Since independence in 1960, Senegal has never had a democratic leader: from Léopold Sédar Senghor to Macky Sall, Abdou Diouf and Abdoulaye Wade. But once again, in this month of March 2021, the sovereign people reminded the President of the Republic that he alone is… sovereign. A message that was clearly understood.
Once again in Senegal, force has remained … to the people, who dictated its law, through the so-called Sonko case, named after the leader of the Senegalese opposition, arrested a week ago for « disturbing public order and participation in a banned demonstration ». As if the state had the right to prohibit a demonstration, while the Constitution allows it. A new attempt by the authorities to confiscate the will of the people, who aspire to more freedom, as stipulated in the Constitution, has just failed. This is the lesson that can be drawn from what has just happened in Senegal.
The leaders of this West African country are obviously amnesic. They have quickly forgotten the events of 23 June 2011, with a President at the time named Abdoulaye Wade, who wanted to wrest from the people their sovereignty, their propensity to take their destiny in hand. They have forgotten those who, already in 1988, had decided to call to order a President Abdou Diouf who had become, at the time, arrogant and insolent. Yes, it’s this « unhealthy youth » that is continuing its mission of monitoring, and who has just called the head of state to order. This time, it is President Macky Sall’s turn.
Quite often, some people say that President Macky Sall has been in France where he learned a lot about Senegal, especially its history. The history of Senegal was written here in Senegal where it was lived. This history has been to refuse all oppression, particularly colonisation, in all its forms. And failure to respect the rights of a people is dictatorship, which is another form of colonisation. France wrote the history of Senegal and tells it in its own way, of course. But the history of Senegal, as lived by Lat-Dior Ngoné Latyr Diop, Alboury Ndiaye, Samba Laobé Fall, Maba Diakhou Bâ, is lived in Senegal.
As a reminder of the words of Léopold Sédar Senghor:
We say no! Ngoné Latyr (bis)
We say no! To the fear that makes people flee.
We say yes! Ngoné Latyr (bis)
We say yes! To the call of honour.
For you, O Senegal,
Land of light,
We grow like the big green palm trees.
Our elders from the black tenderness,
Have traced the right path
And forged our destiny.
We say no! …
This destiny that the people took back in hand, in this month of March 2021. The people, once again, have said no. Fortunately, President Macky Sall understood the message. Even if it is late. Better late than never.