President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has lauded his Ghanaian counterpart President Nana Akufo-Addo for brokering peace among the feuding political parties in neighbouring Togo.
“Permit me to put on record Ghana’s untiring effort in brokering peace in Togo by bringing all the warring factions to the negotiating table,” Mr Buhari said when he delivered a speech at Ghana’s 61st Independence Day celebration in Accra on Tuesday, 6 March.
The Nigerian leader said: “I am appealing to all the opposition parties in Togo to please come together to resolve their differences so that Togo will move forward. It’s the same thing I wish Nigeria and Ghana to continue to provide the impetus in realising the objectives and ideals of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States to ensure security, peace and development of our region”.
On Monday, 19 February, the government of Togo and the coalition of 14 opposition political parties agreed to implement a number of measures aimed at building trust and confidence amongst the political actors in Togo.
This was contained in a communiqué issued the same day at the end of the first dialogue meeting held between the parties.
The meeting, which was facilitated by Nana Akufo-Addo, is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political impasse in Togo.
As part of measures aimed at “appeasement and confidence building”, President Akufo-Addo, as captured by the communiqué, conveyed a number of decisions taken by his Togolese counterpart, President Faure Gnassingbe, to that end.
This included the signing of a presidential pardon, dated 19th February, 2018, for the release of forty-five (45) out of the ninety-two (92) persons detained in the country’s prisons as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations.
“The case of the seven (7) persons who were imprisoned as a result of the 2013/2014 market fire riots would be brought before the Court to consider an application for bail by Wednesday, 21st February 2018,” the Communiqué said.
The statement continued, “Other prisoners in detention, as a result of their involvement in the demonstrations, would have their cases examined by the Togolese Judiciary to determine their fate after going into the merits of their individual cases.”
Additionally, “both Parties also agreed to a suspension of demonstrations, pending the outcome of the dialogue.”
An issue that was raised by the coalition of 14 opposition parties, on the return to the plenary, was the need for the state to hold on to planned local and parliamentary elections, and referendum until the dialogue had considered and taken decisions on the Electoral and Institutional Reforms contained in the Rules of Procedure.
The meeting also examined issues related to the proposed return to the 1992 Constitution and various interventions were made on both sides.
Present at the meeting were the Members of the Ghanaian Facilitation Team; Representatives of the Togolese Government; Representatives of the Union for the Republic (UNIR) Party; Representatives of the Coalition of 14 Opposition Parties; Members of Parliament; Diplomatic Corps; United Nations Permanent Representatives; Civil Society; and Traditional and Religious leadership.
It was agreed that the next meeting of the dialogue would be held on Friday, 23rd February, 2018.