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How Emerging Dictators Trying To Truncate Change Torture Candidates, Birth True Democracy: The Obasanjo And Faye Examples

The Oasis Reporters

April 29, 2024









Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria’s former President), Diomaye Faye, Senegalese president (right).

Most nations, especially in Africa hardly realize their good fortune when their sit tight dictatorial leaders refuse to leave office towards the end of their tenure then begin to fight and imprison the opposition.


Since it is a desperate fight to truncate democratic change and remain in power in perpetuity out of fear of falling into poverty by binge stealing state finances, they eventually lose.


This is so because the ordinary people join in the fight for what they see as freedom from slavery with no retreat, and no surrender.



When this happened in Nigeria under the regime of military dictator General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida against the backdrop of the democratic win by Chief MKO Abiola the winner of the June 12, 1994 election that was annulled by General Babangida, events snowballed into the June 12 struggle which led to the forced departure of the dictator.


Gen. Sani Abacha then hijacked the process so he too could be the next Head of State with the intention of looting state resources blind.


In the process, he jailed former head of State Olusegun Obasanjo with the intention of executing him on trumped up charges.


Abacha lost when he suddenly died and Obasanjo was released from prison. From where he eventually moved to the Presidency to become a democratic leader for eight years.


Nigeria gained. Having come from prison, courtesy of Abacha’s hidden plans, Obasanjo opened the records of Abacha and especially his thieving activities. Much of his loot was recovered. So the stolen funds he was hoping to leave for his generations yet unborn were returned to the state.


Even businesses he had primed himself to capture for his family went back to the people by Obasanjo’s acts in office. The GSM revolution can be regarded as one good example.


All these happened because the Abacha torture on Obasanjo toughened him to work for the people and do right by them, thus making him a direct opposite of the Abacha villainous dictatorship.


The same scenario happened in Senegal, when rather than leave office at the expiration of his two mandatory terms in office, former Senegalese president Macky Sall tried to change the constitution and remain in power. He forgot that he was the arrowhead that tried to force then President Abdu Wade who wanted to perpetuate himself through his son. The people’s will prevailed and Macky Sall came into power for two terms.



Yet he wanted to extend his stay in office and if not by him directly, then through his surrogate.


Despite jailing opposition politicians through trumped up charges and killing protesters on the streets, events from civil society and the judiciary forced him to release detainees and announced elections in a hurry.


He lost woefully through his surrogate and candidates that were once in prison got to the Presidency.


And President Faye Diomaye made his momentous announcements for change:

Here is what President @DiomayeFaye and his PM @SonkoOfficiel envisioned to do:

1. Institutional reforms and Democracy.

– Reduction of powers in the hands of the President of the Republic;

– Establishment of the position of Vice-President, elected in tandem with the President of the Republic;

– Replacement of the CENA by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) which will be the keystone of the electoral process;

– Prohibition of the accumulation of elective mandates, for persons in responsibility at the level of the executive and/or legislative power.

2. Judiciary reforms

– Replacement of the “Constitutional Council” by a “Constitutional Court” which will be at the top of the judicial organization;

– Reform of the penal code, the criminal procedure code and the Superior Council of the Magistracy (CSM);

– Improvement of incarceration conditions by expanding the prison map, improving detention conditions.

3. Administration

– Restoration of citizen confidence (workforce audit and profiling, quality assurance, internal evaluation, etc.);

– Modernization of the administration for quality services (recruitment reform, digitalization, remuneration, etc.);

– Competition and systematic call for applications for all recruitment in the public service.


4. Agriculture

– Agricultural landscape model structured around modernized small and medium-sized family farms;


– Agrarian reform based on securing land rights for family farms;


– Establishment of producer cooperatives with shared technical platforms;


– Control of water resources to enable agricultural production throughout the year.

In all, democracy won and the triumph belongs to the people of Senegal.


Greg Abolo
X (Twitter)

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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