Nigeria Insists on Return to Democratic Order in Gabon

Nigeria Insists on Return to Democratic Order in Gabon

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

The federal government of Nigeria has condemned the inauguration of the Commandant in-Chief of the Gabonese Republican Guard, Gen. Brice Olingui Nguema, as Chairman of the Ruling Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) yesterday, days after he forcefully took over power from President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

The federal government position was contained in a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francisca Omayuli, which stated that Nigeria had observed with concern the unfolding political developments in the Republic of Gabon, following the coup d’etat that ousted the Administration of President Ali Bongo Ondimba on 30th August, 2023.

Nguema, had led a coup against Ondimba, shortly after he was declared winner of the presidential election in Gabon, though the election was criticised by oppositions and many citizens of the Central African region.

The military take-over was greeted with condemnation from international community, and it was no surprise that the military government had to change strategy declaring itself as a transitional government.

It changed it status to transitional government and subsequently swore in the junta as the Head of the Government.

In its reaction to the latest development in Gabon, the Nigerian government reiterated it early position that the military should hand back government to the civilian government.

The statement further read: “The inauguration of the Commandant In-Chief of the Gabonese Republican Guard, Gen. Brice Olingui Nguema as Chairman of the Ruling Committee for the Transition and Restoration of Institutions (CTRI) on Monday, 4th September, 2023, with no indication of a transition programme in place, only serves to fan the embers of growing discontent among the political class in the country

“Nigeria, therefore, joins the larger international community to call for the immediate return to democratic constitutional order, which will go a long way to pacify dissident voices and restore trust and confidence to the electorate. Coups d’etat only serve to compound rather than address any perceived problems.

“The coup d’etat in Gabon is therefore, one coup too many in Africa and it is unacceptable at a time when Africa is aspiring to consolidate on democracy and democratic principles for the attainment of  United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to partnering with other democratically elected governments in Africa to sanction perpetrators of unconstitutional change of government in line with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ADC), until democracy is given the chance to thrive in every African country for the good of its peoples.”

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