Togo could be starting an African spring
Kuulpeeps, way back in school, we have always known that the Gnassingbe family has been ruling Togo.
It was Eyadema Gnassingbe who was president for 38 years and after his death, his son, Faure Gnassingbe took over the reins of power.
Faure has been in power for 12 years, meaning his father and him have ruled Togo for a combined 50 years.
After 50 years, the Togoloese are calling for change at the presidency. Last weekend, the opposition lead a heated protest march where two protesters were allegedly killed and a dozen wounded by the country’s security forces.
Protestors are calling for a constitution that limits the term of office of presidents. Just as in Ghana, where an individual has the opportunity of being a president for just two of four year terms.
Togo also had a 1992 constituon that was similar to that of Ghana with specific term limits for the presidency, however, 10 years after its adoption, legislators amended that constitution to allow Eyadema to run for another term.
Protestors want the 1992 constitution reinstated in Togo.
When Eyadema died, the military set aside the constitution and installed Faure his son as interim president instead of the head of the national assembly, as was legally required.
Faure’s election in 2005 was followed by protests that met violent security crackdown in which 500 people were killed, Aljazeera reports.
The hashtag #Togoenmarche, or “Togo on the move” in English, is being used to rally supporters to protest against what they call “the arbitrary nature of governance and denial of freedom to assemble,” in Togo.
This weekend, the opposition is planning another protest march and already tensions are high.
There are reports of Togoloese fleeing their country and seeking refuge in Ghana.
If Togo succeeds in removing a ruling family from power, this could also empower other Africans to do same in their respective countries.