President Bola Tinubu has raised an alarm over the escalating number of coups witnessed across African nations, calling for a comprehensive effort to curb the expansion of “contagious autocracy” across the continent. The President expressed his resolve to collaborate with fellow African leaders in safeguarding democracy and political stability during a press conference addressing the recent coup in Gabon.
The coup in Gabon, which took place on Wednesday, marked the latest instance of political upheaval in Africa, following a similar incident in Niger where Presidential Guards overthrew the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum. A dozen soldiers announced the cancellation of election results purportedly won by incumbent Ondimba Ali Bongo, alongside the dissolution of key institutions of the republic.
President Ali Bongo, who was re-elected for a third term, belongs to the Bongo family that has maintained its grip on power in Gabon since 1967. The recent coup in Gabon, coupled with the political instability in Niger, has sparked concerns about the region’s political landscape and its potential consequences for economic growth.
President Tinubu conveyed his deep concern about the trend of autocracy spreading across different regions of the African continent. In his statement, he emphasized that true power should rest in the hands of the African people rather than being determined by military actions. The President’s unwavering stance for democracy and the rule of law is evident, given his extensive history of advancing and defending democratic values.
The spread of autocracy has raised global apprehensions, with the United States, European Union, United Nations, and other international bodies expressing their concerns about the political developments in Africa. The United States Government has indicated its close monitoring of the situation, emphasizing its support for democratic ideals in Africa. The European Union Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, emphasized the need to address the issue of coups, considering their potential to destabilize the entire region.
While the unfolding situation in Gabon and other countries has sparked concern, President Tinubu’s commitment to democratic values and the promotion of constitutional governance remains steadfast. His ongoing communications with other African leaders and international stakeholders reflect a determination to address the challenges posed by the surge in coups across the continent.