The Would-be Monarchs

4 Min Read

April 29, 2011 By ChristopherEjugbo

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A while ago under the heat of the present uprising in Libya, the Brother Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi compared himself with the Queen by saying there were other leaders like “the Queen of Great Britain” who had been in power longer than him and nobody was complaining.  Meanwhile his children, especially Saif Gaddafi, have literally been carrying themselves as heir to the throne.

Elsewhere on the continent, Hossni Mubarak was preparing his son for the high office while some other leaders like Laurent Gbagbo, Robert Mugabe and the late Sani Abacha seem to believe (seem to have believed) they had a holy pact with the heavens to rule their countries forever. Needless to observe, these are all traits of monarchy.

In the light of all the grandiose excitement and publicity surrounding the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, it is not at all surprising that some leaders would want all this for themselves and their children. However, to their frustration, they have not been accepted to be so. The question I ask is whether there is anything some leaders could do to convince their subjects to accept them as life rulers who can peacefully transfer power to their children without anyone raising an eyebrow. After all, these leaders could claim that the existing royal family lines started at some point in history.

They could start by projecting themselves as benevolent leaders acting in the best interest of their people and catering for all their needs. But there are some immediate problems that arise. One is that human needs are insatiable. The second is “there is something in the soul that cries out for freedom.” Freedom to decide what is good for oneself.  The third point is that fatigue often kick in this modern age without any reasons.

Another tactics that has often worked is to claim that the complexity of the country means that only a God-sent perpetual ruler can manage its affairs. The justification is usually that multi-ethnic groups or tribe would resort to civil war, complete chaos or fall into the hands of terrorists if the wise leader was removed. Well, we are yet to see that in Egypt.

Unfortunately, many of the royalty aspirants have used the worst method which is terror and force. But as we can see, this is all crumbling now.

However, we all know that royalty is not new to Africa. Regional kings and chiefs still exist all over and command a lot of respect. Why is it proving so hard then for national kings to emerge? Any advice for the aspirants?

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