Gabon coup leader quotes JJ Rawlings in inauguration speech

During the swearing-in ceremony of General Oligui Nguema, the leader of the Gabonese military junta in the capital city of Libreville, the late Jerry John Rawlings, who had served as Ghana’s president after leading two coups but later embraced democracy, was mentioned.

General Oligui Nguema was formally inaugurated as the leader of the Gabonese military junta on Monday, September 4, 2023, in Libreville. This investiture occurred less than a week after he, as the former head of the Republican Guard, led the ousting of President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

During the inauguration, General Oligui took his oath of office and delivered an inaugural speech in which he justified the coup and pledged a return to civilian rule through elections, although he did not provide specific dates or timelines.

In his address, he cited a quote from Jerry John Rawlings to explain why the military had to intervene on August 30 and assume political authority.

Also Read: Gabon Coup: Suspension Of Democracy Is Just Temporary – Military Ruler

This mention of Rawlings came after General Oligui had paid tribute to Gabonese pro-democracy figures who had sacrificed their lives for their beliefs.

The junta leader stated: “As former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings said, ‘When the people are oppressed by their leaders, often with the complicity of the judiciary, it falls upon the military to restore their freedom’.”

He went on to say: “It is with this spirit that on August 30, 2023, like a shooting star in the dark night, the Defense and Security Forces of our nation took responsibility by rejecting the electoral manipulation that had just been announced by the Gabonese Elections Center following a highly biased electoral process.”

The event took place at the National Palace and was attended by high-ranking security officials, former government ministers, members of the diplomatic corps, and other prominent figures.

Meanwhile, while the inauguration was ongoing, leaders of the regional political bloc were meeting in Equatorial Guinea. Following an extraordinary summit of heads of state, Gabon was suspended from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). The bloc condemned the coup and immediately decided to relocate its headquarters from the Gabonese capital to Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea.

Also Read: Plot to remove IGP: Supt Asare drags another police officer into IGP leaked tape saga

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