AfricaNewsNigeriaAnother coup in Africa, soldiers overthrow democratic government in Gabon

It is another sad story coming from Africa, amidst fears of escalating crisis of coups in the continent, as soldiers in Gabon have seized power suspending democratic rule in the country.

According to reports, Army officers showed up on national television in Gabon to announce that they have taken power.

They complained about irregularities in the country’s elections, stating that they were annulling the results of Saturday’s polls, in which President Ali Bongo was declared the winner.

There were reports of heavy gunfire in the country especially in the country’s capital.

BBC reports quoted soldiers saying the country’s borders had been closed “until further notice”.

“We have decided to defend peace by putting an end to the current regime,” One of the soldiers said on TV channel Gabon 24.

According to him the action was taken to end irresponsible, unpredictable governance resulting in a continuing deterioration in social cohesion that risks leading the country into chaos.

There was no immediate response by the government to the soldiers’ announcement.

Recall that as in previous general elections in Gabon, there were serious concerns about the process in Saturday’s vote.

Main opposition candidate Albert Ondo Ossa complained that many polling stations lacked ballot papers bearing his name, while the coalition he represents said the names of some of those who had withdrawn from the presidential race were still on the ballot sheet.

Campaign group, Reporters Without Borders said foreign media were banned from setting foot in the country to cover the election.

As polls closed, the government announced a curfew and suspension of internet access for security reasons.

Mr. Bongo came to power when his father Omar died in 2009.

In 2018, he suffered a stroke which sidelined him for almost a year and led to calls for him to step aside.

The following year, a failed coup attempt saw mutinying soldiers sent to prison.

By Uzoamaka Ikezue (Staff Reporter)
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