Hello, Welcome to Akara
Marhayan, Amoha eto Akara
Prime Minister of Akara
Preceded by: Sakaria Moreri
February 14th, 1914
May 9th, 1981 (age 67)
National Phalanx (1954-1981)
Empire of Japan
Imperial Japanese Army
"Every action which has transpired this day is indeed a result of the Masonic conspiracy infesting the global political class"
-Okeyo, Addressing the 1970 Anyana Church bombing by UN supported rebels
Jeanne-Pierre Motsumi Okeyo, also known as Keyo, was an Asan military officer, nobleman, and nationalist who ruled Akara from 1962 to 1981. While officially governing as Prime Minister, he was more commonly known as le Conducteur (French: the conductor). Prior to his assumption of power, he was an accomplished officer in the Royal Army, and served as the right-hand-man to Generalissimo Yohannes Anta during the Akaran War for Independence.
Okeyo established a militaristic one-party state, lead by his National Phalanx Party. The regime supported the ideology of Falangism, inspired by the regime of Francisco Franco in Spain. As a major right-wing power in Southern Africa, Akara under Okeyo kept close ties with the United States, Great Britain, and of course, Francoist Spain. He was also friendly with the dictatorships of Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, the military junta in Greece, and Argentina under Juan Peron and Jorge Rafael Videla.
Okeyo rose to power at the age of 41, after overthrowing Prime Minister Sakaria Morerivelo. He stayed in power for 26 years, a reign which ended when he was assassinated by Leposele Chinarenga in 1981. Okeyo’s perception in modern Akara is incredibly mixed. Many view him as the nation's savior, who defended the country against communism and guided it throughout the Cold War. Others see him as a brutal despot, who had numerous political opponents killed and cracked down on civil rights.
Though more even tempered and less kleptocratic as some of his contemporary dictators in Africa, Okeyo was not without his own controversial behavior. He was fond of public executions, his most notable being the public beheading of his Minister of Finance, Major Ralijaona Manasoa, who was accused of conspiring with French agents. The secret police under Okeyo were known to frequently kidnap, torture, and murder dissidents, and several far-right deathsquads were sanctioned and supplied by the government.
Motsumi Okeyo was born on June 14th, 1914, to Tsietsi Okeyo, a village chief, and Rehana Siganeko, a teenage girl in Tsietsi's harem. The family was ethnically Asan, hailing from the Soroti tribe. Okeyo was born during the early years of Japanese colonial rule. The Okeyo's were a pagan household, Tsietsi being a worshiper of the traditional Asan deity Moelumo. Motsumi was fourth in line to succeed his father, after his older brother Mthimkhulu, who came from Tsietsi's first wife, Lady Celiwe Mfenyana. From his father, he had thirty seven half siblings, while from his mother he only had one, a sister three years his junior named Nwabisa.
When Motsumi was 7, the family moved from their village of Machati to the city of Diego Suarez, following Japan's illegal seizure of power in the French zone of the condominium. Diego Suarez had been considered a complete territory of France outside of the condominium, and thus was not taken by the Japanese unlike the rest of the island. Due to his loyalty to France, the French helped elevate the status of Tsietsi, appointing him as the paramount chief of the Soroti in a joint agreement with the Japanese. Operating from Diego Suarez, the Okeyo family would come to own several plantations in the condominium, which they profited greatly from.
When Rehana died from influenza in 1924, Motsumi and his sister were adopted by Yandiswa Bungu, another one of Tsietsi's wives. He became extremely close with Bungu's son and his own half-brother, Sameokeli. The two both enjoyed similar activities, and would be seen together running around the more affluent neighborhoods of Diego Suarez
Motsumi began formal schooling at the age of 11, at the Hector Boudier School of Diego Suarez. There, he studied history, biology, mathematics, as well as the French and Japanese languages. His teachers noted he was an exceptionally well performing student, but would often distance himself from others. At the age of 15, against his father's wishes, Jeanne-Pierre converted to Greek Orthodoxy, a rising faith among the Asan population. He received education on the Bible, politics, and the Greek language from his Cypriot priest, Father Ioannis Fokaides.
