Nigeria needs a benevolent dictator



Ozodi Osuji

     The current election cycle that just began in Nigeria has many young people hoping that Peter Obi wins the election. Of the three candidates, Abubaker Atiku. Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Peter Gregory Obi, Obi appears to young Nigerians the only plausible candidate capable of making changes in Nigeria.

      Last week, Bloomberg published an opinion poll that suggests that 72% of young Nigerians want Obi to win. Clearly, Obi appears the best of the three vying for the top political position in Nigeria. 

     However, Obi did not just come out of the blues. He was part of the PDP that misruled Nigeria; he was part of the political system that has run Nigeria to the ground.

     As I see it, no current political figure is clean enough and determined enough to rescue Nigeria from the precipice she is on. In fact, I want her to fall off that cliff.  I have never seen such a degenerate country as Nigeria. There is corruption in all parts of the world but in Nigeria corruption is off the chart. Nothing gets done without bribing someone: the police, hospitals, doctors, nurses, bureaucrats and politicians and judges are all corrupt.

     The Nigerian culture of corruption is so deep that I do not see how a regular politician will be able to change it. Regular politicians depend on political alliances with other politicians to get things done through the legislative, executive and judicial branches of governance, but since all three of them are corrupt I do not see how a Nigerian politician can really solve the royal mess that Nigeria is in.

      I know that hopes are riding high on Peter Obi, but as I asked when I first saw him on the political horizon, where is his agenda? He has haltingly (he is a very poor public speaker) articulated the trouble with Nigeria. Chinua Achebe, in his many books, including The Man of the people and The Trouble with Nigeria has excellently delineated the trouble with Nigeria.

      Most of us know what the trouble with Nigeria is: tribalism, ethnic politics, nepotism, corruption, the refusal to have dedicated leaders with plans to develop the country, such as Singapore had in Li Kwan Yew.

     I asked where is Peter Obi’s agenda? He was the Governor of Anambra state eight years ago. In the past eight years he had time to write a book delineating the political issues in Nigeria, as he saw them, and describing in detail what he is going to do to solve them. He could have easily published a four hundred pages book on Nigeria (I could and have knocked out such books in six months!).

     I did not see such writing on his part. Instead, I saw his CV on the Internet; in it he said that he had taken courses from  well-known universities in the world, those his limited knowledge informs him are the best universities in the world (such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale etc.) however, folks in the education business actually do not consider those four colleges  the top universities in the world; most academics would say that Stanford, UC Berkely, UCLA, Caltech, MIT are the best universities in the world but Peter Obi would not know that because he is invested in prestige and wants the world to see him as associated with prestigious universities.

      Well, even if he had taken courses from those prestigious schools what did he do with the learning? If you are in the MBA Program at Harvard, they ask you to go study a business organization and write a master’s thesis on it, showing what it does right and wrong and how you intend to fix the wrongs, before they give you an MBA.

    So, where is Peter Obi’s master’s thesis on the trouble with Nigeria and what he is going to do about them? I have not seen it. I have no choice but to suspect that Peter Obi is another lazy Nigerian politician, although he appears to have hustled well in the business sector.

      As for Abubaker Atiku, well, he is a regular Nigerian politician; he refined the art of stealing, beginning with his stint at the Nigerian Customs where, apparently, he began his stealing career and perfected the craft, as his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo said, during his tenure as the vice president of Nigeria.

     Bola Ahmed Tinubu, while living at Chicago Illinois, USA, allegedly was a drug kingpin and as the governor of Lagos, robbed the state clean. From the look of things, the man is old and sickly, he is in and out of hospitals in England. Do Nigerians need another sick president, is Yara Adua and Buhari not enough? Therefore, Tinubu is not the savior that Nigerians are looking for.

      Simply put, there is no messiah among the political class in Nigeria. That leaves me with one suggestion. Let there be a military coup in Nigeria!

     Let a young general, in his forties or early fifties, take over the Nigerian government and gather around him folks with shown commitment to how to rescue Nigeria and do what he must do to rescue Nigeria. He should copy the Paul Kagame (of Rwanda) model of benevolent dictatorship. Enough already on all this talk about democracy, folks need to eat food not democracy.

      In several writings I explicated what needs to be done to reshape Nigeria, from reorganizing it into eleven states (Igbo state, Yoruba state, Edo state, Ijaw state, Efik state, Plateau state, Benue state, Niger state, Hausa state, Bornu state and Fulani state), to establishing British type Parliament, unicameral legislature in each state, a legislature of about fifty members, a premier   from the largest party in the legislature.

    Nigeria should not allow more than two political parties, the Social Democratic Party, the Nationalist Party.

      Each state should have a governor, appointed by the national president, who makes sure that states do what is expected of them, develop the country economically and do so within three decades.

    At the central level there should be a unicameral legislature with two political parties in it, and the majority party producing the prime minister and his twenty-two ministers’ cabinet; and elect a national president, but for now a military benevolent dictator, who supervises the unicameral legislature of no more than three hundred members.

    The president and his executive council acting as another house.

     And an independent judiciary along the German Model; that is, lawyers take examination to become judges and work their ways from the bottom to the top court, Supreme Court.

     Any public servant who engages in corruption is immediately removed from office (and given thirty years prison term, with all his properties confiscated).

     Every Nigerian (eventually every African) 18-38, trained in the military and serving an obligatory five years in the military; he is used during wars to fight enemies and during peacetime is used to construct infrastructure everywhere in the land.

     The political economy should be a mixture of capitalism and socialism; the public providing all young people with publicly paid education through universities and vocational schools and providing all citizens with tax money paid health care and thereafter allowing capitalism to allocate resources as it normally does in capitalist states, such as the Scandinavian countries.

     In this write up I am simply saying that the present political dispensation in Nigeria is incapable of producing the messiah that Nigerians are looking for.

     What is going to happen in 2023 is that another thief would be elected the president and he and the cabal of thieves in the legislature and judiciary will keep robbing Nigeria down.

    This sad situation will continue until Nigeria collapsed and anarchy and chaos reign in the land. Nigeria would-be like Somalia and or South Sudan. Perhaps, each ethnic group will separate and try to govern itself.

      I am not in favor of balkanizing Nigeria into little fiefdoms. If anything, I am in favor of using military force to unify all black Africa under the Sahara Desert, from Sudan to South Africa, into one country, what I call Africa Federation of Nations, AFN, with each large ethnic group a nation- state, organized as noted above, and a federal government as noted above.


     There is one idea that drives me up the wall, it is the harping on slavery, colonialism and neocolonialism, Africans addiction to seeking scapegoats to blame for their inability to govern themselves right; they are always blaming their poor leadership and the mess it made of Africa on Europeans.

      If I hear one more word blaming Europeans, I am going to puke. Yes, we live in a system where every person, country contributes to what every person, nation does but in the adult world we must only emphasize what we do for our welfare and stop talking about what other people did to hold us down.

    The above write up is of the idealistic genre; it is a statement of the writer’s wishes, his ideas on the ideal human polity.

      Most people realize that in the human polity there is a continuum of ideas on how to get things done (political ideologies). Political realism battles with political idealism and the outcome are what is done.

    So, let the political idealism sketched above struggle with Nigeria’s political realism and Nigerans live with the synthesis.


      Looking at Nigeria’s sixty-two years of ruling itself, what I see in Nigeria and much of Africa is political waste land. May be there is a way out of this political waste land? May be the ideas in this essay point to that way?

Ozodi Osuji

October 1, 2022

(907) 310-8176

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