A coalition of opposition parties in Benin Republic has raised the alarm over the growing political tension in the country, following an alleged ongoing persecution of politicians by the government.
They have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari who is the chairman of ECOWAS to intervene and stop the drift. In a statement signed by one of the leaders of the coalition, Mr. Jean Adèkambi, President Patrice Talon was accused of dissolving all political parties and creating only two new parties.
Adèkambi said the move is to prevent opposition parties from participating in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the country. The opposition said Buhari as the chairman of ECOWAS and a big brother in Africa cannot fold his arms and watch Benin throw the sub-region into a possible endless political crisis that might cause the loss of thousands of lives and resources.
Adèkambi said: “Let this be clear. Nigeria has over 800 kilometers land border with Benin Republic and principally stands to suffer the consequences of any political instability in Benin Republic.
“Therefore, on behalf of all opposition parties in Benin Republic, we call on the government and good people of Nigeria to prevail on President Patrice Talon to revert to status quo by allowing all the political parties to participate in the forth coming election and if pos sibly, post-pone the election to give room for equal participation.
“The ECOWAS protocol agreement forbids any government from organising any non-consensual electoral process six months to election date.” In his reaction, Beninese Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister, Aurelian Agbenonci, described the accusation as fake news.
He urged the international community to ignore the story, saying, the country is peaceful. “The story in question is fake news. It is the handiwork of opposition leaders in the country. As I speak to you, I am just from a rally in my country and I didn’t go with a policeman. The country is peaceful and those saying that they are being persecuted are lying. There is a procedure in establishing political parties in our country and they need to follow the guidelines.”