Benin opposition appeals to international community to avert impending bloodbath

Accra, June 16, GNA- Dr Prosper Ladislas Agbesi, a leading opposition politician and the Presidential candidate of the Alliance for New Congress (ANC) in the 2016 elections in Benin has warned of an impending political bloodshed.
He therefore called on the international community to step in to stabilise their political crisis.
The West African country has been embroiled in post election conflict, which according to Dr Agbesi was orchestrated by President Patrice Talon and his Government.
Addressing a News conference in Accra, Dr Agbesi, called on international community, notably the leadership of the Economic Community of West Africa sub-regional group, the African Union and the United Nations to step in to avert a looming bloodbath in Benin.

Dr Agbesi said:”… this situation presents the likelihood of an impending bloodbath. While the people of Benin only have the moral arms and ammunition, the forces they are opposing have all the physical weapons and the will to use them without restraint. “

Dr Agbesi, who is also the Chairman of the Alliance for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (ASDA), accused the leader of organising a parliamentary election, which took place last April, without any of the opposition parties taking part.

He said the National Assembly of Benin was no longer an independent legislative arm of Government, but a rubber stamp extension of the President’s executive arm, used to carry out constitutional reforms to satisfy his desire to extend the presidential term from five to six years for each term.
Dr Agbesi predicted a collapse of that parliament within the next 10 days, as he said the Members of the Legislature would step down willingly and later apologise to the citizens because of troubled conscience of not being truly the representatives of the people.

“It is the people who elect their leaders and not the leaders who elect the people,” Dr Agbesi said.

He accused President Talon of being implicated in a plot to poison former President Yayi Boni of Benin, whom he put under house detention; and further tagged him with financial corruption and seizing most state businesses including; the sea and airports.

These, Dr Agbesi said the President brought under his control, and only protecting his personal business interests to the deprivation of the mass of the people of Benin.
Furthermore, Dr Agbesi said President Talon failed the people of Benin and so must resign, in 90 days, for fresh elections that would produce a leader to return the country to its former glory.
“Furthermore, the international community and Development Partners should impose sanctions on the Talon led government to compel him to restore true democracy in Benin.”
Dr Agbesi stated that he was not interested in being given the position of the President should he resign, but was seeking the larger interest of the people of Benin.

He appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of Ghana, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings and of Ghana as well as other leading figures of the African Continent to come to the aid of Benin to restore peace.

“ We, the political opposition in Benin, desire a change of government  at the executive level , followed by a  new, inclusive legislative elections  and accompanied by the restoration of civil liberties  that have gradually been eroded  since Talon took office, “ Agbasi said.

He added:”However, we acknowledge that the international community on whom we are now relying may not necessarily desire an immediate change of the executive of government.

“We are willing to accept this as long as our other objectives are pursued with the confidence that existing governance structure and legislations prior to Talons autocratic coup set the ground for a peaceful, fully constitutional change of government soonest” Dr Agbesi said.

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