The duality at the top of the State was grist for PM Ousmane Sonkos mill at his public conference of the Patriotic Youth of Senegal (Jps), yesterday at the Grand Théâtre, as he attacked the opposition which, according to him, is driven only by a desire to sow discord between him and President Bassirou Diomaye Faye. According to the Pastef leader, the opposition would gain by being stronger and surrounding itself with expertise, in order to respond to the current regime in the same manner that the Pastef party bore against the outgoing regime.

PM Ousmane Sonko would like to see a strong opposition in Senegal. But from the point of view of the trends that are emerging, this opposition is far from being what he thinks it is. Sonko believes that the only thing the opposition is interested in is “phagocyting” the duo he forms with President Bassirou Diomaye Faye. « I’m a democrat, I’m not in favour of reducing the opposition to its simplest expression. I want to see a very strong opposition, with strength to spare. An opposition that will contradict based on figures and knowledge. We want an opposition that will fight back as hard as we did against the former regime, to the point of trying to reduce us to nothing. But if we’re not careful, we won’t have an opposition, follow my gazeBecause this Senegalese opposition has only one strategy, that of sowing discord between President Bassirou Diomaye Faye and Ousmane Sonko. The person who is going to separate us is not yet born. That’s why this opposition should take a rest or go and revise its copy to bring about a debate of ideas,” he said.

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« It’s better for me to be at Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s side. If they knew Bassirou Diomaye Faye, we’d be praying that I’d still be there. I often ask him to show clemency, and Bassirou Diomaye Faye replies: ‘Koromack, it’s as if people have reached me mystically' », he declared. PM Ousmane Sonko declared that it would be better for Bassirou Diomaye Faye to be the President of Senegal rather than him, who has become its Prime Minister and who, nonetheless, fought for the success of the Pastef party’s “Project”.

« Today, one big absentee at our meeting is President Bassirou Diomaye Faye. It’s to respect our commitments that he’s not here.  He used to mark our meetings with his presence and introduce us. He remains a militant, the first militant of this party. He’ll be here at the next meetings. God decides who will be in power.  None of us elected Bassirou Diomaye Faye. I delegated him to represent me at an event, and an erudite pointed to him and said that the man in the oversized hat was a future President. Since then, we’ve called Bassirou Diomaye Faye “Serigne Ngoundou” (nickname). Today, it’s better for Bassirou Diomaye Faye to be President of Senegal than for Ousmane Sonko to be President,” Ousmane Sonko said yesterday at the Grand Theatre to a lively audience during a conference he hosted on the theme: ‘Faced with patriotic youths, actors of the Project.’

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« Whoever wants to live without difficulties has only to bow to divine will. Bassirou Diomaye Faye, who is the President of all Senegalese, is the one who decides. The Pastef party has become an African project, but also a global one. We know where we’re going. We have drawn up a Project and fought for ten years. The Prophet Mohamed (Psl), the greatest master of politics, is my reference. The Prophet Mohamed (Psl) was in a similar situation to the one we experienced when he achieved his objectives unarmed », says the PM. And the latter clarified his thoughts for his detractors. « The Prophet had a temporal dimension that inspires the West. What I’m saying has nothing to do with spirituality. Senegal is a secular country, and anyone who tries to call that into question will be deposed. The State is equidistant from all religions, which are treated with equal dignity. We taught them the art of winning by being right, but we didn’t allow them to develop the art of winning without being right. Now we’re going to teach them the art of tying wood to wood to build the Senegal that everyone’s been waiting for. We’re not in the same league as them. And the Senegalese will realize it,” he argued.

By Amadou MBODJI /

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH