Catholic Bishops in Togo Advocate for Constitutional Reform
CANAA || By Father Donald Zagore, SMA || 18 September 2017
The Catholic Bishops in Togo have invited the citizens of their country including political leaders to work toward institutional and constitutional reform in view of securing lasting peace.
Early this month, Togo witnessed demonstrations when tens of thousands marched through streets of various cities demanding the resignation of the ruling government headed by Faure Gnassingbe who has been President since 2005.
The numbers of the protesters were reported to have been unprecedented in some 10 cities, with the capital city Lomé recording the largest convergence of protestors who waved banners with the message such as “Faure Must Go!” and “50 Years Is Long Enough,” the latter referring to the dynastic character of the President.
Faure Gnassingbe became president after his father, Gnassingbé Eyadema, who had headed the West African nation for 38 years, died.
In a short statement issued Thursday, September 14, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Conference of the Bishops of Togo invited the people of Togo, civilians and political leaders to work for peace in Togo by carrying out both institutional and constitutional reforms.
For the Bishops, without these institutional and constitutional reforms, it will be difficult to bring back peace in the country.
In their message, the Bishops have invited the political leaders to adopt a responsible, sincere, and constructive attitude and deliberately work toward institutional and constitutional reforms as required by the people and the constitution of 1992.
On their part, the Bishops have decided to organize in all the dioceses of the country a prayer for peace.
The Church leaders have raised alarm against the threat of ethnic hatred nourished trough the social networks and continued to urge citizens to use their social networks to build peace in the country.
They have stood against the use of violence by the army against the population during the various demonstrations.
They have called on the army to be responsible, patriotic, and neutral.
The Bishops also invited the population to avoid the use of violence and to always keep in mind that they are all brothers and sisters despite their diverse political affiliations.