At the suggestion of Yandiswa, Tsietsi agreed to send Jeanne-Pierre to help manage the family plantations in the Japanese controlled parts of the island, as a means to teach the boy skills in helping run the business and to hopefully get him away from the Christian influences of his priest and the French. Along with Mickaël, he lived on the family's estate near the port city of Theyare. Jeanne-Pierre would eventually become disinterested in plantation life, and ventured off into the city looking for different work. He met Tasuku Hada, an influential Japanese merchant who offered the teen a job as a clerk for his shipping company. Jeanne-Pierre took to the task very well, and when Hada became a member of the colonial congress, he became the manager of the merchant's office in Theyare.
After graduating from a Japanese-run high school in Theyare, Jeanne-Pierre initially planned to enroll at the University of Fianarantsoa, which had existed since even before colonization. However, due to his excellent grades, noble background, and a letter of recommendation from Hada, Jeanne-Pierre was selected to be one of 150 native Akarans sent to Tokyo for their higher education. He chose his major to be political science, hoping to become either a lawyer or a politician in the colony, however he was soon selected to be educated as a military officer at the Imperial Japanese Army Academy.
At the Army Academy, Jeanne-Pierre quickly grasped concepts on strategy and tactics, though due to his mediocre Japanese, he received grades simply considered "passing" his first three semesters. However as his Japanese improved he began to excel in most of his classes once more. He faced discrimination due to his background, however he was able to make friends at the Academy, such as Sukejuro Takeshita, Saionji Hironaka, and Ralijaona Rabenandrasana, another native Akaran from the Betsileo people. It was at the Academy the he adopted his nickname "Keyo", a shortening of his surname. He graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1936 as an apprentice officer with the rank of sergeant-major.
When Okeyo graduated from the Army Academy, he was unable to return home due to the continuance of WWII and Akara's occupation by Allied forces. With the war now going against Japan, Okeyo's ascents in the ranks of the army was rushed, and he was quickly given the rank of second lieutenant despite only completing half of the standard four months of regimental probation for graduates of the Academy. For a little over a year, Okeyo fought in the Imperial Japanese Army, first against the Chinese, and then against the Soviets during the 1945 invasion of Manchuria. Upon Japan's surrender, he was taken as a prisoner by the Soviets, who considered him an oddity on account of his race. In the Summer of 1946 he was allowed to return to Akara.
Back in Akara, now completely under French control, Okeyo refused to join both the French Army and the colonial gendarme. In August 1946, he met Yohannes Anta, an Asan officer who had served in both the Imperial Japanese Army, the precolonial Merina Army, and was now second in command of the colonial gendarme. Anta, an ultra-conservative nationalist, greatly influenced Motsumi's political views, and Okeyo quickly became an advocate for Akaran independence, which was expected to come soon due to planned independence of Japan's other colony of Korea.
When Japan officially renounced its sovereignty over the island of Akara in 1947, Akara under the rule of the moderate-socialist Prime Minister Joseph Malumba declared itself an independent nation. However, the French Empire did not recognize the independence of the island, believing that Japans surrender of control simply meant a complete transfer of control of the island over to France. The unrecognized Revolutionary Republic of Akara thus went to war with the France, seeking to gain Akara's complete independence.
Okeyo joined Field Marshall Anta's Kaizan Detachment of the, a right-wing paramilitary group of Asan and Nyanda nationalists, hoping to both gain independence for Akara and increased rights and suffrage for Akara's bantu majority, who historically were treated as second class citizens by the politically dominant Austronesian. The Kaizan was a major member organization in the Revolutionary Republic, which was less of an actual republic and more so a confederation of different militias, political parties, and even traditional monarchies which sought independence for Akara.
