Ali Bongo Ondimba, the former president of Gabon, has called upon his international friends to raise awareness and advocate for his release amid the military-led coup that removed him from power.
Army officers in Gabon took control of the government, announcing their coup on national television, the BBC News Africa has reported. They claimed to be annulling the results of the recent presidential election, in which President Ali Bongo was declared the winner.
The electoral commission had stated that Bongo won nearly two-thirds of the votes, but main opposition candidate Albert Ondo Ossa complained about irregularities including alleged lack of ballot papers bearing his name at various polling stations, while the coalition he represents said the names of some of those who had withdrawn from the presidential race had still been on the ballot sheet. If successful, this would end Bongo’s family’s 53-year rule in Gabon.
I’m Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon. I have to send a message to all the friends that we have all over the world to gather up to make noise, to make noise for the people here have arrested me and my family. My son is somewhere, my wife is in another place and I’m at the residence. Right now I’m at the residence and nothing is happening. I don’t know what’s going on. So I’m calling you to make the noise, to make the noise really. I’m thanking you. Thannk you.
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He has been serving as the President of Gabon since 2009. He assumed office after the death of his father, Omar Bongo, who had been the President of Gabon for over 40 years. Ali Bongo’s presidency has been marked by various political and economic challenges, as well as allegations of electoral irregularities and limited political freedoms. He has implemented some reforms in an effort to diversify Gabon’s economy and promote social welfare programs. However, his leadership has also faced criticism from opposition groups and civil society organizations.