Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the president of Nigeria, voiced worry that authoritarianism was spreading throughout Africa in the wake of Wednesday’s coup in Gabon.
In the African Union, he claimed to be working closely with other heads of state to develop a broad consensus response to the coup in Gabon.
The coup took place in the midst of continuous efforts to end the situation in the Niger Republic after President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed by the military of the nation.
The election that Bongo was declared the winner of on Saturday was deemed invalid by the Gabonese coupists.
The troops claimed to be acting on behalf of Gabon’s security and defence forces when they proclaimed the dissolution of all institutions and closed the nation’s borders.
One of Ali Bongo Ondimba’s sons, Noureddin Bongo Valentin, was also detained for “treason” in Gabon.
The deposed president and several of his family members were placed under house arrest.
In a statement given out on national TV, they stated, “President Ali Bongo is under house arrest, surrounded by his family and doctors.”
According to a military official, those detained were charged with treason, theft, corruption, and forging the president’s signature, among other offences.
In a video, Bongo pleaded with his foreign friends to protest his dismissal.
“I’m the president of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba. To all of our friends that we have throughout the world, I am sending a message to tell them to create noise, loud noise, Bongo stated.
Ajuri Ngelale, the spokesperson for Tinubu, told reporters yesterday in Abuja that the president was closely monitoring Gabon’s socio-political stability and the authoritarian epidemic spreading throughout other countries of Africa. He cited Tinubu as saying that the continent must not lose its commitment to the rule of law, constitutional redress, and mechanisms for resolving election disputes.
“President Bola Tinubu is watching developments in Gabon very closely with deep concern for the nation’s socio-political stability and at the seeming autocratic contagion apparently spreading across different regions of our beloved continent,” Ngelale stated.
“The president is of the steadfast view that power belongs in the hands of Africa’s great people and not in the barrel of a loaded pistol. As a man who has made substantial personal sacrifices in his own life in the path of developing and preserving democracy.
“The president stresses that at no point in time should the rule of law, a steadfast reliance on constitutional judgements, and mechanisms for resolving election disputes be permitted to disappear from our vast continent.
“To this end, the president is working closely and maintaining communication with other Heads of State in the African Union in order to reach a comprehensive consensus on the next steps forward with regard to how the crisis in Gabon will play out and how the continent will react to the autocracy epidemic we are seeing spread across our continent.”
The Nigerian military is cautioned by MURIC not to copy the Gabonese army.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) cautioned the Nigerian military Wednesday against following in the footsteps of the Gabonese Army, which ousted President Bongo.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, the executive director of MURIC, stated in a statement that the Nigerian Army already had its hands full dealing with Boko Haram, terrorists, and other security concerns and could not afford to add political meddling to its difficulties.
He stated that while the army shouldn’t take on more than it can handle, Nigerian officials should take a page from what occurred in Gabon, Niger, Mali, and other countries since effective governance had become a must for leaders who, he said, had to reduce poverty, starvation, and sickness across the nation.
While we disapprove of the sit-tight approach used by the Bongo family in Gabon and certain other African nations, we vehemently reject this military takeover, he said. The Nigerian Army is advised by MURIC to maintain its apolitical stance and to avoid the urge to stage a coup like the Gabonese army did.
Any soldier from Nigeria who considers a coup during the current administration is doing so out of self-interest. Notably, the political landscape in Nigeria is very different from that in Gabon, where the Bongo dynasty has ruled for more than 50 years.
Given the strong religious undertones that characterised the debate over the Muslim-Muslim ticket, a military coup against the present Muslim-Muslim ticket would be perceived as a direct attack on Muslims in the nation.
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Any military takeover in Nigeria today will be marred by religious prejudice. “Nigeria has not yet recovered from the vindictive counter-revolution of July 1966, which was mostly carried out by troops of Northern extraction, and the one-sided anti-North coup of January 1966, which was staged by Igbo soldiers.
Deeply troubling Gabon coup: Commonwealth
Concern over the coup in Gabon has been raised by the Commonwealth.
Patricia Scotland, the organization’s secretary general, stated: “The Commonwealth Charter is clear that member states must uphold the rule of law and the principles of democracy at all times.”
The opposition said that Saturday’s election, in which Bongo won a third term after his father passed away in 2009, was highly contested.
Gabonians rejoice at Bongo’s 53-year dynasty’s end.
Yesterday, hundreds of Gabonese people poured into the nation’s capital, Libreville, to celebrate the coup and the end of Bongo’s 53-year rule.
Al Jazeera claims that as Bongo’s authority came to an end, hundreds of people celebrated in the streets, including shopkeeper Viviane Mbou, who gave the troops juice, which they turned down.
“Long live our army,” said Jordy Dikaba, a young guy strolling with his companions down a street lined with law enforcement.
“I’m happy today, therefore I’m marching. The Bongos are no longer in control after nearly 60 years, declares Jules Lebigui, a 27-year-old jobless participant in the street festivities in Libreville.”
The soldiers stated that they attacked because of the nation’s careless and unpredictable governance when they went on Gabonese national television to proclaim they had seized control and cancelled the election.
The leader of the revolution was cited by AFP as saying, “Our lovely nation, Gabon, has long been a refuge of peace. The nation is currently experiencing a severe institutional, political, economic, and social crisis. We must thus acknowledge that the general elections on August 26, 2023, were not organised in a way that would have allowed for a transparent, credible, and inclusive election as the Gabonese people had hoped.
“On top of that, reckless and unpredictable government is contributing to the social cohesion crisis and endangering the stability of the nation. Today, August 30, 2023, we, the defence and security forces, assembled as the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI), have resolved to safeguard peace by toppling the existing administration on behalf of the Gabonese people and as guarantors of the institutions’ safety. There are currently no open borders.
“The government, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Constitutional Court, the Economic, Social and Environmental Council, and the Gabonese Elections Centre are all abolished,” the declaration reads.
We appeal for peace and tranquillity from the general public, sister country communities living in Gabon, and the Gabonese diaspora. We reiterate our commitment to upholding Gabon’s obligations to both the domestic and global society. We are finally headed towards bliss, Gabonese. May Gabon be blessed by God and the souls of our forefathers. Honour and devotion to our country.”