Although it is out of place for the whole State to be at par with any government as healthy management of the state resources (human and material) demands a competitive opposition full of scrutiny, a better part of the Togolese state seems to be consistently incongruent with her successive government denouncing irregularities and non-inclusive practice of democracy.
The successive governments have been turbulent since the country gained its independence on 27 April 1960. Following the assassination of Olympius Sylvanus who ruled Togo from 1960 to 1963, the military-ruled for two days between 13 January 1963 and 15 January 1963 through Emmanuel Bodjolle. Nicolas Grunitzy took over the government from 16 January 1963 to January 1967 when the latter was deposed by the military. Kleber Djabo took over from 16 January t1967 to 14 April 1967 before Eyadima Gnassingbe the father of Faure Gnassingbe took over the reins of power.
Gnassingbe Eyadima took over the government under a military coup and later transitioned to civilian rule in an election he won. He died on the seat of a heart attack after ruling for 37 years and 297 days having ruled from 14 April 1965 to 5 February 2005. The declaration of his son as the president of the country by the military is considered by many as undermining democracy. His son Faure Eyadima Gnassingbe has ruled the country since 2005 till date.
Many arbitrary arrests and protests have been noted in the country. With a wave of violent protests undertaken by the teachers in 2018, protest has since been banned by the government and every form of suspicious gathering has since been toppled off by the Government Security Forces. The recent was the disruption of the gathering of teachers.
Agbeyome Kodjo, a former prime minister, member of the parliament and the 2020 presidential candidate was arrested for declaring himself president even after the electoral commission declared Faure E. Gnassingbe the returning president. Control of power and fear of losing it seems to be the order of the day as successive incumbent presidents leave no stone upturned to retain power.
Agbeyome Kodjo had since been out of the country after his release. He and Faure Gnassingbe have been engaged in battles of words with few deniable retaliation. President Faure Gnassingbe is accused of arresting opposition party members especially adepts of Agbeyome Kodjo. A recent intel also suggested an assassination plot against Monseigneur Kpodzro, Agbeyome Kodjo and the assistant of Monseigneur Kpodzro. This had led to the exfiltration of the religious leader Kpodzro to Sweden.
Other prominent individuals in custody or doing jail time are Kpatcha Gnassingbe, former minister Djimon Ore and Paul Missiagbeto, the assistant of Agbeyome Kodjo who was all arrested in connection with an imminent threat against the incumbent principal executive. While the dialogue is expected to ensue between Faure Gnassingbe and Agbeyome Kodjo, political tension which is relatively high is likely to trigger violent protests across the country if a dialogue towards nation-building is not undertaken.
CHART SHOWING OCCURRENCES IN TOGO FROM 2018 TO 2021
- STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT: Political occurrences
- VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS: Civilians and military clashes
- RIOT: Violent demonstrations by socio-professional groups like commercial road users.
- PROTEST: protests against government irregularities, new policies and a faction of the government.