Nigerian president and current chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has reacted to the August 30 coup in Gabon, stressing that he was worried with the developments.
In a statement signed by his spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu said the coup situation seem to be a sign of spreading autocratic contagion in Africa.
“The President affirms that the rule of law and a faithful recourse to constitutional instruments of electoral dispute resolution must not be allowed to perish from our great continent,” the statement said in parts.
Tinubu said he will continue to liaise with colleague presidents and the African Union to see the next steps forward.
About the Gabon coup:
Soldiers announced in the wee hours of August 30 that they had seized power, barely an hour after Ali Bongo had been declared winner of the August 26 presidential elections.
They said the move was to correct wrongs in governance occasioned by an ailing president and a fraudulent electoral process – they also annulled the conduct of the polls.
The National Assembly, Constitutional Court and Electoral body were dissolved as was the president’s cabinet.
It has since emerged that the leader of the coup, General Brice Oligui Nguema, a cousin to the president and former aide-de-camp of Omar Bongo, the president’s father till his death in 2009.
Ousted Ali Bongo is currently under house arrest and his 31-year-old son, along with six senior aides arrested for corruption, high treason and other offences.
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT TINUBU REACTS TO UNFOLDING POLITICAL STANDOFF IN GABON
H.E. President Bola Tinubu is watching developments unfolding in Gabon very closely and with deep concern for the country’s socio-political stability and the seeming autocratic contagion appearing to spread to other parts of the African continent.
The President, as a man who has made significant personal sacrifices in his own life for the cause of advancing and defending democracy, remains steadfast in his unwavering belief that power belongs in the hands of Africa’s great people and not in the barrel of a loaded gun.
The President affirms that the rule of law and a faithful recourse to constitutional instruments of electoral dispute resolution must not be allowed to perish from our great continent.
To this end, the President will continue to communicate with other Heads of State within the African Union and beyond toward a comprehensive consensus on the next steps forward.