The military has taken over Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, then, a few days ago, the Republic of Gabon, a French colony in West-Central Africa, until 1960. The country is at south and east by the Republic of the Congo to the north by Cameroon, to the northwest by Equatorial Guinea, and the west by the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. Gabon, whose capital is Libreville, and the official language is French, is rich in natural resources such as oil, manganese, natural gas, iron, and timber.
Despite having one of the highest GDP per capita rates in Africa, 40% of the population still lives in poverty, and the young unemployment rate is up to 37%. After President Leon Mbah passed away in the 1960s, Omar Bongo, then the Vice-President of Gabon, seized control and instituted a one-party form of government, the Gabonese Democratic Party and remained the only legally functional political party until 1990 during the years, he was re-elected in 1979, 1986, 1993, 1998, 2005.
Emmanuel Macron and Ali Ben Bongo: The West and the United States of America continue to support and help corrupt democratic regimes in Africa for their own interests. Photo credit: Le Nouveau Gabon
Omar Bongo was one of the wealthiest people in the world, and his lifestyle has been the subject of repeated investigations. He was charged with corruption and making money from the sale of Gabon's crude oil, and the French Prosecutor's Office opened an inquiry against him for stealing public funds and using them to buy luxury homes and cars in 2009. However, when there were protests in his nation, French forces were always there to intervene.
During his 42 years in office, he spent the nation's money on spouses, mistresses, and dozens of his offspring. He purchased expensive residences and flats in France, including a property near the Champs-Elysees that cost him 18 million Euros. The world's longest-serving head of state, Omar Bongo, passed away on January 8, 2009, at the age of 73, at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain after the 2009 presidential election, his son Ali Bongo Ondimba took over as his successor.
In Gabon, a coup d'état occurred on August 30, 2023, it happened right after the declaration of the outcomes of the August 26 presidential, legislative, and local elections, which Ali Bongo Ondimba won with a margin of victory of 64.26 percent. On Gabon's national television, a representative of the Committee for the Transition and Restoration of State Institutions, a group of 12 officials, addressed.
According to Colonel Ulrich Manfoumbi, who acted on behalf of the people, the Republican Guard, the regular army, and the air force, the election results were annulled, the country's borders were closed and all state institutions dissolved water. Today, the country is going through a serious institutional, political, economic, and social crisis. "The election does not meet the conditions for a transparent, trustworthy, and inclusive vote, which the people of Gabon so much hope for," the statement said.
He added the government is irresponsible, which leads to continued deterioration of social cohesion and risks leading the country to chaos, therefore; the need to protect peace by ending the current regime.”
Like father, like son: the corruption gene
The President of Gabon, Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, son of Omar Bongo, spends about 15 million Euros a day buying new cars, which is about 1% of the GDP of this African country," said France 24 channel. Received documents confirmed that three months after taking office in January 2010, the head of state replenished the country's budget, owning a fleet of 29 expensive cars, revealing his passion for British and German cars.
In one day, he bought three Mercedes-Benz CL 63 AMG, the price of one at the time was about 140,000 Euros, two Rolls-Royce Phantoms, 430,000 Euros each, a Rolls-Royce Ghost for 265,000 Euros and a Bentley Mulsanne which cost almost half a million Euros. He also purchased two VIP buses, each costing €2.5 million in addition, Ondimba also bought 4 BMW cars, 11 Mercedes-Benz models, a Maybach 625, and Rolls-Royce Drop Head for relatives. That is the power of democracy while the people suffer.
In total, these cars cost him 8 million Euros, and another 7 million Euros to pay for the installation of additional equipment and maintenance. French media reported that all these purchases were made at the expense of Gabon taxpayers. The late Omar Bongo’s son inherited the habit of living in luxury and dipping into the state coffers like his father. This coup was planned long ago because of the corrupt nature of the president which is having disastrous consequences for the poor masses.
A few hours later, after the elections were canceled, it was revealed that 64-year-old Bongo had been placed under house arrest while surrounded by his family and medical professionals. The military said that further individuals had been detained, including the president's son Noureddine Bongo Valentin, the head of the executive branch, and several senior members of the country's dominant Democratic Party of Gabon. They are charged with corruption, international financial fraud, stealing public funds, and subverting national institutions.
While corrupt African politicians operating under the guise of democracy continue to plunder the nation and acquire fortune without regard for the misery of the people, they frequently fail to see how their crimes affect everyone in the nation, even soldiers and their children. When persuasion fails, force is applied, this is one of the reasons coups are occurring more frequently than normal in Africa. The terrible aspect of this issue is that ECOWAS leaders wouldn’t solve the corruption problems affecting the people and rather choose to install democracy in the affected countries.
Africans are sick of corrupt democracies, and the Gabonese insurrection represents the region's independence from colonial poverty, as a result, we should anticipate similar developments in other African nations. The military's eventual taking over the African continent shouldn't surprise Africans, the West, or the United States of America because Africans are now eradicating neocolonialism from the continent since it is no longer necessary and causing more poverty for the underprivileged.
The deposed Ali Bongo was received by Macron at the Elysée Palace, which gave him plenty of time to make a video inviting fans to condemn the military's overthrow of his government. According to him, the people should make “noise.” I think the next coup is most likely to happen in Cameroon, where Paul Biya, the current president, has been in power for more than 40 years but resides in Switzerland and only visits the nation between elections.