Senegal’s opposition vows to kick Wade out

It appears that this persistent clamour about oppression, disregard for constitutions, abuse of power, lock, stock and barrel, will never cease to be the familiar thing they are in Africa; not when African leaders do not appear to see any reason to accept that actual ownership of authority is for the citizens. The situation though defers from one country to the other on the continent, mainly influenced by the level of respect for democracy and the rule of law.
Despite a constant complaint about the seemingly deteriorating situation at their backyard, Senegalese happen to be among the very few people on the continent who enjoy a fear measure of political freedom. This is demonstrable in the utterances of a group of politicians in the country who have vowed to employ an unusual method of ousting African leaders to ‘‘kick out’’ their own president, whom they accused of leading Senegal into ‘‘crisis’’.
Members of the newly established opposition political party, (And dooleel Senegaal / Party of change) over the weekend called on Senegalese to join them on a protest march scheduled for April 4th, which day marks the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence.
The opposition politicians intend to use the day to stage series of marches across the streets in the capital, Dakar, in request of the departure of President Abdoulaye Wade.
“We call on all the Senegalese people to join our cause to safeguard our nation which is undergoing a profound crisis,” the head of the party, Assane Dia, said. He cited “lack of democracy, recurrent manipulation and abuse of the country’s constitution, nepotism, high cost of living, mismanagement of public funds with all sorts of scandals, aggression against the press’’ as their reasons.
It is not clear why they chose to use April 4, but given that it is the country’s independence anniversary, the opposition politicians are surely intent on exploiting the increased attention to national issues by the rest of the population.
Massive preparations are currently underway to make this year’s anniversary one with great difference.
To demonstrate how important President Abdoulie Wade views this year’s celebration, he has decided to use the celebrations to inaugurate his controversial African Renaissance Monument, the subject of confrontation between the aging president and a group of Imams bent on discouraging his effort.
Having seen how far the octogenarian leader can go in defending his statute, it is only a matter of guessing for many here as to what response the would-be opposition protesters are up for.

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