Monday, January 07, 2008


If there is any one African country that deserves recognition more than others, it is Benin republic. Its democratic posture is worthy of emulation by any country that values the interest of its ctiizens.Benin had divested itself of Socialist apparatus by 1990 following a National Conference that gave it a Democratic dispensation which has continued to flourish day by day.The 2006 Presidential Election was the closest and hottest contest Benin ever witnessed. Yet is went without any disturbing incident,inspite of the fact that more than twenty-six aspirants from almost fifty political parties, associations and alliances were in the race। Surprisingly, a non-starter, running on ‘no party’ ticket emerged victorious। The 2007 Parliamentary elections was no less successful। There were more than two thousand (2000) candidates contesting for 83 seats.Since his assumption of office, the two-times doctorate degree holder in Economics, President Thomas Boni Yayi has proved that the peoples’ votes were not cast in vain. The country which had an economic index of 2.9% in 2005 was catapulted up to 5.3% by 2007 with a projection of hitting 7% plus by 2008.Some of the remarkable evidences of Dr. Boni Yayi’s good governance are his Micro-economic policy and free education package which have benefitted even the least petty traders, fishermen, farmers and craftsmen acorss the country. Needless to mention that members of the Fourth Estate of the realm have so far enjoyed relative cordial camaraderie, and the bliss is not likely to degenerate.The three major religious entities recognised by the government, to wit ; Christianity with an estimated 28% population, Muslim – 21%, Non-Religious – 6% and Voodou traditional religion with 35% ; all enjoy equal participation in national affairs. Ethnic rivalty and xenophobia which tended to portray the country in bad light have since been relegated to the back stage.High profile public officers including those from the Judiciary, the Police and the Military, who have in one way or another been indicted for crimes or abuse of office have been brought to justice like any other citizen. These stringent measures have resulted in the recovery of huge sums of financial loot and confiscation of assets by the government. The government’s Decentralisation policy has brought developmental infrastructure to the grassroots and is spreading up at a speedy rate. Finally, the combined efforts of the Media cannot fail of being commended. But for these selfless services, avian flu which is very much lurking around our backyard would have had a toll on the populace. Information, indeed is power.

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