WATCH: Benin leader swaps presidential jet for motorcade for trip to Togo

Patrice Talon. (File, AFP)
Patrice Talon. (File, AFP)

Porto-Novo – Benin President Patrice Talon has earned social media praises after opting to travel to neighbouring Togo by road, a report said on Tuesday.

According to BBC, Talon swapped his presidential jet "for a motorcade for a 150km trip to Togo's capital Lome" to attend an African Union extra-ordinary summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa.

This won him praises from Twitter users.

@Doubangar wrote: "I like this new President of Benin. He travelled the distance Cotonou/Lome by road for the #LomeSummit."

@arielmedrid wrote: "Hats off to #PatriuceTalon for going to Lome by road."

Another Twitter user @Africardv posted: "Benin President Patrice Talon is the only one to get to the #LomeSummit by road."

Talon, a business tycoon, was elected earlier this year after promising sweeping changes in government.

He took over the presidential office on April 6 and is faced with major challenges such as tackling high youth unemployment, corruption and improving health and education in the country of 10.6 million people. 

In the run up to the elections, Talon had portrayed himself as a big-spender and a self-made man in his campaign, turning up for the first-round vote in a Porsche, wearing a white open-necked shirt, a fitted suit and sunglasses.

From humble beginnings in the coastal town of Ouidah, he rose to become one of the most powerful Benin businessmen and bankrolled Boni Yayi's successful 2006 and 2011 election campaigns.

But he fled to exile in France after being accused of masterminding an alleged plot to poison the president in 2012 and only returned last October after receiving a presidential pardon.

Talon's success and taste for luxury attracted support from many young Beninese, who hope he can create jobs and wealth on a national scale.





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