African Leaders Urged To Emulate Faye, As Senegal President Makes Assets Public

African Leaders Urged To Emulate Faye, As Senegal President Makes Assets Public
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African leaders have been asked to emulate the new Senegalese President, Bassirou Diomaye Faye by declaring their assets publicly.

The call was made by a civil society organization, The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED, in a statement released on Tuesday to mark Faye’s inauguration as President.

Gistmania reports that Faye, 44, won the March 24, 2024 presidential election in Senegal to become the youngest democratically elected President in West Africa.

As candidate of the opposition African Patriots of Senegal for Work, Ethics and Fraternity, PASTEF, Faye scored 54.3 per cent of the votes to defeat other contestants, including his main rival from the governing coalition, Amadou Ba, a former prime minister.

Already, Faye has made his assets known to the public in a publication titled ‘Heritage Declaration of the Candidate Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye’.

The publication, posted on his Facebook page, contained all his assets and liabilities since October 2007.

Faye said he owned only one house built on 200 m2 of land in Mermoz allocated by the tax union (a family home since 2021) and built from 2017 to 2021, partly with his own funds and partly with loans settled.

He also disclosed that he has two vehicles – a Focus 2012 acquired second-hand in 2019 worth 6,500,000 FCFA and a Ford Explorer Platinum acquired second-hand in 2022 worth 19,000,000 FCFA.

Faye also listed undeveloped plots of land among his assets, including a 80 m/40 plot acquired in 2017 worth 3,000,000 FCFA and a 4.3ha agricultural land acquired in 2022 worth 15,050,000 FCFA.

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In the publication, Faye added that he has money in two bank accounts as of March 19, 2024. One of the accounts has 3,276,046 FCFA, while the other has a total sum of 786,782 FCFA.

In the document, Faye went further to declare his liabilities, which include a 30,000,000 FCFA loan taken on September 5, 2022, an 8,000,000 FCFA payroll loan taken on August 22, 2022, and a 10,000,000 FCFA loan from a friend.

In a statement by its Executive Director, Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education, CHRICED, commended Faye for publicly declaring his assets.

CHRICED also noted that Faye’s action should be emulated by other African leaders, as it underscores a commitment to transparency and accountability.

Quote
“CHRICED is pleased to see President Faye’s commendable start in publicly declaring his assets. This is a crucial step that demonstrates his commitment to the welfare of the people.

“Transparency and accountability are fundamental principles of effective governance, and any government official, whether elected or appointed, who chooses not to disclose their assets publicly raises suspicions about their intentions.

“It is important for leaders to lead by example and show that they have nothing to hide. By openly declaring his assets, President Faye is setting a positive precedent for other government officials to follow.

“This move not only builds trust with the public but also helps to prevent corruption and unethical behavior.

“Transparency in asset declaration can help to prevent conflicts of interest and ensure that government officials are acting in the best interests of the people they serve. It also allows for greater scrutiny and oversight, which is essential for holding leaders accountable for their actions.

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“We commend President Faye of Senegal for his commitment to transparency and accountability, and we hope that other ECOWAS leaders will follow his example in order to promote good governance and uphold the trust of the people,”

CHRICED said.

CHRICED, in the same vein, urged Faye to rededicate his administration to transparent, accountable and responsible leadership, with the rule of law and respect for the rights and freedoms of Senegalese people as the “immutable central value”.

Noting that Senegal recently discovered oil in commercial quantities, which is expected to grow the country’s revenue, CHRICED advised Faye to prioritize national interest and the well-being of Senegalese people in contract negotiations and revenue management structures for the anticipated oil revenue, to avoid going the way of nations like Nigeria, where abundant oil resources had failed to manifest in better living conditions for citizens.

Observing that “to many citizens and residents of West Africa, ECOWAS is considered a club of presidents for their own protection and preservation”, CHRICED further noted that Faye’s emergence presents a new opportunity for the voice of young Africans in the governance and administration of the ECOWAS Commission.

Further setting an agenda for the new Senegalese leader, the civil society organisation urged him to work towards the revival of ECOWAS.

“The regional body, which was initially conceived for the promotion of free movement of residents and economic partnership, has been a victim of poor leadership in the sub-region as successive ECOWAS Presidents struggle with legitimacy and other internal political challenges of their own and the demand of the office of the presidency of ECOWAS.

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“As a result, the ‘community of people’ promised through the reforms of the ECOWAS Commission has remained elusive while the region continues to struggle with corruption, lack of accountability, poverty, mass unemployment, widespread inequality, and, most recently, insecurity that poses severe threats to democracy in the region.

“We hope that President Faye will mobilize the necessary will to influence and steer ECOWAS towards the original vision of the regional body and the needs of citizens and residents of the region,” it stated.

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