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Do Not Allow Ousmane Sonko to Continue This Way!

It is very curious! On December 5, 2022, revealing “Ousmane Sonko‘s latest silly manoeuvre”, about a poisoning project that one of his henchmen had come to propose to me, I affirmed that we should not be surprised that he organised his own poisoning to be admitted to hospital and to seek a medical evacuation, in order to evade the action of Justice, to get out of a trial in the Adji Sarr case. Moreover, on November 3, 2022, one of his lieutenants, Bassirou Diomaye Faye, had pulled out of his hat “a poisoning project that the Macky Sall regime would prepare in complicity with two foreign countries”.The string was too big. But Ousmane Sonko would rather flee in this way than face up to his responsibilities. Also, in the courtroom, the subterfuge is common for a defendant to be interned on the eve of a trial to avoid appearing. But such a ploy does not always prevent judges from ruling.

Frankly, I could not imagine that Ousmane Sonko, who proclaimed his impatience to face Mame Mbaye Niang, was going to end up imitating the actor Molière, playing a performance of the famous play The Imaginary Invalid, in order to postpone the audience to confirm his remarks and exhibit his evidence, which he said was overwhelming. His illness suddenly declared itself after he had, in front of the bar, finished debiting his diatribes against President Macky Sall and his regime, and especially just when Judge Pape Mohamed Diop asked him if he could provide the evidence of his assertions against the civil party, Mame Mbaye Niang, who is suing him for defamation.

His counsel, Lawyer Ciré Clédor Ly, was also strangely ill after making statements to journalists, castigating police brutality and after pleading in court for the dismissal of the hearing. Evacuated on a wheelchair, once in Paris, we see in images that he has regained his full means as if by magic. Before him, Guy Marius Sagna also found himself all dashing, less than 24 hours, after hospitalisation.

The simple fact that Ousmane Sonko, Lawyer Ciré Clédor Ly or Guy Marius Sagna were all interned at the same medical clinic whose officials are known for taking public positions favourable to Ousmane Sonko and his political camp, is enough to make the most doubtful candid or gullible. Moreover, the information provided by Bamba Fall, mayor of Medina, according to which the Pastef party has signed an exclusive contract with the medical clinic to pick up its victims during the latest demonstrations is serious and would be grounds for criminal prosecution for participation in an insurrectionary movement and non-assistance to anyone in danger for having refused to treat the victims who were not from the Pastef party. All limits have thus been crossed.

This is to say that Ousmane Sonko‘s « physical discomfort » appeared so timely that no one could be mistaken. But the judge decided at his discretion to postpone the trial to a special hearing on March 30, 2023. The fact remains that at the end of the hearing, the defendant, in his headlong rush, pushed the art of comedy to the point of asking for a medical evacuation abroad to eventually dissipate in nature, to disappear and never have to face the one who claims to be defamed and the poor lady Adji Sarr who accuses him of rape and sexual abuse. Bassirou Diomaye Faye to replay the poisoning record. Molière had ended his famous play by disappearing definitively without asking for his remains, victim of a fatal illness, during a performance.

I knew the man Sonko was cowardly and had underlined it in several texts, in particular on January 14, 2019, November 15, 2021, May 23, 2022, February 13, 2023. We also forget that, confused by the investigation from the gendarmerie for having been a frequent client of the Sweet Beauty massage parlour, he had invoked a backache which had handicapped him since his early childhood which he was treating there. Yet, we will see him, a few weeks later, make athletic demonstrations, revealing that his pathology could not be more imaginary. Playing the imaginary patient, so this is not his first play! On May 22, 2021, in Bignona, in the midst of the storm of his first appearance before the investigators in the Adji Sarr case, he had given the impression of fainting before recovering a few minutes later to heckle with his companions.

The Senegalese were also able to measure his cowardice during his confrontation with the complainant Adji Sarr, in the office of the examining magistrate, and also by discovering him, live on television screens, losing his means when police officers exfiltrated him from his car, he who called the young people to « Mortal kombat« . Pathetic and ridiculous. Only, I bet that Ousmane Sonko will not be able to stay in the hospital until after March 30, 2023, the day of the trial for defamation brought by Mame Mbaye Niang. Indeed, he cannot remain without being applauded and talking to the media, being somehow forgotten, so be it. (“Sonko gave the rod to get beaten”, February 15, 2021).

It is characteristic of the narcissist, a psychoanalyst would say. Anyway, he will realise that his escape strategy will be ineffective and he will resolve to leave the clinic, to parade in front of the flashes of his supporters. What about the many people who were moved by his fate and asked for his medical evacuation abroad? « Sonko knows how to make those who support him ridiculous, » hadn’t I already « tweeted » on February 19, 2023? Indeed, during a political rally, he was trying to save face for having shown passivity, not to say cowardice, in front of the police officers whom he had nevertheless braved or defied. He affirmed after the fact that the latter wanted, by their intervention, to prevent him from falling into an ambush of thugs committed by his adversaries. He will have ridiculed political figures from various sides and his blind supporters within Senegalese civil society, who had made a point of denouncing the police intervention! Also, how many times have his sordid manipulative lies been exposed? On August 29, 2022, in these columns, we said: “They finally discover the true face of the leader of Pastef.”

