The long rule of the Gnassingbe family is gradually coming to an end as Togolese have woken up to the realities of democracy. Series of protest have been ongoing in recent times to protest Faure stay in power. Many believe if not removed, he would stay far longer than his father Eyadema Gnassinge.
Thursday, marks the second day of protest as hundreds of protesters began marching from the opposition stronghold of Be toward a meeting in central Lome with police officers walking calmly besides them.
Thursday match is one of the largest protest ever seen in the country. For now the protest is still peaceful unlike the protest in August 2017 which left atleast two people dead.
As a measure of reducing the effect of the protest on the internet and social media, the government shut down internet facilities in the country, making it difficult for citizens to gain assess to the internet. More so, text messaging services was also blocked.
Togolese communications minister could not immediately be reached for comment on the cuts.
Analysts say that Faure Gnassingbe may find himself isolated amid growing criticism of autocratic rule in West Africa.
“The president’s position is very fragile and we do not think his peers in ECOWAS or his friends in Europe will help him if things get ugly,” said the head of research at NKC African Economics, Francois Conradie.
Gnassingbe, who took power after his long-ruling father’s death, has sought to appease opponents by introducing a draft bill to reform the constitution this week. Such changes would reintroduce a two-term limit that was scrapped by the late Gnassingbe Eyadema in 2002.
But opposition leaders are skeptical that this would apply retroactively, meaning the current president might stay until 2030. They have called for his immediate departure.