Benin’s Ombudsman makes urgent call for national dialogue
By Eulouge Aidasso/WADR Correspondent
Benin’s Ombudsman, Professor Albert Tévoèdjrè has made an urgent call for dialogue between the political leadership and the other political and civil society stakeholders in the country, amidst simmering tensions.
There is an old adage that says “where there is smoke, there is fire,” as seen through the appeal coming from the country’s Ombudsman, who has said the tension between the government of President Boni Yayi and some segments of the civil society and the political opposition could spiral out of control in the near future.
He said he was worried about current social and political developments in the country and that a meeting was necessary.
Tévoèdjrè said this was ‘a meeting of truth,’ proposing to Benin’s head of state that the dialogue is necessary, in order to defuse the tense situation that has been building up in the country.
The Ombudsman is referring to doubts on the minds of Beninese, political, labor and religious leaders that the calm in the country does not mean everything is fine.
He also spoke of reduction in traffic at the Cotonou harbor, the suspension of the contract between Benin’s government and a major importer, the falling price of cotton, a key export of the country as well as the drop in financial and economic activities in banks and other institutions. And he also cited the national armed forces meddling in several trade activities as another reason for his early warning alert.
He described the situation in Benin as worrisome and warned against taking bad political decisions that could lead to some risks.
Tévoèdjrè has again called for the organization of a what was called "a patriotic surge," something he did after the presidential election victory of Boni Yayi, which was rejected by the opposition parties.
According to the Ombudsman, the actual situation in Benin calls for an urgent and sincere dialogue without justification, “because bad deeds have been committed and it has to be cleaned to save the country.”