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Buhari calls for respect for democracy in Gabon

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President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned the military in Gabon against any attempt to overthrow the government of the country.

He gave the warning on Tuesday in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu.

“The military officers in Gabon should understand that the era of military coups and governments in Africa and indeed worldwide, is long gone,” said President Buhari who is also the ECOWAS Chairman.

The President condemned the attempted takeover of the Gabonese government by military officers who seized the state radio station, declaring their dissatisfaction with President Ali Bongo, who is recovering from a stroke in Morocco.

He, therefore, called for respect for constitutional provisions in the oil-rich west-central African nation.

“Democracy is supreme and the constitutional stipulations on the peaceful change of administration must be respected,” President Buhari insisted.

“That is the only way we can ensure peace and stability not only within the country but also in the region.”

President Buhari further urged military officers with political ambitions in the continent and beyond to resign or face their constitutional role.

He asked the people of Gabon to remain on the side of peace, security, stability and democracy in their country.

On Monday, the leader of the self-declared Patriotic Movement of the Defence and Security Forces of Gabon, Lieutenant Kelly Ondo Obiang, had said a New Year’s Eve address by Bongo “reinforced doubts about the president’s ability to continue to carry out of the responsibilities of his office.”

But the Gabonese government had said it was in control and that most of those involved in the failed coup had been arrested.

It added that the chief military rebel had been taken into custody while two of his commandos were killed.

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