One of the trickiest conversations about democracy in Africa is to speak on the matter of former military officers and/or formerly rebellious actors who seek to play leadership roles in civilian capacities.
When their countries turn over new leaves from the times of military governments to eras of multiparty democracy, former soldiers are one of the most popular categories of people who seek to continue to hold influence.
Of this occurrence, A. B. Assensoh and Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh in 2001 did not hold the kindest of thoughts. They wrote:
“For many decades, many of African military leaders have been repeatedly brought out of their retirement from military and political services to the forefront of the continent’s politics, an action that supports the theory that history often repeats itself and, also, that power corrupts.”
Why do Africa’s former soldiers who forced themselves over their people believe they are the best kind of people to lead in other iterations of governance? There may be several theories on leadership that addresses this matter but all of which we do not have the space for.
For what it’s worth, some of the former military men turned civilian leaders have been praised for the sort of leadership they offered in some of the most crucial periods in the life of their countries.
This piece identifies as follows, some army rulers-turned democrats whose transitions have been credited for how well their country panned out.