Gabon coup underscores slippery France’s influence in Africa – Expert
Security experts and analysts have said the latest coup in Gabon underscores France’s slippery influence in Africa.
One of them, a former DSS boss, Dennis Amachree however noted that the coup would not be described as a success yet, following the unknown whereabouts of the Gabonese president.
According to him, “the situation in Libreville, Gabon is still very fluid. The whereabouts of President Ali Bongo is still unknown. The coup detat could still be crushed.”
He added: “The coup is another rude crack in French-zone Africa with the military cancelling the just concluded elections, where Ali Bonjo won a third term. Popular opinion in Libreville is that of contempt, where the Bongo family has turned the presidency into a personal affair. Coming up after the situation in Niger, this underscores the slippery nature of France’s influence on the African continent.”
Security analyst and former President of Crime Reporters, Christopher Oji urged African leaders to lead right as a coup may have come to stay in the continent.
His words: “Coup has come to stay in Africa because of leadership problem. There is serious injustices in our democracy. Our democratic elected leaders have disappointed their citizens. They rig election and lavish the commonwealth of the citizens, while the citizens suffer.
“How can leaders refuse to relinquish power and continue to perpetuate themselves in power? How can only our leaders, their family members and political allies be enjoying while the citizens watch with empty stomach.
“How can we watch the brazen bravado of our African leaders allocating money to themselves? How on earth will old people who have retired and tired perpetuate themselves in power and continue to deceive the youths that they are the future leaders when they can’t give them the opportunity to thrive.
“It quite unfortunate that African leaders have nothing to offer, except to do the bidding of our colonial masters. Our youths in the military are waking up and are ready to salvage our country and revamp the economy.
“Coup is sweeping the whole Africa, except our political leaders begin to show good leadership qualities, they will be swept away by military juntas.
“The coup in Gabon is welcome development because the opposition party have been crying about the massive rigging in the last election of last week that brought the ousted president to power.”
Former President of Private Security Practitioners, Dr. Wilson Esangbedo noted: “The family of the deposed President has been in power for 56 years.This was the 3rd tenure of the deposed president amidst an election that is widely believed to have been rigged.
“The Military came in to restore order amidst plans by the people in that country to go out on mass protest.This is a trying time for African Union as their reaction will determine whether incidents like this will reoccur.
“They must come out openly and speak and act against this coup.They should also speak about bad leadership and the need for leaders to govern their people well and stop extending their tenures beyond 2 tenures.This is not only unconstitutional but an aberration of democratic practices.”
A group of senior Gabonese military officers had appeared on national television declaring they have seized power, claiming the recent general election lacks credibility and saying they represent all Gabon’s security and defence forces.
They said the election results were cancelled, all borders closed until further notice and state institutions dissolved. Loud sounds of gunfire could be heard in the capital, Libreville, a Reuters reporter said, after the television appearance.
If successful, the coup would represent the eighth in west and central Africa since 2020. Coups in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger have all undermined democratic progress.
In July, the military snatched power in Niger, sending shockwaves across the Sahel and sucking in global powers with strategic interests at stake.
Bongo, 64, who succeeded his father Omar as president in 2009, had 18 challengers, six of whom backed Ondo Ossa in an effort to narrow the race.
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