Togo Opposition kicks against plan to return Olympio's corpse

07/01/2010
Togo Opposition kicks against plan to return Olympio's corpse

Togolese opposition party, the Union of the Forces of Chang e (UFC), has described as scandalous, the decision by President Faure Gnassingbe to repatriate the remains of Sylvanus Olympio, the first president of the country who was assassinated in 1963 and buried in Benin.



UFC's first vice-president, Patrick Lawson, gave this indication in a communique published on Wednesday. 



In his end-of the-year message to the nation Thursday, Gnassingbe announced his intention to repatriate Olympio's remains and redefine the republican calendar, usually marked 13 January in remembrace of the day his father, Eyadema Gnassingbe came into power.



When redefined, Olympio's death would also be remembered the same day.



The Opposition party, led by Olympio Gilchrist, son of the first president, said : "after having dragged Olympio's name in the mud for decades and celebrated his assassination 13 January each year, the ruling Rally of the Togolese People (RPT) suddenly pretends to be willing to honour him as the first President of Independent Togo and Father of the nation.

"

For a true reconciliation, the UFC has suggested institutional and constitutiona l reforms that will bring about transparent and credible elections, the solemn commitment to hand over power to whoever has been freely chosen by the people and a n end impunity."

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