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Political uncertainty in Senegal

Feb 21, 2012, 12:42 PM

The political situation in neighbouring Senegal is problematic and uncertain amidst continuing demonstrations in the capital city of Dakar and elsewhere in the country.

The 85-year-old president, Abdoulaye Wade, feels comfortable with his quest for a third term, after the constitutional court in Dakar gave him the greenlight to seek a new mandate.

However, since then, people have been killed, injured and properties destroyed.

The tension is still noticeable and, gradually, as they approach the election on February 26, the risks of a serious confrontation becomes quite real.

In these moments of anxiety, we pray for our neigbours to find peace and stability during these times of uncertainty.

With just less than a week before the much-talked about presidential election, a joint African Union-ECOWAS high-level mission led by Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo was dispatched to engage all political stakeholders in Senegal, with a view to promoting dialogue and ensuing peaceful, fair and transparent election in the country.

While we welcome the move by the AU and ECOWAS, we advise President Wade that he must listen to the wishes and words of the Senegalese people.

In going ahead to contest the forthcoming presidential election, despite defiant massive protests, Wade is putting the democratic credentials of Senegal in jeopardy.

Democracy is all about the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

So, if those you should govern are now saying they have had enough of you, it is best to pack up and leave at the right time.

The former Libyan leader was asked by his people to leave power, which he refused to do gracefully, and he paid the price, likewise Mubarak of Egypt.

While we are not praying for such to happen to Wade in Senegal, we advise our old dad to consider withdrawing peacefully.

As is always said about people in positions of leadership, it is best to leave when the ovation is loudest!

We hope that Wade, and other African leaders who have been in power for more than a decade, will always be guided by wisdom.

In our view, it’s time for Wade to hand over power, in the interest of peace and stability in Senegal.