious society there live competing gods. Of these gods competing for worship, not all are potent in the place. In other words, not all are feared.

As expected, society makes the leader, be they chosen, succeeding or elected, mention the name of the specific god to promise to be a good leader. The leader implicitly promises to either do good or be subjected to the wrath of the God/gods.

What if the particular potent Gods are replaced with impotent ones ? What if the first generation is forced to accept this so that by the time their children and grandchildren grow, the only gods they know are the fake ones ? What if they are made to believe the oath swearing is not even important ?

That’s rare, unless it’s a black society living in a jungle called Ghana. If you found such a society, you could make them steal their resources to your country, chase their best brains away, invest their capital in your capital, let their youth abandon their land to slave in yours, and hound anyone who dares to disagree.

I’ve lived in a country like that before. Have you ? It’s a religious problem disguised as a governance problem !

Mark McStill, 24/3/23.

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