…as Tinubu reacts to the coup
Gabonese army soldiers operating under the auspices of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions explained why they will be replacing President Ali Bongo as the nation’s leader on national television on Wednesday.
Putschists said their action was “necessary” for the development of the West African nation and that significant institutional, political, economic, and social difficulties were the main causes of it.
“Our lovely country, Gabon, has always been a refuge of peace,” the junta said in a speech delivered to the entire country in French but translated into English by AFP.
“Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic and social crisis.
“We are therefore forced to admit that the organisation of the general elections of August 26, 2023, did not meet the conditions for a transparent, credible and inclusive ballot so much hoped for by the people of Gabon.
“Added to this is irresponsible and unpredictable governance, resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion, with the risk of leading the country into chaos.
“Today, 30 August 2023, we, the defence and security forces, gathered as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) on behalf of the people of Gabon and as guarantors of the institutions’ protection — have decided to defend the peace by putting an end to the current regime.”
Tinubu reacts to the coup
President Bola Tinubu has expressed his deep concern over the political development in Gabon with the takeover of government by the military.
The president also bemoaned the sociopolitical stability of the oil-rich Central African country and what looks like an autocratic contagion spreading across different regions in the African continent.
This was made known by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale while speaking to State House correspondents on Wednesday, where he expressed President Tinubu’s belief that the rule of law and a faithful recourse to the constitutional resolution of electoral disputes must not be allowed to perish in Africa.
The reaction from Tinubu is coming a few hours after a group of Gabonese military officers appeared on television Wednesday announcing they were “putting an end to the current regime” and cancelling an election that, according to official results, President Ali Bongo Ondimba won.
This is also coming at a time Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union are still battling with the crisis in Niger Republic as a result of the forceful takeover of government by the military.
Power does not belong in the barrel of a gun
The Presidential media aide said,
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is watching developments in Gabon very closely with deep concern for the country’s sociopolitical stability and the seeming autocratic contagion apparently spreading across different regions of our beloved continent.
“The president, as a man who has made significant personal sacrifices in his own life, in the cause of advancing and defending democracy, has all of the unwavering belief that power belongs in the hands of Africa’s great people, and not in the barrel of a loaded gun.”
Ngelale added that Tinubu affirmed that “the rule of law and a faithful recourse to constitutional resolutions and instruments of electoral dispute resolution must not at any time be allowed to perish from our great continent”.
According to him, the President is “working very closely and continuing to communicate with other heads of state in the African Union towards a comprehensive consensus on the next steps forward with respect to how the crisis in Gabon will play out into how the continent will respond to the contagion of autocracy we are seeing spread across our continent”.Follow us on social media