-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA):

The Democratic progression witnessed in the neighbouring country of Benin, which has served as a good example of democratisation in Africa since 1991, is gradually becoming a nightmare.

This owes majorly to the clampdown on the opposition by the government of President Patrice Talon, a cotton magnate and a businessman who came into power in 2016.

Just recently, a leading opposition leader, a forceful female voice against the establishment and former Minister of Justice, Mrs Reckya Madougou, was handed a 20-year jail term on trump up charges.

President Talon, who had earlier promised a single tenure, has recklessly embarked on procedural reforms that have only succeeded in shutting out the opposition, many being scared to voting with their feet to safer haven outside the shores of the troubled Republic.

This has brought fear to the citizens and friends of the country alike. Yet, this growing monster of a despot within the west Africa political landscape, will not only constitute a threat to Democracy and human rights on the long run but surreptitiously reinventing the years of despotism and oppression, prevalent in African political leadership of yore.

That this is happening “unnoticed” without peer pressure from neighbouring African leaders is surprising. Togo, a francophone neighbour, raised eyebrows initially probably because the incarcerated opposition leader , Reckya Madougou once served as an adviser to their government, as it were. But they have soon turned a deaf ear to the Benin Republic’s woes.

While Reckya Madougou, who was arrested in March shortly before the April elections, has been hurriedly sentenced without witnesses and evidence to prove that she was planning to “assassinate political leaders” as alleged by the government of President Talon languishes in jail, the whole of Africa remain muted and unperturbed. This bully called Patrice Talon, sure needs to be stopped in his dangerous tracks.

  • Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online
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News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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