Dictatorship has been given different meanings over time but is originally referred to as the system in which a ruler wields absolute power over a country. These autocratic leaders abhor democratic structures and use the military and other security agencies to quell dissent.
Several African independence leaders who were anti-neocolonialists and anti-imperialists have been described as dictators due to their leaning towards leftist ideologies and rejection of Western ideals including capitalism. The United States of America and its rightist allies orchestrated the overthrow of some of these leaders creating anarchy in many African states.
In the 21st century, the definition of dictatorship has been skewed to mean a system in which leaders remain in office for a long time even if they adhere to democratic principles like elections and decentralization.
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With that being said, some Africans have rejected the “dictator” tag placed on their leaders and have regretted their exit from office either in the form of a coup d’etat or an uprising mostly fueled by Western agents.
Here are some of the leaders whose exit was openly regretted.