President Tinubu Condemns Gabon Coup, Urges Legal Resolution of Electoral Disputes

In a swift response to the recent coup in Gabon, President Bola Tinubu has expressed his concern and commitment to upholding democratic values on the African continent. The coup led to the ousting of President Ali Bongo, who has subsequently been placed under house arrest.

The impetus behind this power grab was rooted in perceived flaws within Gabon’s most recent general election, which occurred on August 26, 2023. Military personnel involved in the coup claimed that the election did not meet the prerequisites for transparency, credibility, and inclusivity that the Gabonese people had hoped for. They cited irregularities in the election process as well as an overall deterioration of social cohesion under Bongo’s governance, warning of the potential for chaos.

Speaking on behalf of President Tinubu, Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, emphasized the deep concern emanating from the presidency. Ngelale underscored President Tinubu’s unwavering stance on democratic principles and his belief that power should rest within the hands of the people rather than the hands clutching a loaded gun.

Ngelale highlighted President Tinubu’s personal sacrifices in his pursuit of democracy, reinforcing his commitment to safeguarding the rule of law and the utilization of constitutional mechanisms for resolving electoral disputes. This commitment stands as a beacon in the face of the growing specter of autocracy that seems to be spreading across various regions of the continent.

President Tinubu’s engagement extends beyond mere words. He is actively collaborating with fellow Heads of State within the African Union to forge a comprehensive consensus on the best way forward for Gabon. This collaborative effort aims to determine how power dynamics within Gabon will unfold and how the African continent as a whole will respond to the concerning trend of autocratic tendencies gaining ground.

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