Due to his education and his friendship with Anta, Okeyo quickly became an influential leader of the Kaizan. As the Akarans had a severe lack of trained and experienced officers, Okeyo was hastily promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and put in charge of the Kaizan's 5th Infantry Battalion. Under his leadership, the 5th Infantry Battalion began to gain fame as a courageous, disciplined, and effective fighting force. In May of 1948 they fought the Battle of Miandrivazo, where they were able to first take the city from the French, then hold off a counterattack from a larger French force.
In October 1948, Okeyo participated in the National Army's assault on Diego Suarez. As the city had not been part of the Japanese-controlled condominium, the RRA had initially chose not to claim it as part of their territory, in an effort to appeal to France. However, as the French continued to refuse to recognize Akara's independence, and used the city as a landing and staging point for their reinforcements, Malumba and Anta came to the decision that the city needed to be conquered. On horseback, Okeyo lead the 2nd and 3rd Brigades of the National Army from their staging point at Camp Pikane northwards towards the city. From there, he was largely confined to the officer's tent as his forces took the city. The battle lasted from October 5th to October 11th, and saw the defeat of the French garrison and the capture of five French ships attempting to evacuate Diego-Suarez's harbor. The French colonial governor, Major General Maxence Poullain, was captured, and brought forth to Okeyo. At a dinner in Diego-Suarez's last standing restaurant, Poullain agreed to order the surrender of the French soldiers on the island. While the French government in Paris refused to recognize this order, and sacked Poullain because of it, the governor's surrender considerable demoralized the French, and allowed the RRA to consolidate power over the island while the French reinforcements were still inbound.
In August of 1949, Okeyo traveled to Uruguay to be one of the signatories of the Treaty of Montevideo, which ended the war between France and Akara. He shook hands with the newly elected French President Vincent Auriol, who had also traveled to Montevideo to sign the Treaty.
Royal Army and Peacetime
On August 6th, 1949, the Kingdom of Akara was established as the successor to the RRA, and Okeyo was transferred to the newly established Royal Army. He returned to Hanariv, where he continued to work on crushing the remnants of the People's Partisan Army, a radical socialist rival group of the former RRA. In April 1951, he successfully orchestrated the assassination of their leader, Langa Pityana, and officiated the surrender of the PPA with Pityana's successor, Lova Androkae.
With peace fully established in the country, Okeyo began to settle down, purchasing a townhouse in city of Antsirabe. On May 22nd, 1951, he married Tomiko Ishiwari, daughter of the last governor of Japanese Imerina. He came back into contact with his brother Mickaël and his sister Aurélie, and the two frequently visited Jeanne-Pierre's home. While he enjoyed a decent commission from the government, he also invested in a jazz-club in Antsirabe, La Frontière, a popular joint which gave him a considerable amount of income.
In 1954, Okeyo, along with Major Yohannes Kimo and General Seretse Dyani, took a trip to Spain to do a short study on the regime of Francisco Franco. When they returned they established the National Phalanx, a Falangist political party. The party's ideology was heavily inspired by the regime in Spain and also by the writing of the late Akaran nationalist Count Asseffe Fenade. The National Phalanx quickly became popular among ex-Kaizan members, as well as with much of the aristocracy of the Bantu tribes. However, it was still dwarfed in Parliament by Malumba's All People's Revolution Party and the new Social Democratic Party, lead by Sakaria Morerivelo. During the last four years of his tenure as Prime Minister, Malumba's ideological differences with Okeyo lead him to treat the colonel with cold distrust. Malumba also took efforts to see that National Phalanx members would be out of important political positions.
When the Social Democratic Party won the 1958 parliamentary elections, Sakaria Morerivelo became Prime Minister. A moderate liberal capitalist, Morerivelo was still distrustful of the National Phalanx, however he did not take as much action to curve their influence as Malumba did. By 1960, the National Phalanx had almost doubled its size in parliament. Though unofficially, Okeyo became as much of a political leader as he was a military leader. Phalanx members would hang and roman salute his portrait at their meetings, and the phrases "Sai Keyo" (Asan for "Hail Keyo") and "Vive Keyo" (French for "Long live Keyo") became popular slogans for far-right Akarans, using the Colonel's well known nickname.
