Some people are lucky, others are not. Senegalese strong man, Abdulaye Wade is among the luckiest old men even though he behaves like an adolescent. Had it been not for divided and ever-greedy opposition, Wade would have been history now. Voters gave him a very heavy blow in the first round. He secured a leading of 34.8%, ahead of his former protégé and PM, Macky Sall who garnered 26.5%. Other former PMs took third and fourth place: Moustapha Niasse with 13.2% and Idrissa Seck with 7.8%.
Such low votes speak volume and signify defeat. This translates into the fact that had the opposition backed one candidate, the results would have been Sall 47% and Wade 34.8%. Again, there wouldn’t have been any run-off that Wade can use to rig votes to fulfil his power-hunger to remain in power.
In other words, Senegalese were able to get rid of Wade in the first round had it not been for the opposition to help him secure a second chance of survival. Will Wade let it go easily without applying traditional African science of survival-rigging and cheating? Shall this happen. Will the people and their weak opposition bite the bullet or give him a hard time once again?
One thing though is obvious that Wade showed maturity for not rigging in the first round. Is it because of being cornered, his belief in democracy or the result of over confidence that he’d have won in the first round? If he allowed justice to take its course, will he keep this maturity or cascaed back to his dreams of dying in power?
Although Abdulaye Wade, managed to tamper with the constitution to be able to run for a third time aimed at remaining in office, will he manage to manipulate the votes and get away with it? Results conclusively indicated he did not make it outrightly in the first round. This of course dented him badly. Sall gave him a spirited fight so as to change Wade’s tone from braggadacios to conciliatory one. Will this become Wade’s Waterloo?
The ballot box can still boot Wade out if not to tame him. Senegalese should maintain the momentum they displayed in the first round whereby Wade lost outrightly. For those who remember his braggadacios that there won’t be any run-off, what happened is victory phase one. If voters fulfil their responsibility for the sake of their nation and democracy, Wade can still lose comfortably so as to be forced to lose in this-game-changer-like run-off.
Voters ought to deny Wade the votes he’s going to use to abuse them and their country. He’s been in power for twelve years. What can he do he did not do in these twelve years? Why should Senegalese voters prefer a centurion to a half ager Sall? If anything, Wade’s plight is squarely in the hands of voters who must punish him for ignoring them and abusing their office and constitution altogether.
Many people wonder where Wade got the guts and wits to tell former Libya strongman, Muamar Gaddafi and Ivorien one, Laurent Gbagbo to relinquish power last year while he cannot do the same now.
Due to the science of aging, we understand: Wade’s brain if wearing off. This contributes to the controversy he’s created apart from his greed to cling unto power. From what he does and says one can surely assert that this old man deserves to retire shall he deserve to be remembered honourably and favourably. Wade’s confusion can be noted in many things. He’s recently quoted saying, “I am president and father of the nation. This is what the Europeans do not understand,” he told French weekly Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche. He added, “My majority is so overwhelming that I think I will be elected with a strong percentage in the first round.” Ask him where is hallucinatory majority went in the first round. He started changing the tone and tune altogether.
It is sad to note that Wade does not know that the father of Senegal is none other than Leopord Sedar Senghor. For Wade to equate himself with Senghor, who became the first African leader to voluntarily retire when he was ten years younger than Wade, connotes mischief to the nation and Africa in general. Senghor relinquished power in December 1980, retiring in favour of the Prime Minister, Abdou Diouf. After his retirement, Senghor did not involve himself in politics till his death on 20 December 2001.
As banned candidate, Youssou N’Dour put it, “The Senegalese are not stupid.” This will be justified by the votes they will cast in the favour of Sall. Shall Wade rig their votes, they still have the chance to prove that they are not stupid by seeing to it that he is not getting away with it.
Wade is an educated man by all standards. Again, as William Feather put it, “An education is not how much you have committed to memory or how much you know. It is being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t know. It is finding out what you need to know and using the knowledge once you get it.” I doubt if Wade knows where to go if he cannot willingly retire. I wonder if Wade knows where to go and get what he deserves, retirement instead of daydreaming going for a third time at such eleventh hour.
Wade, a cliffhanger, who promised crushing first round victory ended up saying this as the results were trickling in, “To all of my supporters, my allies, my sympathisers, I ask that you remain mobilised,” Wade was quoted by BBC. He added “At this very hour… everything is still possible, victory or a run-off,” Let Senegalese make it possible for Wade to pack and hit the road to oblivion. Will the opposition goof again to let Wade win?