President Bola Tinubu has responded to the recent coup in Gabon, which resulted in the ousting of President Ali Bongo and his placement under house arrest. The military personnel behind the coup justified their actions by highlighting perceived flaws in the recent general election in the central African nation.
The officers acknowledged that the conduct of the August 26, 2023 general elections did not meet the criteria for a transparent, credible, and inclusive ballot that the people of Gabon had hoped for. They also cited concerns about governance instability leading to social disintegration and the risk of chaos.
Speaking on behalf of President Tinubu, his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, expressed deep concern over the rise of apparent autocratic actions across different regions of the African continent. Ngelale highlighted President Tinubu’s unwavering belief in the importance of placing power in the hands of Africa’s people rather than resorting to violence.
Ngelale emphasized that President Tinubu, a figure who has made personal sacrifices for the advancement and protection of democracy, firmly upholds the rule of law and the use of constitutional means for resolving electoral disputes. The president recognizes the significance of maintaining these principles in Africa.
President Tinubu is actively engaging with other African Heads of States within the African Union to foster a comprehensive consensus on the appropriate steps to take regarding the power transition in Gabon. His aim is to ensure that democratic values are upheld and that the continent responds effectively to the threat of spreading autocracy.
Ngelale concluded by stating, “The President is working very closely and continues to communicate with other Heads of States in the African Union towards a comprehensive consensus on the next steps forward with respect to how the power in Gabon will play out and how the continent will respond to contagious autocracy we have seen spread across our continent.” President Tinubu’s dedication to democracy and the rule of law remains steadfast, as he strives for the betterment of Africa and its people.