Colonel Okeyo resumed his work in the military when the Mobo Crisis began in late 1961. The Mobo rebels, lead by Jano Etoviri, were largely composed of PPA veterans who were trying to establish a communist state in Akara, emboldened by the rise of socialist movements in mainland Africa. Prime Minister Morerivelo sought a diplomatic approach to the Crisis, and while he authorized military action against the Mobo, it was sparingly and done with a tight leash. As such, military action against the rebels was largely unsuccessful, which quickly made Morerivelo vilified by the army, and drew the concerns of western powers such as the United States, France, and Great Britain. A small contingent of United Nations peacekeepers were deployed to Akara, but the attention of the United Nations was largely focused on the larger conflict in Katanga and the Congo.
Angered by Morerivelo's inability to handle the Mobo Crisi, Okeyo began conspiring with Falangist Spain to overthrow the Prime Minister. Spanish guns and ammunition soon made their way into the hands of Akaran soldiers, replacing the aging Arisaka's that the Army had been using since the start of the war for independence, along with uniforms, ammunition, food, and medical supplies. This stream of materials, which Okeyo had made sure to let everyone know was due to his contact with Francisco Franco, increased the Colonel's already widespread popularity among the army. Starting in 1961, Okeyo came into contact with CIA agents who were like him were concerned about the possibility of a socialist victory in Akara. The CIA began supplying Okeyo and the Akaran Army with intelligence and equipment, though this this was much more discreet than Spain's support.
On April 7th, 1962, while Prime Minister Morerivelo was visiting Liberia, soldiers loyal to Okeyo stormed the House of Parliament in Hanariv. The King, a supporter of the coup, named Okeyo the new prime minister and suspended parliament, granting legitimacy to the new military regime. Okeyo was knighted by the King and promoted to the rank of General on April 8th.
Outraged, Oyane Kiapiri, leader of the All People's Revolution Party, denounced both Okeyo and Senaso I, establishing his own government in Morondava. On April 9th, Okeyo authorized a raid on the city. Aided by the American helicopters, Akaran soldiers kidnapped Kiapiri and brought him to Hanariv. Okeyo met with Kiapiri a day before having him executed by firing squad on April 11th. With the death of Kiapiri, his supporters, as well as the exiled Morerivelo, stood down, finalizing the success of the four day long coup.
Okeyo was recognized as the legitimate Prime Minister by Spain and the United States on April 7th, 1962. Recognition from other nations began to follow after the death of Kiapiri. With his rule ensured, Okeyo took the informal title of Le Conducteur, and also requested that the King award him with the honorary title of Maréchal, taking after Vichy France leader Philip Petain. He preferred to go by these three titles rather than Prime Minister.
One of his first acts as Akara's leader was to transform it into a one-party state, in which the National Phalanx was the only legal party. The Constitution which had been in place since 1950 was abolished and Parliament suspended. Okeyo released a new constitution in 1963, which gave him complete control over the government, and formalized the one party state. Though less impactful, Okeyo's constitution also changed the name of Parliament to the Royal Diet, a change that is still in place today.
During his early tenure as Prime Minister, Okeyo implemented a much desired program for land reform. During the colonial era, Akara's land was primarily owned by French and Japanese settlers. While the previous administrations had made some minor attempts to diversify the ownership of lands, most of the land awarded to native peoples went to the aristocracy, and about 73% of the country's population were either tenants or completely landless. Okeyo set a limit for private land ownership to be at 200 acres, and redistributed the confiscated land to the Hova (commoners). Okeyo's plan delegated around 8 to 12 acres to families deemed "loyal and productive", and reduced landlessness to 24% of the population by 1972, mostly due to urban citizens.
Okeyo's most ambitious social project was what he called Firenamina, or Nationalization. Largely inspired by ethnic and separatist conflicts throughout Africa, Firenamina was meant to create an overarching Pan-Akaran identity. Okeyo promoted the Akaran language as the official language of the country, though the foreign languages of French and Japanese were still in heavy use by much of the population, especially Okeyo's Bantu brethren, who were reluctant to adopt the Austronesian language. Okeyo also renamed many of the foreign named cities, Diego-Suarez becoming Antsiranana, Yamatori becoming Antsirabe, and Tuléar becoming Toliara. Though his attitudes on language shifted, Okeyo eventually settled on having Akaran, French, and Japanese all as official languages of the country, with Akaran taking precedence, much like the democratic government that preceded him.
The general also tried implementing common cultural practices and aesthetics. He made the Lamba garment, which was in wide use by both Austronesians and Bantus, the national dress. Keyo often would incorporate it into his attire during formal events such as parties and state visits. Zebu curry and rice was made the national food, with the dish's preparation being taught in schools. He also promoted the native Akaran architecture, even going so far as to tear down numerous French-styled buildings across the country. However, he was fond of the Japanese-style architecture, and thus declared it compatible and integrated into the idea of Firenamina. Actions like this became a common occurrence, as unlike other similar projects conducted across Africa, such as Mobutu Sese Seko's Authenticité, Firenamina was focused on creating a new Akaran identity rather than necessarily eliminating all colonial influences. As such, Okeyo never ordered any changes of personal names, and even kept his French first-name of Jeanne-Pierre.
In the beginning of Okeyo's reign, Akara's economy was based almost entirely on agriculture and textiles. However the discovery of oil on the eastern coast in 1966 lead to a boom in the country's economy. Okeyo placed the oil fields under the control of the State-Run Bangana corporation. Using the money made from oil exports, Okeyo then funded the creation of Akara's manufacturing industry, giving rise to the creation of corporations such as Sorala Motors and Amradi Sidiv. While he desired to fully industrialize Akara, sanctions placed on his regime slowed the nations rate of industrialization. While Akara could export its oil, produce, and clothing, the United Nations placed harsh limits on the importation of raw materials needed to sustain Akara's factories. While Akara's manufacturing industry grew, it was still overshadowed by the agricultural, textile, and oil industries.
Despite the restrictions placed on Akara by the international community, Okeyo was still able to drastically improve Akara's economy. Under his rule, agriculture mechanized, increasing productivity and worker happiness. A minimum wage was put in place, and paid maternity and paternity leave was insured by the state.
Role of Women
Early in his rule, Okeyo enforced strict dress codes upon the population as part of his attempt at homogenizing the nation. However, these laws relaxed in the late 1970s, as the government also promoted the wearing "modern clothes", largely based off of western clothing but with heavy inspiration from traditional Akaran attire. With the rise of the hippy movement in the 1960s, Okeyo once again began enforcing dress codes. Women could not wear pants, or skirts that went above the knee (exceptions were made for pools and beaches). Men were banned from wearing dreadlocks and any hairstyle which was considered "feminine". Imagery associated with the hippie movement was also banned, such as flower shirts and bell-bottom jeans.
Harsh censorship policies were enacted throughout Okeyo's rule. Works by Enlightenment and Socialist writers were banned in nearly all settings, including the works of Locke, Voltaire and Marx. Any writing, media, or imagery which was considered blasphemous to the Christian religion was also banned. All films, both domestic and foreign, had to be reviewed by the Ministry of Arts before they could be viewed. Nudity, homosexuality, and atheism were just some of the things banned for all "non-educational" use, and even for educational use they were strictly regulated. Music by the Beatles was banned, as Okeyo believed it promoted the hippy subculture.
Okeyo and Fascism
Many have considered Okeyo's Falangist regime to be inherently fascist. During his rule he was often called the "Franco of Africa" by Western media due to similar ideology and the close connections between the two regimes. He took an interest in corporatist economics, eventually straying from the national syndicalism of traditional Falangism. He also idolized the rule of Engelbert Dolfuss in Austria, and kept the works of Julius Evola, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, and Jose Antonio in his office. Like the regimes in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, Falangist Akara utilized the roman salute and eagle iconography. Like the regime of Ionnis Metaxas in Greece, another one of Okeyo's inspirations, the National Phalanx used the labrys as a symbol of the party and the regime. However, due to Akara's position in the world, Okeyo opposed many ideas commonly associated with fascism, such as imperialism, colonialism, and Social Darwinism.
