The Republican Spirit
December 7, 2018 edition; serial number: 1482. ‘The Cross of Benin’, a weekly publication of the Catholic Church Some people in Benin may think that their country, which was a French colony for many decades, became a sovereign Republic only after independence in August 1960. But in truth, writes editorialist Serge Bidouzo, the first foundation was laid two years earlier, exactly on December 4, 1958. Sixty years on, says the editorialist, the republican legacy seems to have run out of steam. The citizenry doesn’t really feel that the authorities pay much attention to their concerns. Many citizens feel marginalized. To a certain degree, some even look at the political elite with contempt. Meanwhile, Benin experienced several military coups between 1963 and 1972. Political instability, crowned by short-lived governments, left a negative imprint. The way forward, concludes Father Serge Bidouzo, is for incumbent and future governments to adhere to the principles of political responsibility and accountability.