A few weeks before the end of Patrice Talon’s quinquennium, Kemi Séba gives his appreciation of the businessman’s passage at the head of Benin. The pan-Africanist and torchbearer of the anti-F CFA franc struggle expresses his disappointment at the attitude of the Beninese President on issues of sovereignty and freedom of expression.
It is through a post via Facebook that Kemi Séba appreciated the management of the Beninese President, Patrice Talon, at the head of the country for almost five years. Two essential points preoccupied the president of the NGO « Urgences panafricanistes » in his analysis: the question of sovereignty and that of freedom of expression. On these two points, Kemi Séba says he is completely disappointed, after having welcomed the election of Patrice Talon in 2016. « I was one of those who were moved to tears during the victory of Patrice Talon over Lionel Zinsou in the last presidential elections in Benin, because, in my eyes, Talon represented African sovereignty against the substitute of France that was and continues to be Zinsou, » he begins by writing, before lining up questions.
« But how should we react when we see, since his election, the systematic flight forward of President Talon in the face of questions of sovereignty? How can we justify this humiliation, which consists of having Yves Ogan fired from Parliament for the sole reason that he had the dignity to oppose this masquerade of the CFA Franc ridiculously disguised as an Eco? How should one react when his Minister of the Interior, Sacca Lafia, threatens me in a mafia-like manner by stipulating that the Beninese State will, and I quote, restrict the perimeter of my individual liberties if I continue to disturb his partners (Cf. Ouattara, and no doubt France) after I have denounced the key role that Alassane Dramane Ouattara occupies within Françafrique?
How should we react when some local Beninese TV journalists call me to tell me that they have received orders from above not to receive me on set, for fear that I will make disturbing remarks, after I criticized the fact that the management of the port of Cotonou is entrusted to Belgians rather than Africans? (As if that could disturb me when one knows that I work on Vox Africa, an international channel that is much more watched in Africa than all these media combined) ».
Kemi Séba does not admit that Patrice Talon is « so strong in repressing his fellow citizens, but so docile towards the West, » even if he acknowledges some accomplishments to the current tenant of the Marina Palace.
« I loved President Talon, he did more than many of his peers in the field of development, to deny it would be dishonesty, » added the pan-Africanist, before throwing a few spikes by way of conclusion: « But we do not develop a country without applying the principle of sovereignty. You don’t develop a country by killing freedom of expression.