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Nigeria`s Obasanjo hails resignation of Togolese leader

Posted by AFP on 2005/02/26 | Views: 561 |

Nigeria`s Obasanjo hails resignation of Togolese leader


The chairman of the African Union, Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo, hailed Saturday the decision of Togo’s army-installed leader Faure Gnassignbe to step down ahead of elections as a "victory for democracy."

LAGOS - The chairman of the African Union, Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo, hailed Saturday the decision of Togo’s army-installed leader Faure Gnassignbe to step down ahead of elections as a "victory for democracy."

"What happened in Togo was a coup d’etat dressed in the borrowed robes of democracy and we are glad that Faure Gnassingbe has finally realised the folly of what happened," said Obasanjo’s spokeswoman Remi Oyo.

Obasanjo had been the most vocal critic of the unconstitutional manoeuvre which saw Gnassingbe inherit Togo’s presidency following the death three weeks ago of his father, long-serving autocrat Gnassingbe Eyadema.

Following the "coup" both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union slapped diplomatic sanctions on Togo, demanding an immediate return to constitutional rule.

Gnassingbe finally backed down late on Friday, announcing in a televised address that he would step aside to allow a newly elected speaker of the national assemnly, Abass Bonfo, to organise elections as interim leader.

"This is a victory for the people of Togo, for ECOWAS, for Africa and the world," Oyo told AFP. "For the president of Nigeria this is a testimony to the fact that all Africa can stand together to fight for a cause.

"We stood our ground," she added. "For so long Africa has had a bad image. This is eloquent testimony that Africa can create solutions to its own problems."

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