Benin-resistance base: the full statement of the opposition forces

While the Head of State, President Patrice Talon, is holding a political dialogue on thursday, 10th october  2019, based on a review of the electoral texts at the Cotonou congress palace, the so-called resistance forces (Opposition editor’s note) met on the same day to decipher the country’s socio-political news. During this “resistance” meeting, several points were addressed in their official statement, all of which are set out below. 
Here is the statement of the political forces of the opposition

Ladies and Gentlemen

6th april  2016, 10th october  2019, 42 months, or 03.5 years have passed, three and a half years that saw the dream of an entire people turn into a nightmare; three and a half years that saw the collapse of a Nation that, until recently, drew its pride and raison d’être, not from the immense geological resources abounding in some countries, but from its history built on the sweat and blood of its valiant people, a pride recognized and praised by the world.

Today, what remains of this history, of this richness that no subsoil can produce? The question came up on this day, thursday,10th october 2019, when the news challenges and questions us. What have we done with the resolutions of the National Conference? What memories do we have of those who died for 19th february 1990? To the first two questions, we can answer without any risk of error, that today, all this represents a waste that must make the initiating Fathers and animators of the National Conference return to their graves.

The tradition of righteousness, justice and fraternity of this peaceful people led them to entrust their destiny to one of their prodigal sons out of infamy. Yes, after the presidential elections of march 2016, Patrice Talon was appointed head of our country. Given the heavy and tense climate that prevailed between his predecessor, to whom he coldly tried to kill, and him, it is permissible to salute the greatness of soul of our people; it is a tragedy that has plagued our country since then with a president who has seized all the vital sectors of the national economy and who, to protect his personal interests based on the multitude of conflicts at the top of the State, relies on a police regime, oppressive justice and unlimited corruption.

As a result, many citizens have been and continue to be imprisoned and others forced into exile because of their political opinion, while those who have committed serious economic crimes strut around unscrupulously and arrogantly. As if that were not enough, Patrice Talon decided to set up a parliament of blood and exclusion, totally committed to his cause, after a parody of a legislative election boycotted by more than 90% of the electorate. To protest against this deception, and using their constitutional rights, our fellow citizens took to the streets with their bare hands. It was to everyone’s amazement that Patrice Talon ordered the army to open fire on the demonstrators. For the first time since the formal end of the colonization of our country and after six bloodless military coups, citizens were coldly shot dead and the remains confiscated.

We are in Africa, and we are Africans. Our dead are entitled to a funeral that honours and salutes their memories and their souls cry out for revenge. They died so that the croupions deputies would not sit; they died so that Patrice Talon would not root the reign of the dictatorship; they died also and above all so that Benin would be reborn from the ashes of the dictatorship and it is here that the question posed above takes on its full meaning: that we reserve the future? The martyrs of Cadjèhoun, Kandi, Tchaourou and Savè shed their blood to liberate our people. They made the supreme sacrifice to keep Benin standing. Patrice Talon must return the bodies to the crying families, so that at the funerals of these heroes the Nation will come to bow. All over the continent, a wind of freedom is blowing under the pressure of democratic forces.

The latest events in Senegal and Cameroon send a strong signal to Patrice Talon and forbid him to turn a deaf ear. What political dialogue can we organise, while our compatriots are forced into exile? – What political dialogue can we organise, while compatriots languish in prison for crimes of opinion? – What political dialogue can we organise when our National Assembly has become a place soiled with the blood of our compatriots? – What political dialogue can we organise, while Patrice Talon continues to force our fellow citizens into extreme insecurity? The economic situation in our country is dramatic: Patrice Talon, his government and parliament of blood and exclusion have remained insensitive to the consequences of the closure of our borders with Nigeria, while in all the other countries concerned, and Heads of State and other institutions are concerned. This only confirms his indifference towards the suffering of the beninese people.

More than 503 primary and secondary school teachers have been suspended, without any procedure at the start of the school year, where classes are overcrowded and without teachers, on the pretext of having refused to undergo an alleged diagnostic assessment. The National Resistance, determined to fight whatever the cost of the decline of the values on which the Republic is based, categorically rejects this scenario imagined by Patrice Talon to give itself a breath of fresh air and bounce back into its murderous policy. Patrice Talon knows how damaging it has been to our country and its people, and no dialogue is possible without the following prerequisites: – the resumption of parliamentary elections to give the people a voice and allow them to choose their representatives; – a general amnesty for all exiles and political detainees; – the return of the remains of our murdered compatriots to their respective families to enable them to mourn the loss of the disappeared; – the immediate reintegration of the 503 teachers who have been improperly suspended into their jobs.

The two Siamese political parties know this and this explains the cacophony and trench warfare they have been waging in recent months. The small parties that revolve around the other two also know this and their position in recent days is nothing more or less than a disconnection from a decadent and moribund system built on lies and outlaw practices. Parliamentarians in the clothes stained with the blood of our martyrs know this and that is why they keep a low profile, unable to stand by the people, prisoners of the enormous benefits of corruption they enjoy. All our people know this and their silence is nothing but calm before the storm, not resignation.

The land of Behanzin, Bio Guera, Kaba and other heroes of the resistance of which we are the worthy and proud heirs cannot resign ourselves to any trial. Everyone is aware of the eminently positive role played by the Clergy in setting the democratic process in our country in motion, and of all the efforts it has made since the legacy of the National Conference was put to rest. As if his approach was disturbing, we made the option of ignoring him, of infantilizing him to resort to dubious characters of public notoriety to conduct the pseudo dialogue, aggravating the crisis of trust. Benin is our common country, we must work together to build it, to produce wealth and to share it. That is why the National Resistance Committee is fighting and will continue to fight against the intimidation, dictatorship and savage repression that characterize the Talon regime, whose real purpose is to concentrate national wealth in the hands of an arrogant and opportunistic minority. For all the reasons mentioned above and especially for the memory of our martyrs, no sacrifice will be too much to fight the stateless and treacherous regime of Patrice Talon.

Therefore, I would like, from this rostrum, on this day, Thursday, October 10, 2019, to announce the creation of a National Solidarity Fund, intended to help orphans whose parents were coldly executed by Patrice Talon and who are abandoned to their fate. I therefore call on all Beninese to make the minimum gesture to help these souls in distress, collateral victims of the barbarism of the Patrice Talon regime. Finally, I would like to invite all our people to attend or to unite their intentions at the Mass that will be said in the Church. Saturday, October 12, 2019 for the rest of the souls of our cowardly murdered fellow citizens.

LONG LIFE TO THE NATIONAL RESISTANCE!

LONG LIFE TO THE FORCES OF OPPOSITION!

LONG LIFE TO THE BENIN!

I THANK YOU.

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