Hundreds of Togolese on Thursday stormed Lagos marching through the major roads as they call for an end to the government of their President, Faure Gnassingbe, who is seeking a fourth term in office.
The Togolese nationals, who carried placards and banners, said they left their country to protest in Nigeria because Faure was using the military to repress public demonstrations against his government.
While appealing for support from the Nigerian government, the protesters said they visited the office of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at Onikan, Lagos, to get support for their cause, Punch writes.
Ms. Foussena Djagba, the spokesperson for the protesters, said,
“The current situation in Togo poses a real risk for the entire sub-region. That is why, we want to make a solemn appeal to all ECOWAS heads of state, to advise against Faure Gnassingbe in relation to his fourth term.
“The Gnassingbe family wants to impose a monarch; we do not want it. We stand ready to fight to the end. This fourth term of Faure would be a shame not only in West Africa but for all Africa as a whole.
“This country (Nigeria) has taught us many things, including political alternation at the top of the state. We see that the current President of Nigeria is not the son of a former President. We also know that Aso Rock is not a family residence,” Gjagba added.
Faure has been the President of Togo for 14 years after he succeeded his father, Eyadéma Gnassingbé, who ruled the country for 38 years.
Eyadéma had appointed his son, Faure, as minister of Equipment, Mines, Posts, and Telecommunications in 2003.
When the 69-year-old died in 2005, Faure was immediately installed as President with the support of the country’s army.
The 53-year-old intends to seek reelection for a fourth term, a move that is being rejected by his people.
Many of the protesters who stormed Lagos State on Thursday had placards with different inscriptions, some of which read, ‘No to the fourth term of Faure in Togo,’ ‘Transition for reforms,’ ’52 years is enough,’ ‘Stop infringement of freedom.’
The men and women, dressed in Togo colours, waved the country’s flag as they sang solidarity songs and danced to the music blaring out from speakers on hired trucks.