Like many Togolese who are part of the diaspora I escaped Togo back in the early 1990’s. It is hard to fathom what exactly has being going on in Togo over the last 45 years.
When you look around the globe every oppressive government or dictatorship has had some form of opposition against it yet when we look at Togo there is no opposition.
I visit the many Internet sites daily were Togolese citizens living inside and outside of Togo gather to talk about Togo. On these websites I have come to notice that a growing number of people call for civil conflict to remove the Gnassingbe’s yet when prompted no one volunteers to actually take up arms. Im not advocating Civil conflict as such as I am greatfull that unlike other Africa states Togo has been peacefull and saved from the ravages of Civil wars but this brings to light my point that the Togolese citizens aren’t ready to help themselves.
On the day that Eyadema’s death was announced myself living in Europe wasn’t able to feel the atmosphere of the Togolese back at home but like all Togolese I had hoped for change and day dreamed alittle that things would change. Then I realized that the current crop of political leaders are both old age pensioners aswell as only wanting their turn in power.
I remember from back in the 1980’s where all the people I spoke to in Lome thought of Gilchrist Olympio as some sort of saviour and it baffles me that only know have the Togolese people realized that their “opposition “ figure heads are inept.
When you look at political opposition leaders in any other nation on this planet they all have several things in common . Firstly the “opposition” leaders challenge the nations leaders on the ground rather than from miles away in foreign countries. Opposition figure heads in other nations often try to improve things for their supporters and work tirelessly to up hold their ideals. Yet in Togo opposition figure heads live in Europe and feel they can change things from luxury homes in Europe.
The recent elections thus fraudulent proved that the Togolese opposition figure heads had no policies. The Togolese people themselves did their part in both going out to vote and marching on the streets.
Many people feel the Togolese have no “backbone” and do not stand up for themselves yet since the 1990’s the Togolese have gone onto the streets demanding change and even the recent 2005 elections they marched on the streets and each time they go onto the streets they know they risk being beaten, tortured and even killed. Personnaly All those people whom have marched and all those individuals whom have been protested only to be taken by Pro-Gnassingbe forces and later found dumped dead in rivers and the sea going my respect.
My question is when will we see opposition figure heads whom support their followers rather than abandon them as In the case of the recent post election violence which saw tens of thousands Togolese killed , tortured or escape to refugee camps only to be abandoned by the so called Opposition. Even now rather than have ideals Togolese politicians whom were part of the so called “opposition” rapidly join the Gnassingbe government when they are offered posts and the power and money they so badly crave.
The Togolese people had the best chance they could ever be given which was back in the early 1990’s at the time of the transitional government yet they wasted it and gave power back to Eyadema.
I only hope that thus their next chance of removing Eyadema will be a few years in coming I strongly hope they do not waste there next opportunity when it comes.
Uk, Europe 10th october 2005