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To Sonko the Joker, We Won’t Be Your Hostages

Only one Senegalese amongst the 17 million souls who populate this country dares to turn the country upside down, in response to a wrong he has committed against another citizen. The character Sonko is so repugnant that one should not dwell on him, but by becoming the obliged actors of his theatre, time has come for his account to be settled.

Everything about the Sonko character and his peregrinations in the spotlight is grotesque. This country has become a life-sized stage for him to amuse himself, week after week. From the AirPod he keeps to his ear as he goes to meet the police blocking the streets of his neighbourhood to record his exchange with them to his round of a block to indulge in an « indignant » soliloquy, everything sounds fake. From his false discomfort at the Dakar Court to slump like a common slobon a table to be examined to his whims on the stand, all the limits of ridicule have been crossed.

A play is poorly performed by a person we will have given importance to that he does not have. We end up saying that he has taken a liking to this life in the centre of attention, mimicking all the pathologies of the Joker in Batman. Existence in defiance is the way to salvation for him, the State is his alter ego that strengthens him with every action he takes. His existence is only justified by the attention and irritation he thinks he creates around himself. And for disorder, he creates it!

Who has ever seen a political meeting in Senegal with fetishists on the ground invoking gods of good fortune? What Senegalese citizen goes to a court hearing wanting to bring a whole country to a standstill? Why do we have to see hordes of gendarmes in the capital when a guy who only spends his time pushing contempt and calling for vandalism, gets mixed up with justice? Has Senegal become the far west where schools suspend classes because an irresponsible politician announces that for his judicial affairs he will cross swords with the authorities at whatever cost?

A three-day suspension of classes, due to the risk of disturbances linked to Sonko‘s childishness and the cat-and-mouse game with the defence and security forces, was noted in several schools in the country. What kind of example are we setting for the youth by making the whims of an irresponsible adult, who deserves to be brought to a halt, a reason to suspend classes? The man who prevents other people’s children from going to school went to meet the police in his neighbourhood to plead for his son to go to school (on a day when he did not have classes). One cannot be so absurd and blissfully selfish! For all the public disorder that Ousmane Sonko and his supporters have been creating in this country since March 2021, he should have been detained long ago.

An atmosphere of latent tension is maintained, plaguing all activities in the country. A fear is put into the consciousness of the people with the spectre of a new March 2021. The rentiers of tension excel in the game of excesses, using all the rhetoric of civil war. The media, drowned in a sensational game, give the smallest shattering of ice the brilliance of a mortar shot.

One has to be a dark scoundrel to plead for a fairer society while discriminating against police auxiliaries because of their « derisory » salaries. There is no need to underline the crudeness of the lie, let alone the clumsiness of a man who would like to be Caesar but has a visceral hatred for the centurions.

The Mortal Kombat of Sonko and the state will eventually pose a risk to our economic stability. Break-ins, looting and ransacking are becoming common practice. Who will reimburse the young entrepreneurs of VDN Tech for their facilities destroyed yesterday by the fury of Sonko‘s foot soldiers, after having blown them to bits in March 2021? The Total station in Parcelles Assainies, located at the crossroads of the Dior school, had to close all day on 14 March, to avoid break-insafter the meeting of Yewwi Askan Wi at the ACAPES site. Shops had to close down in the Tilène market, in Petersen and in Mermoz. Are the vandalisation of Dakar Demi Dikk (DDD) buses during the demonstrations of Sonko‘s supporters not a loss for all the people? Are we going to put into circulation a BRT that every excited person will think it legitimate to break in order to express their frustrations?

The city of Keur Gorgui, where most of the banking and financial activities are concentrated, should not continue to be an impassable bunker every time Ousmane Sonko wants to create trouble. The residents of this neighbourhood cannot continue to be in an open-air prison just because they are neighbours of the most selfish and irresponsible of Senegalese politicians.

The new opponent Aminata Touré considers the defamation lawsuit against her new champion as a « sham lawsuit » that aims at the latter’s ineligibility. Bad faith is sold in solid bars in Senegal. For a person who has been Guardian of the Seals, allying themselves with someone who insults and threatens the lives of magistrates is enough of a disgrace. It is also surprising that Mimi Touré was so humane as to have Bibo Bourgi tried on a stretcher. How time can corrupt!

The cowardice of our politicians will confuse us. Barthélémy Dias can tap a fraternal greeting with Mame Mbaye Niangin a courtroom, but will not hesitate to advise Ousmane Sonko to break up the city of which he is mayor in order to put pressure on the State. The theatre at the hearing punctuated the farce. Sonko can be a clown, but his lawyers do not have to accompany him in his performances. There is material for the disciplinary board of the Bar Association in view of the conduct of black robes observed yesterday at the court in Dakar.

The State gives guarantees to bring order to this whole circus, but in the long run the citizens will have to protect themselves. We have begun to see this in certain neighbourhoods such as Ouakam or Médina. A « stand-your-ground » logic in order to reasonably protect themselves against illegal threats that nothing justifies is starting to be adopted. A « civil war » is called for by all the rentiers of tension and followers of chaos. They will have a war between civilians, because many people are fed up with seeing civilians like us reigning down terror. Against those who are on the path of disorder and chaos, those who are ready to give everything to live in a peaceful state where law and order reign will fight back. We will not be your hostages, Mr Sonko. Gatsa-Gatsa, you say, you will find someone to talk to.

By Serigne Saliou DIAGNE / saliou.diagne@lequotidien.sn

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH

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