Most African leaders go through some changes once they assume power. Even those who would have come into power after protracted wars.
See below an apt description of the transformation most leaders go through as given by the late Pan-Africanist Tajudin Abdul-Raheem who died in a car accident in Kenya years back.
Tajudin Abdul-Raheem was also the Deputy Director of Africa for the UN millennium campaign.
According to Tajudin Abdul-Raheem:
One: They come as liberators but the longer they stay in power the more they become oppressors,
intolerant of dissension or even discussions within their own political and military formations.
Two: The vanguard of the masses slowly become the vanguard of the ruling party or clique and soon degenerates into the vanguard of the leader.
Three: They usually come with big dreams and enormous commitment to the masses, but the
paraphernalia of power, the glitz, the pomp, and pageantry and all the trappings take over… Add to that the institutionalised culture of sycophancy: jungle fatigues soon give way to the best of Saville Row suits, Gucci shoes, Rolex watches etc. The ‘comrade’ has now ‘arrived’ and will be in no hurry to vacate the State House which he ridiculed not so long ago.
Four: A ruling group that had been held together for many years by shared ideology and perspectives are more and more built around the personality of the leader, his family, in-laws, freelance opportunists and other cronies.
Five: The interests of the party, the government and the people become indistinguishable from the whims and the caprices of the Leader… To oppose him is to oppose the people.
Six: The progressive changes they have brought about in the country become ‘gifts’ from a benevolent leader to his hapless citizens.
Seven: Most of them were revolutionaries who began their political careers and rebel lives as firebrand anti-imperialists but soon became converts to the free market and are now new best friends with the imperialist countries, especially the USA and other Western powers.
Eight: These former revolutionaries who espoused Pan Africanism now resign themselves to ‘better
managing’ the neo-colonial state and are soon engrossed in competition rather than cooperation with their former comrades… Liberators become looters and occupiers.
Nine and Ten: The twin evils of these leaders becoming both victims of their militaristic means of getting and retaining power and wallowing in external validation by the same Western powers who not that long ago praised our erstwhile dictators as ‘moderate’.