It’s Up to Macky Sall to Assume His Historical Responsibility Against This Disciple of Bakounine

The strategy of delay is obvious. Are we going to let him keep the country in suspense with his multiple legal cases, his political pranks or his provocative peregrinations? Every time Ousmane Sonko leaves his house, everyone locks themselves at home, schools and shops are closed. He organises himself in such a way as to cause hustle and bustle, upset his fellow citizens by blocking traffic and sparking violent riots. He allows himself everything that no other Senegalese dares to do, and the price is heavy for the other citizens. How many people have already lost their lives for the whims of this politician? Will the state continue to count the dead? How many Senegalese have lost their property and other heritage as a result of his insurrectionary public calls for violence and looting? Who will repair the serious collateral damage suffered by the victims? Neither the state, nor the municipalities, let alone the troublemakers, pay the damages and the loss of earnings for the economic actors; the victims are abandoned to their poor fate.

By acting in this way, thus passively, the State will end up putting itself in danger, and the people who have the means will now organise their own security, that of their loved ones and their property. Ousmane Sonko himself called for « gatsa-gatsa » (the law of retaliation), many of them will not let themselves be attacked and will respond to the height of the attacks. And after the fact, no one should take it out on others who have used their right to self-defence? We can never say it enough, it is up to the State to intervene and put an end to the actions of the troublemaker, the subversive principal who is well identified, who does not hide, who assumes it and boasts about it. There will inevitably be a price to pay, but it must be said that deferring the payment of this price will cause an increase in human, political, economic and social costs.

I refuse to believe in a strategy of rotting state authorities who, by waiting, would seek to show, according to political tumults, the dangerous character of a man. There is ample evidence that Ousmane Sonko is a danger to civil peace in this country. It would be abject cynicism to let people continue to die, to see people lose their property, to witness the ransacking of public property and buildings, just to show the true ugly face of a politician.

The budgetary cost of law enforcement operations following the clashes caused by the movements and demonstrations of the Pastef party are not negligible, although the weariness and exasperation of the elements on the ground can, in the long run, be harmful so as long as this situation of tension or recurring troubles can be resolved immediately. What is more, no one can any longer say that they have not measured the situation. The fact remains that those who follow him in his one-man show will continue to do so and will not need to be persuaded of any danger or threat to change their minds.

The people of the Pastef party are essentially made up of a world of professionally, socially, politically or economically frustrated people who do not care about the ways and means to satisfy their revenge. They are not interested in knowing the policies to be implemented or even less in deciding on fundamental issues such as education, health, agriculture, security or infrastructure.

Ousmane Sonko serves as a ram to force the doors of destiny or power for political activists who have never been able to hope for a « grand evening », and turbaned people of all kinds use him as a « Trojan horse « . In such an atmosphere, nothing positive can come out of the speech, rather than invective, hatred, violence, denunciation and bitterness. Even the successes and achievements of Senegal are heckled. Ousmane Sonko does not express an elaborate political thought, but from his facts and gestures and his scattered and cookie-cutter declarations, exhales a real anarchism or nihilism.Institutions, any social, political or economic hierarchy, and advocates social egalitarianism. He would make a good disciple of the Russian-born activist, Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876). It is urgent to stop this fatal adventurer, even if I remain convinced that “Sonko will burn himself with the fire he will have lit” (June 13, 2022).

The Opportune Examples of France and the United States of America

France is perhaps not a great democracy, even less a reference for us Senegalese. This is why we have witnessed, jaded, the beatings of opponents who continue to demonstrate in the streets to oppose the adoption of a law mainly extending the retirement age. Street furniture was destroyed by furious protesters in many French cities. But in this country, the authority of the State is such that troublemakers, who attack public or private property during demonstrations, pay a high price by seeing the criminal law rigorously applied. This is undoubtedly why all the union or political leaders opposed to the pension reform quickly ran to the television sets to distance themselves from the breakages and other riots, and to underline, “the spontaneous nature of the events”. Moreover, to avoid being suspected of being at the origin or of having inspired violent unrest, no one dared to castigate the ban, by the prefect of police, of gatherings at the Concorde Place in Paris.

In France, the authority of the State is rigorous, but in Senegal, the State appears so weak that citizens can urge, in front of television cameras, the looting of public and private property and violence against the Security Forces or threats to physically attack fellow citizens, in addition persons vested with the authority of the State such as judges, prosecutors, police or gendarmerie officers.

In France, protesters in recent days act claiming to defend a general, impersonal cause, but in Senegal, protesters are thrown into the streets to defend a man from his alleged torts or criminal acts of fornication or from false and gratuitous accusations that he uttered to a fellow citizen. In the United States of America, we are waiting to see how, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the police force will fall mercilessly on the hordes of demonstrators that former President Donald Trump would like to erect as barricades to prevent him from going and answer to justice for his acts of sex that would have gone wrong. Ousmane Sonko in a way, from all points of view! But the difference will be that in the United States, the law passes, whatever the cost, and is equal for everyone, and that President Trump will appear, willingly or by force, before the judge! Senegal cannot do less in terms of respect for republican legality and the equality of citizens before the law.

By Madiambal DIAGNE / mdiagne@lequotidien.sn

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH / Serigne S. DIAGNE

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