Nigeria’s Road To Democratic Dictatorship – Arthur Nwankwo

Arthur Nwankwo, (NIGERIA MOMENT).

The Assumption that every democracy is a dictatorship is only rationalizable in the context of dictatorship of the working class; a situation where the working class seizes political power with a view to creating an equitable society in conformity with its historical mission.

In the sense of the concept of democracy as the “iron door of oligarchy democratic dictatorship is deficit on social justice and inclusive institutions; and this is why scholars like Gaetano Mosca and Vilfredo Pareto warned on the consequences of the ‘iron door’ in a democracy.

Throughout history, many societies have fallen prey to democratic dictatorship on the whims of democratic pontifications; such leaders emerge against the background of popular discontent and the people’s avowal for a change. This was the climate that threw up Pol Pot in Cambodia. At Pot’s emergence the political elite hailed him as a visionary leader who would redeem them from the failures of a generation that had departed from history. The atrocities of Pol Pot and his band of journey men are today recorded in infamous pages of history.

This was also the same mental climate that birthed Adolph Hitler who would eventually soak the world in a blood bath and supervise the greatest holocaust in history with the extermination of about 6 million Jews. Of a truth, history is generous with examples of evil leaders who capitalize on mass discontent among their people to unleash terror on society.

In the case of Hitler, the world and particularly the Germans were warned. Hitler emerged on the political scene with a message of hope and inauguration of the supremacy of the Aryan race. Having dropped out from the catholic seminary for intellectual indolence, Hitler hit on the expediency of correcting the political ills of his society. Just like Nietzsche where he got his ideas from, Hitler dismissed the existence of God and claimed to be the God of Germany.

Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran Pastor saw into the future and warned the Germans to refrain from Hitler’s worship. His reason was that the phrase “Siege Hiel”, which the Germans use to salute Hitler was a phrase of worship. Hitler ceased the pastor and threw him into the detention camp and he stayed there. But this is a historical fact; the world would have been saved from the Second World War, had Germany obeyed the pastor. The problem we have today is that most of our politicians are more loyal to their pockets than they are to the success and workability of the Nigerian project.

The signs that create democratic dictatorship in the mode of Pol Pot and Hitler are present in Nigeria today. A section of the Nigerian press and the political class have gone to town deifying the person and the office of president Muhammadu Buhari; all in attempt to secure one political position or the other. They have been about town convincing us that Buhari does not have to do anything but simply shake his body for miracle to happen. This is what they call Buhari’s body language.

For such people, Buhari is above mistake. That Buhari could make all the appointments he has made so far without considering the appointment of any Igbo person, to this people is normal. That Buhari’s body language has shown a president that is determined to shut out Ndi Igbo and alienate them from the power point in Nigerian, to this people does not call concern. That Buhari’s declaration of war on corruption has been significantly compromised; and selective; as well as the piling of his ministerial list with men of questionable integrity (men who are synonymous with corruption), to this people, signifies the dawn of change.

This trend of affirmation even in the face of glaring failures is the surest path to democratic dictatorship. The very worst leaders in the world have always emerged on the wings of change. Nigerian elite are on this path by blindly endorsing the ineptitude of this government as the product of Buhari’s body language. I cannot despair of calling attention to the precarious state of Nigeria.

The continued insurgency in the North, the MASSOB Challenge, the militancy in the Niger-Delta, the indigene-settler dichotomy in the middle-belt, the surge of ethnic nationalism by the OPC- all point to the failing health of this country. Instead of the gradual fulanization of the federal government, President Buhari should make haste to implement the recommendations of the two constitutional conferences held in this country under the Obasanjo and Jonathan administration. He must do that now if there must be a tomorrow for Nigeria.


Dr. Arthur Agwuncha Nwankwo, is an author, publisher and former Chairman of NADECO