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Faye: From prison to the throne

By Inyali Peter

This is Bassirou Diomaye Faye, the president-elect of Senegal. He turned 44 just a few days ago. In line with Senegal’s March 20, 2016 referendum, he’ll serve for a renewable tenure of five years.

He was jailed alongside his ally and godfather, Ousmane Sonko, leader of the opposition in the country eleven months ago by the outgoing president, Macky Sall, on politically motivated charges.

Sonko was supposed to run the election, but he was disqualified as he was convicted on two charges in the trial that led to them ending in prison.

Faye stepped in as a replacement for his leader. Both men were released from prison just a week before the presidential election. This means that they had just one week to campaign for the elections, and they’ve led the opposition to victory.

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The new president has never held a top government position before. He, like Sonoko, is a tax collector.

Despite his supposed inexperience, the majority of Senegalese have shown great faith in him and have entrusted him with their mandates to lead them.

Faye, the radical Africanist, when sworn in at 44, will be the youngest democratically elected president in Africa.

Africa is getting there. Nigeria will get there.

Soon, it’ll become a norm in Africa to elect leaders on the content of their characters, not the size of their pockets, status in the society, or ‘experience’.

May Faye succeed. May Africa take its rightful place in the world.

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