The government of Senegal has yesterday announced the dissolution of the political party of embattled opposition leader Mr Ousmane Sonko. The move was warranted by the many demonstrations which resulted in loss of human life and property. This is certainly a huge blow to the presidential aspirations of Sonko.
But perhaps the bigger problem is the potential instability it can bring to that country. Observers say that this may be a case of a purpose defeated, as supporters of that party may rise up again and hit the streets. Considering the tensions currently in that country, a demonstration on this issue may be even more destructive.
Senegal was largely seen as a beacon of hope for democracy in the sub-region as it was seen as a stable and peaceful country. In the past few years; however, the country has witnessed a lot of internal issues as the young people protest very frequently especially the supporters of Ousmane Sonko.
It could be recalled that Sonko was in trouble with the law as he was accused of rape which was said by many to be the machinations of the state to damage his bid for the presidency. The young people went to the streets repeatedly and these led to many losses of lives and property as lootings became a regular feature of those demonstrations.
According to many analysts, the Senegalese government is becoming more and more dictatorial as it is seen to be going after potential opponents who may be able to give the incumbent – or whoever he endorses – a run for their money. Macky Sall later revealed that he will not be running for a third term but not before the speculations had cost many people their lives.
The Economic Community of West African States has recently shown a new resolve to curb the menace of unconstitutional changing of governments but it seems they have to go further and put measures in place to ensure that sitting leaders do not use unconstitutional means to stay in power or prep up their chosen candidates. These are the issues which lead to frustrations to an extent of some military men harboring the intention of taking over power.
The Ecowas heads of state were seen to be patting each other’s backs instead of telling each other the truth. The excuse they usually proffered was that some issues are internal sovereign matters and that it is wrong for the bloc to be seen as meddling.
Many a time, the instability in many African countries is caused by the leaders or the sitting government. There should be a remedy for this so that every government will know that the rest are watching and that they will not allow certain behaviors which are inimical to democracy and the rule of law.
For African countries to develop their economies and improve the lives of their citizens, they must ensure democracy and the rule of law. This is what brings about transparency and accountability without which no country can began to develop.
Democracy and the rule of law are a prerequisite for economic growth. Let us hope that the situation in Senegal does not deteriorate into chaos.