In Europe, Okeyo was able to find warm relations with Francoist Spain and the Greek military junta. Franco had been one of Okeyo's earliest supporters, and the regime in Akara was largely based off of that in Spain. In Greece, Okeyo had voiced support for the conservative junta, though he admittedly was not a fan of dictator Georgios Papadopoulos' decision to abolish the Greek monarchy. As both were far right dictatorships, and were two of only three Eastern Orthodox countries not to fall to communism, Akara and Greece became natural allies.
Despite being Akara being a former French colony, and the regime being incredibly anti-communist, Falangist Akara largely distanced itself from France, largely due to lingering resentment on both sides from the Independence War, and Okeyo's mistrust of France's interference in African politics. While not necessarily bad, Akara's historical and cultural ties to France were largely ignored by Okeyo, and the country managed to largely stay out of Françafrique, France's sphere of influence in the African continent.
With the rise of leftist movements and regimes across Africa, the United States began to see Okeyo as a useful tool in combating communism on the continent, and thus Akara and the United States enjoyed warm relations. Okeyo took numerous trips to the United States, and American President Richard Nixon made a state visit to Akara in 1972. However, towards the later years of Okeyo's, relations between the two countries began to cool as the Carter administration sought to distance the United States from the Akaran regime.
In Africa, Okeyo found allies in Zaire, Kenya, and Malawi, whose right-wing regimes aligned somewhat with his ideology. He was personal friends with Mobutu Sese Seko, and often had the Zairian dictator over at his palace near Hanariv. Falangist Akara had a strange relationship with the Ethiopian Empire. While Haile Selassie supported the regime's anticommunism, the Emperor was also worried that Okeyo could inspire a right-wing coup in Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian Empire was overthrown in 1975, Okeyo opened Akara to Ethiopian refugees and openly condemned the Derg. While off the books, Falangist Akara also had cordial relations with Apartheid South Africa, though this could often fluctuate and disputes between the two countries frequently arose.
Proper Conduct Act
Bans blasphemy, seditious speech, promotion of communism, and promotion of democracy.
Began the campaign of industrialization by building factories and other manufacturing centers.
Requires all businesses to register for membership within their regional syndicate of their trade.
Healthy Youth Initiative
Provides and requires vaccinations for all children.
Bans Freemasonry and Jehovah's Witnesses.
Moral Educators Act
Requires schools to host daily singing of national anthem. Requires all teachers to be members of the Orthodox Church and all female teachers must wear a veil.
Growing Nation Initiative
Provides economic incentives for couples with many children. Provides free medical care for expectant mothers. Provides paid maternity leave. Bans abortion and chemical contraceptives.
Requires a year of military service for all male citizens. Amended to include females following the war with Mozambique.
Bans foreign corporations from mining or fishing within Akaran Territory.
NAME OR BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF POLICY
EXPLAIN THE POLICY
For & Against
For: Falangism, Fascism, Symbolic Monarchy, African Nationalism, Pan Africanism, Authoritarianism, Centralization, Orthodox Christianity, Moralism, Militarism, Patriarchy, National Socialism
Against: Communism, Absolutism, Colonialism, Secularism, Hippies, Homosexuality, Feminism, Democracy, Apartheid, Anarchism, Segregation, White Supremacy, Paganism, Pacifism
Okeyo married Tomiko Ishiwari, daughter of the last Japanese colonial governor, Motonobu Ishiwari. The couple had three children together, Adishe, Maria, and Sabele. Okeyo's sons joined the military, while his daughter Maria married the Viscount Francis Makupela. Okeyo raised his children as Orthodox Christians, and attended Church with them nearly every Sunday.
Okeyo was a polyglot, and spoke Asan, French, Japanese, Merina, Nyanda, Akaran, Swahili, and English
He was skilled trumpet player, and before his rise to power Okeyo would often play at his jazz club
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