Porto-Novo, Benin – Today, Ms. Reckya Madougou, the leader of Benin’s largest opposition party and first female presidential candidate for a major party, was ambushed in the capital city of Porto-Novo.
Despite an immense crowd that tried to form a human shield for protection, Madougou was illegally arrested by military forces directed by President Patrice Talon. This order is part of his escalating effort to undermine democracy in Benin.
The ambush also targeted other opposition candidates meeting in the capital, including Joel “The Professor” Aivo and Moise Kerekou, son of President Mathieu Kerekou. Both opposition leaders were able to escape.
This is another glaring example of the erosion of democracy and democratic norms in Benin under the autocratic rule of President Talon.
We call on the international community to condemn President Talon’s disregard for due process and demand Madougou’s immediate release.
Madougou is to appear at the prosecutor’s office tonight. We are calling on all Benin citizens to rally around her by appearing at the office of the prosecutor in peaceful solidarity. Benin’s democratic goals cannot be undermined by President Talon’s strongman tactics.
*Press Statement by Renaud Agbodjo, Esq. Reckya Madougou’s Campaign Team